Some call it an "counter-culture event", others a throw-back to the Hippy days of the 1970's. Whatever... the Oregon Country Fair has been a local event since 1969. With attendance upwards of 45,000 fair revelers, the fair draws visitors from throughout the Pacific Northwest.
Having been over a decade since Nancy and I last attended the fair, a group of friends invited us to join them this year. Though not a big fan of crowds, we couldn't resist checking out the Country Fair this year with good friends.
Half of the attraction of the fair are the costumes worn by attendees. We saw Can-Can dancers on stilts, bearded ballerinas and fairies of all ages flitting to and fro. Above, a lone wolf stalks fair goers.
There are upwards of 350 food and craft booths, artists, music and lots of activities for kids. Above, kids peer into a huge Human Kaleidoscope.
Outfits range from the elaborate to the skimpy. Women wearing bras were a rare commodity, and in many cases, tops were dismissed of entirely, replaced by elaborate body paint... or nothing.
I found it interesting how closely the fair almost mirrored the creative and artistic virtual online world of Second Life. The virtual SL world of art, architecture, clothing booths and outrageous costumes emulated remarkably the real life experience of the Country Fair.
Some of us aging hippies were forced to take a needed break to soothe aching feet. I wonder if blue blue body paint helps tired dogs hold up any better?
Half a dozen music stages dotted the grounds. One of the most interesting was the Drum Tower where an incessant beat whipped up the tribal portion of the fair goer's amygdala... mine was pounding in short order, but was easily soothed with a cool hand-dipped ice cream.
I was thoroughly impressed by how well this event is organized. From parking to exiting, and everything in between, friendly volunteers kept operations running smoothly. For an event that attracts attendees one might consider "counter culture" the crowd was fun-loving and convivial; there was no rowdiness or any hint of unpleasant incidents. Alcohol is strictly prohibited and bags are searched before admittance; though there were some questionable brownie recipes passed around and the occasional whiff of smoke from the Cannabis species.
Overall it involved a lot of walking but also a whole lot of fun. We plan on attending the Oregon Country Fair in future years... guys, bring the kids, ladies, leave your bra at home.
Google Images of the Oregon Country Fair.