I think the last time I made the trip out to Veneta must have been 1992 or 1993. I no longer worked for the Corp of Engineers at Fern Ridge and had transferred to the University of Oregon, however, I was quite over the “hippy” scene of Eugene, being a pompous English Lit major, too busy smoking, reading staggering texts, and discussing Deconstructionism to really bother with the crowds of the Oregon Country Fair.
Besides, the Fair was exactly the same every single year. Why bother going again?
Of course, now that I am older, that lack of significant change is one of its charms. Clearly, the Fair (and me) are different, but for the most part, the descriptions I used to pitch the trip to Victor were fairly accurate: hot, dusty, lots of wandering paths with people in different states of costumed undress, and many of places to stop and listen to music or see a juggling act.
New to me, was actually camping near the Fair and going for more than one day. For the camp, I chose Elfenwood with the idea that a quiet camp would be a good fit for two not-hippy middle-age guys. It’s probably the only regret for me about this trip. In hindsight, a bit more liveliness in the evening could have been fun. Absolutely no problem going to sleep in Elfenwood by 10 or 11 pm. Our traveling companion from Reno was exceedingly bummed there was no dancing and no drum circle. Next time we go, I’m going to figure out what we need to do to get our “Stay in the Fair” pass.
As far as going for multiple days, I enjoyed it, while Victor started feeling a bit more restless. Next time, I’m taking in my own little lawn chair or at least a blanket, as one of my favorite things is just finding a patch of shade and watching the scene go by. With over fifteen stages, not to mention the colorful and festive crowd, I could have done a lot more of that.
I was teasing Vic that he was going to end up like Where’s Waldo in the Fair’s recent promo video, but found that by the end, it could have well been me, as I ended up strutting around, shirt off, belly out, henna tattoo drying, groovy bracelets, and ready to dance! Of course, Vic did end up in a circle singing songs of Peace and World Harmony. Can’t wait until next time!
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