In an unlikely evolution, what started as a strictly concert event at what is now Chevy Bricktown Events Center has become a unique and affordable family festival.
Peace, Love & Goodwill Festival returns to Myriad Botanical Gardens Sunday for a full day of live music, art, food trucks and family activities. The annual event is a community outreach effort by Goodwill Industries of Central Oklahoma.
Festival organizer and Goodwill director of brand development Linda Burgett said the nonprofit first shifted from an all-music event to a community fair format in 2014 with the idea of focusing on fun for the whole family.
“At a lot of [other] festivals,” Burgett said, “there really isn’t that much to do with the kids and the art and things they can buy are expensive and they don’t even want their kids to touch the art.”
Peace, Love & Goodwill always keeps affordability in mind. Other than special VIP memberships and specific event tickets, the festival includes free admission. Goodwill also checks with artists and vendors beforehand to make sure they have things to sell at price points affordable to most people.
Many festivals claim to have something for everyone, but Peace, Love & Goodwill is truly a universal good time.
The event is always growing as well. This year, it increased its size on the Myriad Botanical Gardens grounds to include the area by Park House Events Center. Peace, Love & Goodwill also expanded its food truck offerings from 27 to 30, including Chef Ray’s Street Eats, The Healthy Hippo, Coit’s, Holey Rollers, Kona Ice, Let’s Do Greek and more.
And, of course, music remains a key component to the festival. Talented singer-songwriters Kalyn Fay, Jose Hernandez, Kierston White and others join premier local acts such as Latin-flavored pop artist Lincka, R&B/soul/hip-hop duo Adam & Kizzie, indie rock act Horse Thief and more. Between the main stage and the Myriad lawn stage, there will not be a break in music through the entirety of the event.
Still, Peace, Love & Goodwill’s most anticipated draw might be its Once Upon a Princess events and princess village area. A full, rotating cast of Disney princesses will be on hand for photo opportunities and to mingle with children.
Four themed, ticketed princess events are held throughout the day, including Anna’s Birthday Extravaganza at 10 a.m., Princess Medley Performance at 1 p.m., Princess & Pirate Island Adventure at 4 p.m. and Royal Princess Pajama Party at 7 p.m. Tickets are $35-$60 and can be reserved at peacelovegoodwill.org.
Burgett said the princess theme started during the event’s first year as a full festival in 2014. A side event featured a meet-and-greet with Queen Elsa and Princess Anna from the movie Frozen. Long lines convinced Burgett of the need to further incorporate the princess element into the program.
“I thought, ‘You know, there’s an opportunity for us to really expand on this,’” she said.
The following year featured a princess meetup for girls and a superhero meet for boys, but the princess events easily surpassed the other in popularity.
“We found out that parents and grandparents really don’t spend a lot of money on their boys,” she said, “I think just because of their short attention spans.”
Now, instead of a superhero alternative, Peace, Love & Goodwill presents a free Touch-a-Truck opportunity in its food truck area. Children get the chance to experience and touch a fire truck, ambulance, Goodwill truck and dump truck firsthand.
Burgett said last year, the Once Upon a Princess events went viral on social media, prompting fast ticket sales. With less virtual hubbub this year, the organizer still expects a large amount of interest. She said the princess aspect gives Peace, Love & Goodwill a unique feel.
“It’s fun because it fills our festival full of little girls dressed like princesses,” she said. “I don’t care who you are; that makes you happy.”
Peace, Love & Goodwill Festival functions as a fundraiser for the nonprofit’s youth programs. At the same time, Burgett hopes guests leave knowing a little more about Goodwill and the many services it provides to the community.
“It’s a hand-in-hand thing,” she said, “but there’s also a lot of community education and community engagement because nine out of 10 people will say, ‘Yeah, I donate to Goodwill,’ but when you ask them, ‘What does Goodwill do?’ they’ll go, ‘Well, they help people.’”
A scavenger hunt event at the festival takes participants around Myriad Gardens, looking for people with informative signs about Goodwill and its mission. Those who collect stickers from each sign holder and report back to the scavenger hunt booth will be rewarded with a free enamel Goodwill pin.
“We’re trying really hard to communicate and have this be educational to the public about what Goodwill does other than take their old stuff from them,” Burgett said.
Peace, Love & Goodwill Festival
10 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday
Myriad Botanical Gardens
301 W. Reno Ave.
Print headline: Feel-great fest, Music, food trucks, princesses and more make Peace, Love & Goodwill Festival fun for the family.