Ida Red, a general store at 3336 S. Peoria Ave., will celebrate National Strawberry Shortcake Day a little differently.
National Strawberry Shortcake Day — Friday, June 14 — was named in honor of a dessert. But from 6-9 p.m. on that day, Ida Red will host Tulsa resident Muriel Fahrion, the artist who created the character Strawberry Shortcake.
Fahrion will judge a Strawberry Shortcake and friends costume contest (scheduled from 7-7:30 p.m.) and will be available for signings.
Attendees who make a $40 purchase from Ida Red will receive a signed print (one per customer) of an original early Strawberry Shortcake drawing. Hand-signed prints will be available for $15 each.
Fahrion also will autograph memorabilia (no more than two items per person) in exchange for a $5 donation to Families Fighting Childhood Cancer. For information about the organization, go to familiesfightingchildhoodcancer.com.
Fahrion developed a relationship with Ida Red after she and a sister paid a visit to the store and saw Strawberry Shortcake dolls there. She did not introduce herself as the creator of Strawberry Shortcake, but she left a surprise. She took a piece of paper from her purse, drew Strawberry Shortcake and signed it. She stuck the drawing in the corner of a box that contained a Strawberry Shortcake rag doll.
The drawing was discovered, and it sparked communication between Ida Red owner Angelene Wright and Fahrion, who learned that Wright’s father was revered Oklahoma musician Steve Ripley.
“I started listening to his music,” Fahrion said. “He’s on my permanent playlist.”
Here are five things to find at Ida Red:
Just like general stores of old, Ida Red sells pop in glass bottles. Pick any flavor you want out of the cooler, but on National Strawberry Shortcake Day, it might be event-appropriate to grab a strawberry-flavored soda.
Among treats on candy shelves are Pop Rocks. They made their public debut in 1975, four years before the Strawberry Shortcake character was unveiled.
Pop Rocks are different from other candies in that they fizzle and (truth in advertising) make popping noises when you put them in your mouth.
Ida Red sells different flavors of Pop Rocks, including chocolate-covered Pop Rocks. Did you know there was such a thing?
Tulsa-centric music items
JJ Cale and Leon Russell were Tulsa music treasures. You can find Cale and Russell merchandise at Ida Red. Dig through a stack of music CDs and you might even run across Hanson’s breakthrough “Middle of Nowhere” CD.
Want a souvenir with the Golden Driller on it? Of course, you can find one at Ida Red. If you like your souvenirs to be more cushy, Nap Nook pillows feature images of memory-sparking Tulsa locales, including Petty’s Fine Foods, Ann’s Bakery, the Desert Hills Motel, Trippets and the First United Methodist Church.
Strawberry Shortcake dolls are in stock for National Strawberry Shortcake Day, along with greeting cards that showcase a new line of characters created by Fahrion. Joining Strawberry Shortcake on shelves are toys that you might remember from your youth. Who’s up for playing with a Lite-Brite?