A reader sent me a link to this great post
on the Powells Books Blog
about the Oregon Country Fair
yesterday and asked if I was going this year. She currently lives abroad, has never been to the fair and wanted to know if it's really as crazy as all of the stories she's heard over the years.
Here's what I wrote back:
Thanks for passing along that post from the Powells blog. It nicely captures the tightrope the fair has to walk between staying true to its roots and handling the thousands of people who pass through every year.
I'm by no means an authority or anything. I went to college down there but, for some reason, didn't wind up going until 2007. But one of my friends grew up in Eugene and went for years before recently relocating to Japan. When I first went she told me that the "spirit" of the festival hadn't changed much since she was a kid but that it had gotten steadily bigger, more elaborate and pricey.
Daily admission prices have shot up from $14 to $24+ in just the few years since I've been heading down there. Also, supposedly, all the rampant, open drug-use was cracked down upon heavily in the late-90s. Still, anyone who works at the festival will tell you that the "real festivities" don't begin until after the gates close. I'm sure you've heard many of the same stories I have.
If you ever get the chance, I can't recommend the festival enough, provided you don't mind things like parades of semi-nude people dancing around in body paint and mud.
I'll be down there for two days this year, provided Sunday isn't rained out
. It's the fair's 40th anniversary and the final day will be capped off with a performance of the Beatles White Album
, in its entirety, on a stage borrowed from the Burning Man Project.
Also: If I can get cell coverage out there I'll probably be posting photos and updates on Another Portland Blog
's Twitter account
. Sure, why not? It's the 21st century.
Hemp burgers, ahoy!