Elf Fest 2009 has been over for about a little over a week now and I figured it was about time I got my review of the festival up so here goes.
First I want to give you all a little information about where this festival takes place at and my prior experience’s there. Elf Fest takes place at Lothlorien Nature Sanctuary http://www.elvinhome.org/index.php which is located in southern Indiana.
According to their web site, “Lothlorien is 109 acres of forested hills and valleys located at the edge of Southern Indiana's limestone belt. It is a place to escape the outside world, drop its concerns and masks, and attune to the natural rhythms of the earth.” Lothlorien holds several festivals throughout the year. Lothlorien has been around for years and is well known to most Pagans here in Indiana. This trip marked my first visit there in about 12 years. I had stopped visiting Lothlorien because the last time I went the drug use by many was rampant and very much out in the open. I decided to give this home grown Fest another try because I had heard they had made many changes and the original ownership of the land was no longer in place.
We left for Elf Fest Friday May 22ed late in the day. We would have liked to left early or on Thursday for good measure but Kailyn couldn’t get Friday off so we didn’t head out till 4 PM. After about an hour and 45 minute drive south from Indianapolis we arrived at Lothlorien and stopped at what they call the troll both to get signed in and pay our festival fee. (Lothlorien is still the rare place where you can pay your fee on the day you arrive and do not have to be re-registered.) We were immediately greeted by Janet (I am kicking myself in the head over apparently not getting a picture of Janet as she was camped in the same circle we were.) who welcomed us with hugs and a smile and was happy to see us. This was already different than my last experience at Lothlorien and I was hopeful this was going to be a great fest. Janet gave us the low down on where there might be places to camp still (The Fest had started on Tuesday) and away we went to find a place.
We had some friends at the fest already who were saving us a place to camp but after 2 trips in the car around the main circle which leads to the camping areas we failed to spot them and found a place in Scientist circle to camp. (Scientist Circle is about as far away as you can get from a location know as Thunder Dome, which is where the drumming and dancing continue all night long. I like drumming just as much as the next person but I know I have my limit too and at 3 am I am usually about drummed out.) We got the car quickly unloaded to make camp (which took longer than you might think) and we ran into our first pleasant surprise of the weekend. Set up right next to us was someone who I knew, James. While I only knew James from message boards and such he jumped right out of his tent to help us get set up.
After we got all set up we made some dinner, and Kailyn and I decided to head over to Thunder Dome to catch some drumming and dancing. Thunder Dome is a massive geodesic dome which on my previous visits was covered in wood and you could hear the drums echo through the hills for miles it would seem. The old structure suffering from years of wood rot had been torn down and a new one erected in its place. This new Thunder dome is covered in tarps and while the drums still echo and was not like it used to be. We enjoyed the drumming and dancing for quite a while when we both decided we were tired we called it a night.
This ends day one of our trip and the first part of this blog. More to come soon.