Pickathon is for the kids! We have so much programming for families, in fact, that we’ve almost booked an entire kids-first festival inside the grounds of Pickathon! Last year, our family-focused Coyote Neighborhood, in the woods above Cherry Hill, was a huge hit. Kids of all ages gathered for exclusive performances from our Family Music Lineup and fun family activities, and we’re bringing this back in 2023! Beloved Portland “independent” performers Red Yarn and Mr. Ben have curated Coyote and we’re happy to announce this year’s lineup of music and fun!
Because families are our priority at Pickathon, tickets for kids 12 and under are still FREE when attending with family, and teens 13-16 are 1/2 price when attending for the weekend!
Cedarwood Waldorf School is returning to design the Coyote Neighborhood, and they’ll be working with the wonderful wooden cutouts of famed Portland artist Mike Bennett. Mike turned our many years of Pickathon animal mascots into great cutouts last year, and he has an exciting new installation planned for this year. New to Coyote, we’re welcoming Queering the Family, an LGBTQ+ family support group providing live programming and affinity group space. We want the family area to be as inclusive as possible to all families! We’re also creating new space for teens and tweens! At 4pm each day, Friends of Noise and My Voice Music will host performances by teen bands, alongside new programming for youth of all ages. Coyote will also feel more like an actual neighborhood than ever before to be more comforting to the little ones, including a playground, a library book nook, and different workshops like a fun version of school. For very young kids, the Bridgetown Baby Family Feeding Nest, a shady nook in the woods for nursing parents and families to relax, will return.
Coyote’s stage will host kids-focused bands all day, including some great new folks like Mista Cookie Jar from LA and Suzi Shelton from New York. “I’m really excited to have local R&B/funk/soul legend Arietta Ward performing at our stage,” says curator Andy Furgeson of Red Yarn, “as well as Triple Rainbow (Tender Loving Empire’s Jared Mees & his two daughters). I’m also excited for my own band to debut songs from our upcoming album!” Other family band performers include Hi Joe Kye!, Mr. Ben, Nikki Brown Clown, and The Alphabeticians. The Rowdy Pony Busking Stage will also be back by popular demand, offering kids their own platform to show off their musical talents.
We’ll also have returning favorites coming to Coyote like the Trackers Earth program! Here, kids can role-play through the land of imagination as ninjas and spies or wizards and elves, complete with a foam-arrow archery range and wilderness survival school. Trackers Earth takes kids on guided tours through the forests and fields of Pickathon, culminating in a festival-wide zombie hunt! Family yoga with Shawna O’Neal will provide a pleasantly relaxing way to start your day with a fun, healthy, and thoughtful series of movements. Music Together of Portland will offer family music classes each morning, My Voice Music will lead music workshops and facilitate a talent show on Sunday, and Crafty Critters will bring interactive crafts for kids of all ages.