Fairytale Town Timeline

It All Started With An Idea

January 1, 1955

It All Started With An Idea

Disneyland opens to great fanfare in Anaheim, California. A few hundred miles north, ideas are stirring with the Junior League of Sacramento, a civic-minded women’s service group. Studying the success of both Disneyland and Fairyland, a children’s storybook park in Oakland, the JLS begins laying the groundwork for a project…

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Miniature Models

January 1, 1956

Miniature Models

Friends of Fairytale Town., Inc., is formed as an advisory board to the City of Sacramento on the project. The board commissions miniature scale models and seeks donations. The first brochure explains that the new park would “…depict classics in children’s literature and be among the child’s first contacts with…

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Breaking Ground

October 1, 1958

Breaking Ground

Construction begins with the help of local school children who grabbed their shovels and broke ground on Fairytale Town.   Photo Credit: The League Lite

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Construction Continues

June 1, 1959

Construction Continues

Construction continues through the summer of 1959 on classic playsets such as Farmer Brown’s Barn, King Arthur’s Castle, and The Cheese Stands Alone.   Photo Credit: The League Lite

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Grand Opening

August 29, 1959

Grand Opening

The magical land of Fairytale Town opened in William Land Park! More than 17,000 people visit during opening weekend. Among the original play sets on the grounds: The Crooked Mile, The Cheese Stands Alone, Farmer Brown’s Barn, Owl’s House, Cinderella’s Carriage, King Arthur’s Castle, and the Children’s Theater. Opening weekend…

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Birthday Parties

September 23, 1959

Birthday Parties

Birthday parties begin at Fairytale Town. Fairytale Town provided a decorated cake with candles, ice cream, punch, utensils, a card for the birthday child to be signed by party goers, and a recreation leader to conduct the royal birthday party. Today, Fairytale Town still hosts magical birthday parties that children…

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The First Egg Hunt

April 1, 1960

The First Egg Hunt

Fairytale Town planned their very first egg hunt. During this event children could also meet the Easter Bunny, watch a play in the Children’s theater, and watch dancers perform. The fun continues today with Fairytale Town’s Spring Eggstravaganza, a weekend of egg hunts, games, theater shows, and more!   Photo…

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Fairytale Town’s 1st Birthday

August 29, 1960

Fairytale Town’s 1st Birthday

Fairytale Town celebrates its one-year anniversary and introduces a new playset, Jack & Jill Hill, where children would wander up the hill to pump a pail of water then slide down the hill.   Photo Credit: Unknown

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The Urashima Taro Japanese Garden

August 1, 1961

The Urashima Taro Japanese Garden

The Urashima Taro Japanese Garden opened on Fairytale Town’s second birthday and was created around the Japanese legend of the Fisherman and the Turtle. The garden was designed by Nagao Sakurai, a former landscape architect at the imperial palace in Tokyo, and assistant Ted Ikemoto. It was sponsored by John…

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Humpty Dumpty Arrives

August 29, 1962

Humpty Dumpty Arrives

Humpty Dumpty takes his place atop the stone arch entryway on Fairytale Town’s 3rd birthday. He has welcomed four generations — and counting — into the magical world of Fairytale Town.   Photo Credit: The Sacramento Bee

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The Rabbit Hole Slide

August 29, 1963

The Rabbit Hole Slide

Go down the Rabbit Hole! Fairytale Town opens the Rabbit Hole slide for their fourth birthday anniversary celebration.   Photo Credit: The Sacramento Bee

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The 1 Millionth Visitor Arrives

July 31, 1964

The 1 Millionth Visitor Arrives

The one millionth child stepped into Fairytale Town to have a magical day with her family. Two-year-old Janet Cory was given a scroll and crown, which were bestowed by a fairy godmother.   Photo Credit: The Sacramento Bee

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The Little Engine That Could

January 1, 1965

The Little Engine That Could

The Little Engine That Could playset was created in memory of Dr. Lester Brownell who served on the Fairytale Town board of directors from the time of its organization till December 1965.   Photo Credit: Unkown

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The Old Woman Who Lived In A Shoe

January 1, 1968

The Old Woman Who Lived In A Shoe

The Old Woman Who Lived In a Shoe slide, still the tallest at Fairytale Town, is introduced and quickly becomes the park’s reigning speed ride.   Photo Credit: Fairytale Town

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Our Hippo

January 1, 1971

Our Hippo

The Hippo Drinking fountain was created and placed near Farmer Brown’s Barn.   Photo Credit: Fairytale Town

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The 5 Millionth Visitor Arrives

January 1, 1977

The 5 Millionth Visitor Arrives

In its 18th year, Fairytale Town welcomed its 5 millionth visitor through the gates.   Photo Credit: Fairytale Town

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King Arthur’s Castle Is Updated

January 1, 1980

King Arthur’s Castle Is Updated

King Arthur’s Castle was originally built with no roof. So, in 1980 a roof was installed to cover the royal court! This was a gift from the Junior League of Sacramento Inc. and was made possible by the generous donations from numerous businesses and people within the community.   Photo…

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Dogwod Tree Planted

January 1, 1981

Dogwod Tree Planted

A dogwood tree was planted in front of King Arthur’s Castle in memorial to Helen Mering Ray, who inspired the creation of Fairytale Town. She was a founding board member from 1959 – 1981.   Photo Credit: The Sacramento Bee

