Okay, there were no actual wizards in attendance so far as we knew, but we did attend the 40th Anniversary of the Oregon Country Fair in Veneta last Saturday. If you click on the poster to make it larger you can see a depiction of the crowds wandering through the vendor booths. By the afternoon it really does look like this. According to their website the Fair "creates events and experiences that nourish the spirit, explore living artfully and authentically on Earth, and transform culture in magical, joyous and healthy ways."
Translated that means there are a lot of free spirits mulling around, some dressed in costumes, some not dressed at all unless you count body paint.
We were able to watch one topless women get her breasts painted in a really neat pattern. Troubadour took a few pics, but we thought it best not to put them online as we weren't sure how she would feel about it. Trust me, we weren't the only ones taking pictures.
We have heard about the Fair for years and always wanted to go. This year we bought tickets early so we knew we'd go. Friends and coworkers warned us of the sights we'd see and how "far out man" it was. Although the consensus was you have to go at least once. We knew that Utilikilt always has a booth and Troubaour was really interested in seeing them. Read on ... we saw more of them than we needed to.
We parked at a local mall in Eugene and took the free shuttle bus. Packed into a standing room only bus (and yes we were standing) we rode to the site of the Fair. It was a nice overcast day that started out in the low 70's so it was perfect temperture. No sunscreen required.
We arrived at the fair site about 11:00 am and we were greeted by many costumed stilt walkers (think wigs, corsets and stockings) as we entered the gate. Everyone was friendly and wished us a good fair. It is a 280 acre woodland setting with vendor booths lining both sides of many paths. The vendors sold wares ranging from wood flutes, leather carnival masks, fairy wings, and kilts to pillow furniture, leather belts, and more jewelery than you can shake a stick at. Here are a few pics of us having fun with the carnival masks....
We wandered the different paths looking at all the booths smelling all the yummy food vendor smells. Stopped for a nice decaf vanilla latte from Valentine's Coffee. That kept us going while we wandered some more. Windsocks sewn to look like kilts attracted us to the Utilikilt booth. We kind of circumvented the line and were able to get right up to the kilts and a nice man started talking to Troubadour about the Celtic Warrior Kilt he was wearing. As he was talking Troubadour into trying one on he tried to make him more comfortable about changing in front of everyone. Before we could blink the kilt salesman faced the line-up and completely ripped off his kilt and started shaking his thang while shouting "Hey everyone there is a naked man over here...wooohooo". I think he did this twice. I don't know who was embarrased more Troubadour or myself. I am sure we were both blushing. Troubadour did buy a drab olive Utilikilt and wore it the rest of the day. It is his new favorite and looks damn good wearing it. Unfortunately we don't have pictures of it yet.
Later in the afternoon we found the Greek Food vendor. For $8.50 we had a huge combination plate that consisted of a spanikopita (phillo filled with spinach and feta) and a greek salad. We washed it down with an almond soda which I'd never tried before but now recommend. Tasted like club soda mixed with a little almond syrup like what you would use in a latte. Of course we had to get a picture of the food. A tradition that has carried over from our motorcyle rides.
More wandering ensued. Here are a few more random pictures taken of the sights:
I don't think this was the Travelocity Gnome but it was fun to see. I wonder if he enjoys a stinky cheese.....
Her complete dress was made from film reel strips and her hair was woven to look like a film reel....
This guy looked like Doug Wilson from Trading Spaces on TLC.
And last an impromptu costumed musical parade though the pathways....
We were disappointed that we could not get close enough to any of the stages to see the musical acts. This is how close we could get to the main stage:
All in all we had a great day. Our legs and hips were sore from walking on the uneven ground for 6 hours without sitting. I could have done without all the pot smoke and cigarette smoke but I think we'll still go back next year. Maybe on a Friday though so there aren't as many people. One thing we did notice is that it wasn't as wild and risque as people told us. Maybe it takes a lot to shock us. I image 20-30 years ago it would have been a sight to behold. Now we just have to figure out if we should go to Faerieworlds in Eugene in two weeks. We're heard it is really cool. Now where did I put those faerie wings?
"I believe in everything until it's disproved. So I believe in fairies, the myths, dragons. It all exists, even if it's in your mind. Who's to say that dreams and nightmares aren't as real as the here and now?" ~ John Lennon