Sunday, July 22, 2007

oregon country fair

Last weekend I went to the Oregon Country Fair. The Oregon Country Fair isn't your typical county carnival with rides and midway games, but more of a hippie festival, with a focus on music, sustainability, hand made art and crafts, ideas, and fun. The weather was nice and I had a lot of fun, I listened to a variety of musicians, spent time with new friends, and engaged in an immense amount of people watching.

As fun as the country fair can be, my experience is it's more fun when you work for or know someone who is a vendor. Many years ago I spent the weekend there working for a vendor, a food vendor selling grilled sausages. I had free admission to the fair and could camp in the space behind the booth, and in return I worked three 2 to 3-hour shifts chopping onions and peppers and prepping supplies. The fair is only open to the general public from 11 AM to 8 PM, but after the fair closes a different sort of party commences. The whole entire campsite is illuminated in candlelight, lamplight and reflections off of disco balls. It was like floating around a beautiful city of lights. There were a whole new schedule of musicians playing on a few different stages, people were dancing and drumming, there seemed to be much more energy at night. One of the nights I was there I saw a midnight break dancing show that was the most incredible display of break dancing talent I haver ever seen. These guys were full-on flipping around were acting just like robots. It was awesome.

My friend that I went with last weekend knew a few people who were working at a recycled clothing booth. From the front of the booth, it appeared to be a roughly a wooden storefront, with a second story open windowed structure allowing for private camping or living space. We went behind the curtains and there were few people up on the second floor of this "fort," talking and/or playing musical instruments. The hospitality from these newly made friends was incredible; without really knowing me I'm offered drinks, food, was great hanging out behind this booth because it seemed as if it were in the trees, with a tent-mesh enclosure that permitted us to see the crowd walking by outside, but rendered us invisible to the crowd up in the hideaway,

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