UPDATE: Oregon Coast's Beloved, Historical Pixieland Returns to Life in Summer
Published 04/11/2017 at 5:03 AM PDT - Updated 04/11/2017 at 9:33 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff
(Lincoln City, Oregon) – UPDATED: More historical background, updated event info. One of the Oregon coast's most beloved attractions and among its most treasured examples of history comes back to life in June. Kick off the summer with your family and relive childhood memories when the iconic Pixieland Amusement Park and Pixie Kitchen Restaurant are reborn as Pixiefest. Happening on June 24 and 25, it features food, beverages, entertainment and rides inspired by the original park. It's a chance to hand down your treasured Oregon coast memories to a new generation during this first of what should be an annual event.
Pixiefest will take place at Chinook Winds Casino Resort, where families will encounter colorful carnival rides, live music from local talent, and where you can take a selfie with a real-life mermaid. Street performers in Pixie-themed costumes will walk about the festival site performing music and magic tricks to kids young and old.
The Lincoln City Culinary Center will recreate classic dishes from the famed Pixie Kitchen, inserting a bit of heavenly food into this rollicking trip down memory lane. Staple entrees of the fondly remembered restaurant will be available for purchase, such as the popular clam dip and cod balls.
Back on May 21, 1953, the Pixie Kitchen opened its doors in what was then a little beach burgh called Wecoma Beach (Lincoln City was created out of seven tiny towns, including Wecoma, more than ten years later). Owners Jerry and Lu Parks had purchased the space and restaurant from former owner T.C. Gallagher, who had called it Pixie Pot Pie. The Parks set out to create something with a fantasia vibe, using the slogan “heavenly food on the Oregon coast” in many instances. Indeed, it had a reputation for good grub at the time.
The children coming through the eatery were given special attention. Place mats were given to them that folded into pixie hats, as well as free candy packages that were colorful and goofy, often including pixie sticks. By the mid 1960s, Pixie Kitchen was not only a famous eatery but tourist attraction all its own. It had acquired fun house mirrors and those wacky figures of whimsical creatures riding trains that later influence what came next.
The tourism aspect became so big that the Parks were inspired to create Pixieland just north of Lincoln City. In 1967, they unveiled plans for a 57-acre “Fairytale Story of Oregon,” even hiring on two former employees of Disneyland.
Pixieland Amusement Park lived a full but remarkably short life, and it's still seared into the minds of any Oregon coast visitor who experienced the place. It opened up in 1969, and during its opening ceremonies, Oregon by Governor Tom McCall dedicated the park to the families of the state. During its brief run, Pixieland featured a steam locomotive, a log flume ride, and an opera house. Sadly, Pixieland closed its doors in 1974.
In recent decades, the old spot – not far from the junction of Highway 101 and 18 – was set aside to once again become a natural wetland. You can find no traces of the popular place except a small roadside sign.
The summer gets an especially electrifying start in Lincoln City this year, with not only Pixiefest but the 33rd Annual Summer Kite Festival and the Chinook Winds Casino Resort Anniversary Celebration. Watch as colors fill the summer skies with big show kites at the D River Wayside and fireworks at the Casino. It will be a one-of-a-kind weekend in Lincoln City.
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