By KATIE ATKINS
OBSERVER staff writer
LILY DALE - It has been an action packed eight weeks at Lily Dale Assembly. Executive Director Susan Glasier said it's been a very busy season.
Visitors gather for a guided tour of the Fairy Village, before the close of Lily Dale Assembly’s summer season. In foreground are Natalie Larson, left, and Connie Dutcher, founders of the fairy complex, shown with Sundie Wilcox of Cassadaga.
A highlight was Children's Week in late July which included many events such as astrology workshops, a dance class, an ice cream social and lectures in mediumship and delivering messages of spirit.
Glasier said one of the more popular demonstrations during Children's Week was a special lesson in Qi Gong, an energy practice performed by Jedi warriors.
"Children's Week is getting bigger and bigger every year," Glasier said.
She added that the Fairy Trail, located behind the fire hall, is a favorite among children. The trail is lined with small fairy houses and villages contributed by visitors and residents for "Lily Dale's 'tiniest residents,'" according to the website. Victorian Times Weekend also drew many crowds this summer. All mediums dressed in Victorian Era costumes in an attempt to recreate the early days of the Assembly.
Both were "very well attended," according to Glasier.
The second annual Pet Remembrance celebration was held in the pet cemetery which dates back to 1900 when a horse fell through the ice on Cassadaga Lake. The horse was transported to Leolyn Woods, where this is now a special cemetery in remembrance of many pets owned by residents over time.
Glasier said that mediums, outdoor sessions and the healing temple attract the most people.
"Weekends are just tremendous. It stays pretty consistent," she said.
The Tibetan Monks of the Drepung Loseling Monastery performed a ceremony of healing through meditation.
"That was spectacular," Glasier said. "A wonderful ceremony."
Lily Dale's board of directors is already busy preparing for next summer. Seeing as how it is its own community with a fire department, post office and year round residency, Glasier said it's important to always be planning for the future.
She said, "We just keep on working, rebuilding and remodeling."
She also thanked the countless people who dedicate their time to making the community a success each season.
"It couldn't be done without volunteers. It would be almost impossible."
She said nearly 33,000 people visited Lily Dale last year and the numbers for this year's season are close to that figure. For next year, the Assembly is working on bringing in bigger names, more weekday workshops for mediumship and more special events.
The floating stage will also return to Cassadaga Lake next summer which Glasier said is special because attendees don't have to pay a gate fee and can view musical performances on their boats.
It's not too late to experience Lily Dale. Celebrate the end of summer with Gary and Cindy Renard who will guide a workshop on spiritual awakening and meditation through the weekend. For tickets and more information, call 595-8721. The last day of the season is today.
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