The 2015 Pioneer Summer Fest and Highland Games just around the corner

When Bret and Jenny Agee first launched the Pioneer Summer Fest in 2013, they weren’t sure how it would turn out.

Their plan was to provide locals one last summer event before the school year started, and decided to host some activities and games at Pioneer Park.

The Summer Fest, now held at Crooked River Park, has grown considerably since its inception and next Saturday, visitors can expect a variety of games, activities and attractions to enjoy. Returning once again are the egg toss, sack race, chubby bunny competition and hot dog eating contest, to name a few.

“We will have our very popular money pit there for the kids to dig through,” Jenny said.

“We pile up some straw bales around and then break one straw bale up in the middle,” Bret added, “and about every hour, we are going to throw $10 to $30 worth of change in there.”

Joining the games, complete with prizes to the winners, will be several food vendors and a snow cone machine.

Last year, the Summer Fest got a big boost with the addition of the Highland Games. A celebration of Celtic roots, the event invites people to compete in events like the caber toss that showcase strength and agility.

“I don’t think we realized the Highland Games would bring as big of a crowd as it has,” Bret said. “There are people coming from all over the Northwest for this and it was supposed to just be a Prineville thing.”

The Games return for this year’s event, but that is not the only athletic event scheduled for the Summer Fest.

“We partnered with the Good Bike Co., and they are going to have a bike race that is going to start and end at the park,” Jenny said.

Bret added that the new event will last all day and will include additional vendors and a barbecue.

“They approached us and wanted to jump in on the coattails of this event,” he continued.

While the bike race is the second sporting event added to the slate, the Agees don’t expect the Summer Fest to continue growing into an athletic event in future years.

“We have talked about next year possibly bring in a car show,” Bret said. “We are trying to hit a myriad of different likes, I suppose.”

Ultimately, the goal is of Summer Fest is to not only provide an end-of-the-summer event for families, but fill the park with as many options as possible.

“The more things you have going on at the park, the more people you can get to the park,” Jenny concluded.

The Pioneer Summer Fest and Highland Games will take place at Crooked River Park on Saturday, Aug. 29, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Registration for the Highland Games will begin at 8 a.m.

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