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Sherwood Forest Is Built

January 1, 1982

Sherwood Forest Is Built

Sherwood Forest was added to Fairytale Town with the help of a multitude of sponsors. The Forest is an open play area with a large round table for gatherings to take place.   Photo Credit: Fairytale Town

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The First Safe And Super Halloween

October 1, 1986

The First Safe And Super Halloween

Fairytale Town hosts its first Safe and Super Halloween weekend. This event continues to be popular among the community today and is hosted every year during October.   Photo Credit: Fairytale Town

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Mother Goose

January 1, 1987

Mother Goose

The Mother Goose playset was created by award winning San Francisco artist Lorraine Vail. The playset was unveiled on March 15 at a celebration featuring a juggler, magicians, and storytellers.   Photo Credit: Lorraine Vail

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The Box Office

January 1, 1989

The Box Office

A gift shop was re-purposed and created into the Box Office. Fairytale Town would hand out admission tickets through the Box Office for the next 30+ years.   Photo Credit: Fairytale Town

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Farmer Brown’s Tractor

January 1, 1992

Farmer Brown’s Tractor

Farmer Brown’s tractor is placed by his barn.   Photo Credit: Fairytale Town

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Jack And The Beanstalk

January 1, 1997

Jack And The Beanstalk

Jack and the Beanstalk along with the Giant’s Foot were playsets created in memory of Franco J. Bilotta and with donations made by the community.   Photo Credit: The Goodness

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Fairytale Town Becomes A Non-Profit

January 1, 1997

Fairytale Town Becomes A Non-Profit

The City of Sacramento and Friends of Fairytale Town, Inc. design a Partnership Agreement, making Fairytale Town a board-run, non-profit organization.   Photo Credit: Fairytale Town

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Mr. McGregor’s Garden

January 1, 1998

Mr. McGregor’s Garden

Mr. McGregor’s Garden is opened and has up to 40,000 school children visit each year for hands-on learning at Fairytale Town. The Garden features four growing beds where seasonal fruits and vegetables are planted, and guests get to help water the plants! It also hosts birthday parties in the arbor-shaded…

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Renovated Urashima Taro Japanese Garden

January 1, 2000

Renovated Urashima Taro Japanese Garden

The Urashima Taro Japanese Garden set is renovated thanks to the Sacramento Senator Lions Club. The Lions Club continues to maintain the garden today by volunteering their time during an annual work day in the Garden.   Photo Credit: Dina Heidrich

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Renovated Sherwood Forest

January 1, 2003

Renovated Sherwood Forest

Sherwood Forest is renovated to include a playground-style climbing fort.   Photo Credit: Fairytale Town

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Mother Goose Stage

January 1, 2005

Mother Goose Stage

Flanked by towering stacks of storybooks, the Mering Family Mother Goose Stage is unveiled, bringing a colorful outdoor backdrop to a year-round stream of performances including author readings, live music, dance performances, and more!

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The Yellow Brick Road

January 1, 2008

The Yellow Brick Road

Fairytale Town installs the first phase of its latest playset; a winding Yellow Brick Road leading up to Humpty’s Gate. The Yellow Brick Road is made up of commemorative bricks purchased by hundreds of families and organizations.   Photo Credit: Fairytale Town

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Our 50th Anniversary

August 29, 2009

Our 50th Anniversary

Fairytale Town celebrates its 50th Anniversary! Significant improvements are made for the year of celebration, including replacing the chain link and barbed wire fence with a wrought iron fence, replacing all the asphalt walkways with concrete, and painting the moat.   Photo Credit: Fairytale Town

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The New Little Engine That Could Playset

January 1, 2013

The New Little Engine That Could Playset

A second The Little Engine That Could playset is opened for double the fun! The latest playset was designed by local artist Shane Grammer, and reflects the imagery from the classic book.   Photo Credit: Fairytale Town

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Renovated Sherwood Forest

January 1, 2013

Renovated Sherwood Forest

Sherwood Forest is renovated once again to become a larger climbing fort for Robin Hood, his Merry Men, and visitors alike.   Photo Credit: Fairytale Town

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Renovated Farmer Brown’s Barn

August 1, 2014

Renovated Farmer Brown’s Barn

Farmer Brown’s Barn is repainted and renovated for visitors to enjoy viewing the farm animals and sliding down slides. The renovations included adding a chicken coop to the barn, new wildlife exhibits, and more!   Photo Credit: Fairytale Town

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Anansi’s Web Opens

September 6, 2018

Anansi’s Web Opens

The Anansi’s Web playset opens—the first new playset in 21 years! The playset is based on the West African folktales of Anansi the spider, the keeper of all stories and wisdom. The play structure was designed, created, and installed by artist Garr Ugalde. The new playset was made possible thanks…

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Looking to the Future

August 28, 2019

Looking to the Future

Millions of children have grown up at Fairytale Town during our nearly 60-year history. Now, Fairytale Town is getting ready to grow! Fairytale Town has already expanded by one half-acre, paved new smooth pathways, added new lampposts, and an additional large turnstile exit located near Farmer Brown’s Barn. On its…

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