Lincoln City’s long-departed Pixie Kitchen and Pixieland amusement park stick in the memory for many reasons, but none more so that founder Jerry Parks’ abiding love of children.
“I remember stopping in to Pixie Kitchen when I was a kid and having so much fun,” said Milt Johnson. “We kids felt like the place was made just for us, including all the characters he created that were on things like the placemats and menus.”
The third annual Pixiefest, happening on Saturday and Sunday, June 29 and 30, was created by members of the Kiwanis Club of Lincoln City as a way for people to give their children, grandchildren even great-grandchildren a chance to capture some of the magic that went away when Pixieland closed its doors in 1976, followed by the Pixie Kitchen a few years later.
“The businesses presented themselves as fun, and that’s what we’re trying to recreate.” said Johnson, a Kiwanis member. “We’ve made a few changes this year to make sure we get the message out that this is above all a kids’ event.”
The biggest of those changes is moving the event from Chinook Winds Casino Resort to the athletic field next to Taft High School.
But, despite the new, kid-centric venue, there’s no reason that unaccompanied adults can’t still have fun.
“We still have lots of things for adults like food, vendors and entertainment that can be enjoyed by people of all ages,” Johnson said. “And, of course, we have the memories tent.”
The memories tent holds memorabilia, photos and video remembrances that organizers of Pixiefest, with a huge amount of help from the North Lincoln County Historical Museum, have gathered over the past few years. A big hit each year are the original funhouse mirrors from the restaurant, one at the entrance that said, “You Look Hungry,” and one on the way out that said, “You’ve Had Enuf.”
Making the event friendly for adults as well as kids triggered another change from previous years.
“We no longer have all-inclusive pricing,” Johnson said. “It’s easier for people that don’t want to ride the rides or play the games, and it’s also a more reasonable price for families,”
Tickets are $10 for adults and $6 for children aged six to 11, while children under six get in free. Those who return a second day can get tickets for half price. Rides are $1 each and games are 50 cents each. Prizes are awarded at the games, and every kid gets a special sticker just for playing, as organizers don’t want any child feeling like they are walking away with nothing.
“We’ve also upgraded the rides and the entertainment,” Johnson said. “We have the Stargazer Ferris Wheel and pony rides, and our entertainment headliner is Louie Foxx, a Guinness world record-holding magician who has appeared on America’s Got Talent.”
Joining Foxx are Presto the Magician and Captain Barnacle, who will do anything to make someone laugh.
Merchandise on sale at the event will include t-shirts and the very popular cookbook featuring recipes from Pixie Kitchen.
“The cookbook is in its second printing and we’ve upgraded the quality,” Johnson said. “We’ve also recreated placemats and made postcards with some of the pixie characters.”
If you want to try some of the Pixie Kitchen menu items but prefer to stay out of your own kitchen, put yourself in the hands of professionals.
“Mo’s will be creating and selling food made from Pixie Kitchen recipes like the ever-popular cod balls,” Johnson said. “We’ll also have another food vendor that does the major fair and carnival circuit in Oregon and sells that kind of fun, outdoor event-style food.”
If you aren’t familiar with the Lincoln City Kiwanis Club, there are two things that are important to them: having fun and making a positive impact.
“We’re all doing this as volunteers so that as much of the money raised goes to helping kids in need,” said Johnson. “In the end, this event is kids helping kids, and how can you beat that?
Pixiefest is on Saturday and Sunday, June 29 and 30 from noon until 5 pm at Taft High School, 3780 SE Spyglass Ridge Drive. For more information, go to pixiefest.com.