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“IF YOU DIDN’T realize that there was still a thriving counter-culture,” says the 10th edition of Moon Handbooks Oregon, get a ticket for the annual mid-July Oregon Country Fair and join “the crowds of tie-dyed, fringed, and love-beaded fairgoers.”
The fairgrounds are 20 kilometres west of Eugene, off Route 126. A free shuttle runs from Eugene’s Valley River Mall. Buy your fair admission before boarding the bus.
At the site, more than 350 booths sell “a kaleidoscope of natural fabrics, graceful ceramics, stained glass, rainbow candles, and thousands of other variously sculpted wares. Machine-manufactured items are simply unavailable.”
There’s also, says the guidebook, a “constant parade of costumed stilt walkers, strolling musicians, winged ‘country fairies,’ children in facepaint, bare-breasted men and women, and other ambient wonders.” More than 50,000 people take part.
Numerous stages offer a variety of performances, from vaudeville to New Age. Shady Grove has classical and folk. At Up For Grabs, jugglers toss “circular-saw blades and/or small children.” There are snake charmers and belly dancers at the Gypsy Stage and rock and roll, reggae and alternative music acts on the Main Stage.
In the Community Village and Energy Park you can learn about “the latest in new and matured ‘60s activism and environmental awareness.” And there are plenty of places to get an espresso, burrito or tofu burger.
The fair’s website is www.oregoncountryfair.org. Its 2015 dates are 10-12 July.
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