Ottery bells ring out for Pixie Day

24th June 2019

The annual Ottery St Mary Pixie Day took place on Saturday 22nd June, with the theatrical spectacle of local children dressed as pixies cheering and running through the streets to ringing bells. It is a traditional and lively event that has been running for over 40 years and continues to bring people together in Ottery St Mary.

Gilbert Stephens Solicitors were proud to be a part of such a joyous day celebrating the heritage, mythology, character and beauty of the historic market town. We handed out balloons from outside the Ottery St Mary office in the Square, to the families who gathered to watch the ‘Pixies’.

Pixie day revolves around the ancient legend that dates back to 1454 that says that the town was once occupied by pixies who were forced into exile by the coming of the humans and the building of the church. They believed that each time the church bells rang a pixie would die, so they resolved to rid the town of the noise by capturing all the bell ringers and imprisoning them in Pixie’s Parlour. But luckily for the town the bell ringers escaped.

Residents and visitors enjoyed a fun afternoon of activities beginning at 2.30pm including stalls, taekwondo demonstrations and the newly added ferret racing at the Land of Canaan. This year there was even a horse mascot!

The Pixies’ Revenge re-enactment started at 6.30pm as the town’s youngsters from the Scouts and Guides groups – Beavers, Cubs, Brownies and Rainbows – screamed and scampered causing mischief and mayhem through the streets of Ottery to capture the bell ringers and take them to their cave.

After they are defeated and sent away for another year, onlookers then dispersed, and the party continued as many headed to the Land of Canaan for a community barbeque, bar and music continuing until 10.30pm.

Any donations made will be donated to the town’s Scouts and Guides groups.Acknowledging the importance of this community occasion, Terry Bastyan, Managing Partner at Gilbert Stephens Solicitors, notes that, “Pixie Day is more than just an opportunity for a party, it is an important day in the Ottery St Mary calendar. Pixie Day brings together residents both young and old, whilst recognising the rich traditions of the town. Afterall, I was once a pixie too…”.

You can find out more about Pixie Day on the Ottery St Mary info website.