By Kendall S. Cable
NEWPORT, OR. It all began with a used golf cart. Then came a metal frame welded by City of Lincoln City Maintenance staff. Next, seven students from Career Tech High School’s Woods and Metals Program created a plywood foundation for strategically-placed PVC and chicken wire to rise. Finally, from burlap, rice and thistle breached a whale of local distinction that migrated to Portland’s Rose Parade Saturday.
The float, a promotion for Lincoln City’s Pixiefest to take place June 24-25 at Chinook Winds Casino and Resort, was helmed by Pixie Captain and Lincoln City Councilor Kip Ward, who intentionally grew a beard for the event, according to Ed Dreistadt, Lincoln City Convention and Visitor Bureau director. The whale, accompanying pixies, and Pixiefest are a nod to Pixie Kitchen and Pixieland – former local establishments which catered to children.
“The Career Tech students saved the day,” stated Dreistadt. “We located a used golf cart and the city maintenance staff constructed the brackets for a wood platform to be attached to, but all the rest was courtesy of the Career Tech crew. They designed the platform, the whale, and the waves and then built it all.”
For the seven students (Corrie Martin, Jason Miranda, Tyler Rini, Kendra Arns, Cameron Ogle, Levi Huppert, and Jordan Serden), the project was an act of teamwork and patience – 40 hours of patience, according to John Kiser, Career Tech Woods and Metals Program crew leader.
“There wasn’t a lot of arguing or head butting with the design process,” Kiser said. “Everyone agreed on what we would do and got right to it.”
The 14-foot-by-8-foot float was built during Wednesday class time in Schooner Creek Designs’ woodshop. Students learned a variety of skills and worked with tools such as sanders and jig saws.
“I think it was a good project for the kids to learn how to use the power tools. It was good for them,” Kiser said. “Some of them have not used a sander or jig saw before. It was good hands-on training with those power tools.”
Just as important as tools and technique is teamwork, according to one student. From city hall to the students to the community, all made the project possible.
“The best part was working together as a group, teamwork,” Miranda stated. “It takes a lot of work to do the littlest things. But if you do, you learn a lot.”
For more information regarding Pixiefest, go to pixiefest.com. Pixiefest is a collaborative effort led by Kiwanis Club of Lincoln City in partnership with Theatre West, Chinook Winds Casino Resort, Lincoln City Outlets and Farmers Insurance.
Career Tech High School is chartered through Community Services Consortium, the community action agency helping people in Linn, Benton, and Lincoln Counties. For more information go to www.careertech.us or www.communityservices.us.
Information provided by CSC photos by John Kiser (students) and Ed Dristad (parade)