Colorful, magical playhouses take over downtown West Palm Beach

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In an effort to raise awareness for the need of affordable housing, the City of West Palm Beach is partnering with Habitat for Humanity of Palm Beach County in the 2018 version of its seasonal Summer in Paradise campaign.

The result: fifteen child-size colorful playhouses, collectively referred to as the “Fairy Tale Playhouses,” are coming to downtown, where Palm Beach County artists will be matched with local nonprofits who will build the homes. 

Once built, the artists will transform the playhouses into unique representations of popular fairy tales, much like last year’s popular Aesop’s Tables. The playhouses will be ready for display on the Great Lawn of the West Palm Beach waterfront beginning June 7. They will remain on display through July 26, when they will be auctioned off to support the corresponding nonprofits.

In the meantime, the unique playhouses will provide entertainment and shade to the smallest of waterfront visitors, and great photo opportunities for residents and visitors alike.

The partnership with Habitat for Humanity carries a meaningful message, as the mission of the organization is to build simple, decent and affordable housing for low to very low-income families around the world.

“I am so pleased that this year’s ‘Summer in Paradise’ will deliver measurable impact, and – through our partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Palm Beach County – it continues the community conversation about the need for affordable housing for all,” said West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio.

The 15 artists and nonprofits were selected through an application process and, once matched, were assigned a fairy tale. Artists will interpret their fairy tale, with stories spanning the globe to reflect Habitat for Humanity’s worldwide reach. Featured fairy tales include “Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox,” from North America; “The Boy and the Dragon,” from Canada; “Rapunzel,” from Germany; “Anansi,” as well as many others.

Participating nonprofits include Adopt-A-Family of the Palm Beaches, Inc., Autism Speaks, Homeless Coalition of Palm Beach County, Palm Beach Habilitation Center, Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League, Police Athletic League of West Palm Beach, The Arc of Palm Beach County and The Lord’s Place, as well as many more.

“We are so pleased with the continued goodwill ‘Summer in Paradise’ is able to bring to the local community,” said Mary Pinak, Community Events Manager for the City of West Palm Beach Department of Parks and Recreation. “Our response to ‘Aesop’s Tables’ last year was so incredible – we raised more than $11,000 for our local community – so we knew we had to carry on this tradition and do something similar.”

The “Summer in Paradise” promotion includes other ongoing waterfront activities and an expanded lineup of Clematis by Night offerings, booking twice as many bands and extending entertainment hours to 10 p.m.

For more information about “Summer in Paradise,” and other waterfront events, go online to wpb.org/events.

Pictured above: The playhouses in different stages of completion leading up to the big reveal at Clematis by Night on June 7.

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