Fair people love to party
This will be my last post for a while. Tomorrow morning, I leave Portland to take part in the Oregon Country Fair, 2010. The event, which I have written about previously, is a summer festival with lots of good music, good food, and fantastic arts and crafts.
Main Stage, 2007
The event is open to the public from July 9th through July 11th. I'll be part of Fair Security (and doesn't that make you feel secure?), so I'm arriving a few days early to help with the set up.
It has been 21 years since I first discovered the Fair. I became enamored of it from the minute I entered the "magic 8" back in 1989 with my brother Eric and my friend Brian Davis. I always experience a rejuvenation of spirit when I come home. It is reassuring that events such as this can continue to thrive.
Marimba jam at Far Side campground
The caliber of musicianship at this event is impressive and downright intimidating for casual guitarists like myself. One year, I believe it was in 2001, fellow Mahatma Candy guitarist, David Thompson, and I arrived at the Fair, with our guitars slung over our backs, looking for people with whom we could jam. As we made our way along the path, somewhere near Community Village, two young men were strapping on their guitars and invited us to sit and play with them. As they tuned and ran through a few warm-up riffs it became apparent that neither Dave nor I would be able to contribute much: both of them were professional-level musicians. The moment was made quite awkward because a crowd had started to gather around us while we were setting up. One of the two men pointed at Dave and I and said, "Are you folks ready to hear these guys jam?" The crowd let up a cheer. Dave and I looked at each other, and sheepishly withdrew into the crowd. But we stayed to hear the two of them play. And they were awesome.
"Hippie festival" is a descriptor often used in reference to the Oregon Country Fair, and I suppose that is accurate. But most of the Fair people I know could not be described as "hippies" outside the confines of the Fair. Which, of course, poses the question: What is a hippie?
But I'm not gonna try to tackle that right now. Just gonna go have some fun at the Fair. I'll be back next week. Have fun, all!