How do I even begin to describe this experience…Enlightening? Magical? Wonderous? All of the above? Oregon Country Fair was another amazing weekend spent with our wonderful high school friend Britta and the many festival friends we made at Paradiso. Since this weekend I have tried to describe Oregon Country Fair (OCF) to people several times. Each time I get a few words into each sentence only to realize that there is no way that I can possible put everything that I experienced into words. This leads to a few awkward moments of me stumbling over myself and then just telling people to look at my pictures or watch their official video on YouTube. That being said before I talk about the amazing time I personally had, I’ll let this video give you an understanding of the fair.
Isn’t it incredible?!? This was our first year at the fair and we opted to purchase 3 day passes (only $10 more than just Saturday and Sunday passes). However, we didn’t get to the fair on Friday…Andrew had to work and about 30 minutes past Portland I realized that I had managed to pack up everything but the tickets (I know, how is that even possible?!?) So after a 2 hour turn around through Portland traffic we spent Friday night in Vancouver making sure we were really ready for fair. Bright and early Saturday morning we hit the road to set up camp before fair opened at 11. The drive down was simple and everyone at fair was really prepared. We got to our campsite quickly, got set up, and headed for the opening of the second day of fair!
Our group at Oregon Country Fair
Andrew and I at the end of Saturday
Everything about fair is so magical! The walk to fair through the woods, the excitement of all the staff you encounter along the way (Happy Fair!), the ability to get lost repeatedly in a maze of beautiful music, goods, and people, and of course the level of comfort that everyone exhibits regarding themselves and everyone at fair. Everyone here truly cares for one another.
Some of the amazing artwork around the fair.
The shows this year were absolutely incredible! NANDA was an incredible acrobatics show put on by former children/teen volunteers of OCF who had a true understanding of the OCF spirit, California Honeydrops, who have been a favorite of myself and Andrew since Britta (who is always the basis of our musical adventures) turned us onto them during a performance near Bandon last winter, and Nahko and Medicine for the People who Andrew and I have been playing on repeat since we left on Sunday night.
Ken Kesey’s second Further bus
Entrance to OCF
If you haven’t been to fair I would highly recommend it, especially if you live in Oregon! As newbies Andrew and I learned a lot this year! If you are going to camp it is best to buy tickets as early as possible. We waited until the week before and the only campground still available was Carefree campground. This campground was great (well organized, had showers and food options, and was relatively quiet at night and into the morning). However, the rest of our friends stayed in Shady Rest so we were unable to do anything with them after fair closed. Additionally, Darling Reunion campground has some pretty exciting after hours events! Darling is typically difficult to get into as previous fairgoers tend to fill this one right away, but FYI: if you stay in Shady Rest you can buy a pass to get into Darling after hours. Also, don’t be surprised…by anything that you might see at fair! I’ll give you advance warning that there are plenty of women walking around topless (with/without body paint) and men in banana hammocks, however, it is a family friendly environment and again, everyone is incredibly accepting! This will definitely be at the top of our list for next summer, and we will be taking off enough time to fully enjoy the fair, Thursday-Monday! Happy Fair!