A Magical Event

Last Thursday evening when we walked in the park, we saw signs that something was going to happen……. never before have we seen fair maidens in medieval costume on the bridge, nor seen a colourful Chinese dragon cavorting on the hilly meadow.

Friday morning, the park was a hive of activity as huge white tents were being set up in the park.  Miles of extension cords ran along the paths and under bridges, their connections all carefully wrapped in tape and plastic to protect against the ever-present rain.  Candle lanterns hung from branches all along the pathways, and young people were busy marking out areas where ever there was a clear spot beside the path.

Then I found this poster:

I didn’t know until later that this is what it said:                                                                   Sandved Park will be transformed again into a magical adventure park. You will not know what’s waiting around the next corner but surely you will experience enchanting fairy tale magic … There are both creepy trolls and elves singing from hidden places. Maybe Puss in Boots will help the princess to find her dream prince? The large Chinese dragon winding along – is it dangerous?

I’d heard something about a Fairy Tale Week in Sandnes – but didn’t really know anything about it.  I’d seen this

among other book sculptures at the library.  Were they connected in some way?

Friday evening, we took Snoopy out for his evening walk – we always go down by the park.  Imagine our surprise when we rounded the corner and saw hundred of people – most with small children.  It was almost impossible to walk into the park, but we had to see what was happening. It was, unfortunately, too dark to take photos. They had fog-makers all over, giving the whole area an eerie feeling.  There were flashing green lights under bridges – and if I stood on my tippy-toes, I could just make out the three Billy Goats Gruff at the end of the bridge.

As the performance seemed to be over, a way opened for us to proceed, holding Snoopy close beside us in the crown.  we met my Norwegian friend, Hanne, and her 4-year-old twins.  We also met out neighbour Jone with Birte, who had just turned two. Jone said that she was old enough this year to be scared by the sounds and flashing lights.

We saw the dragon dancing in the distance, stands with long line-ups of people waiting to buy snacks, heard music played in the dark beside the path.  Always, a milling crowd of people.  We saw a long line-up of kids waiting to see the troll exhibition.

A lady with two young girls in tow stopped us to ask if the girls could pet the dog.  As they knelt beside Snoopy, she told us that her daughter spoke Norwegian and Arabic, and the neighbour girl (both would have been about 4-5 years old) spoke Norwegian and Spanish.  She had lived in Tunis and then Dubai, where she had met her husband.  she said he loved the summers up north when the sun never sets, but finds the dark winters very difficult, and she thinks that once their daughter can read and write, they will move back to the Middle East.  She was quite intrigued to meet people who knew a little Arabic there in the park. Sara found Snoopy’s Omani dog tag, and was quite excited to see it written in Arabic.

It was a very unusual evening walk for us – and we were so happy that it wasn’t raining – it would not have been half so much fun for the children or parents if it had been.

You just never know who you will meet, do you?

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