Like ex-hippie swallows returning annually to their tie-dyed nesting place, Laurel and I flew down I-5 from Salem to Veneta yesterday -- Oregon Country Fair time!
Even though marijuana became legal in Oregon on July 1, this didn't make any difference to the fair's ambience. Sure, per usual we smelled a few whiffs of pot here and there. But I didn't see any open marijuana use, in line with a story in the Eugene Register-Guard.
The Oregon Country Fair is wonderfully family-friendly. I can hardly wait to take my eight year old granddaughter to it. Though the fair is crowded, people are universally polite, patient, welcoming, and helpful.
(click a photo to enlarge)
When we arrived, advance tickets in hand, there was a long line at the "Will Call" booth. No problem. Everybody flowed with the temporary lack of flow.
We usually start out our visit to the fair with lunch at the Govinda's booth near the main entrance. Great vegetarian Indian food. We had a pleasant chat with this guy while standing in line. A first time visitor to the fair from Portland, he definitely knew how to dress for the occasion.
While eating our food, some "senior citizen" stilt walkers came by. I thought, This is a preview of Kim Kardashian in her later years.
Some of the life-forms at the fair appeared unacquainted with modern technology. By the way, I took these photos with my new point-and-shoot pocket camera, a Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS50. I had a great time with it. Loved the 30x optical zoom.
Surprises abound along the winding paths. I was pleased to come across a bellydancer and her musical accompanist.
It's difficult to imagine a more pleasant setting for a fair. It's really hard for me to think of going to the traditional asphalt-filled Oregon State Fair after enjoying the Oregon Country Fair. Just one word different in the names; a world of difference in the vibes.
Laurel in a booth with late afternoon dappled light.
Consumed with a craving for berry crepes with whipped cream, we found ourselves in line behind a guy wearing creative colorful headgear.
We ate our crepes while watching a musical group do their thing under a big bright tent.
The band was danceable. And people danced. Enthusiastically!
Like I said... enthusiastically. These two were more into Grateful Dead-style dancing. Not that I know what I'm talking about, having never been to a Grateful Dead concert.
A "hardwood" dance floor has been added to the fair. Great decision. Bare feet or socks only. This couple had an engaging style. Laurel and I got out on the floor for one dance, then the band stopped playing. Boo-hoo! We wanted more!
Then Laurel grabbed a hoop from a Flow area (also with live music). She did damn well, after many years of hoop-absence.
From a far distance, as if through a long tunnel, I seemed to hear her say, "You should try it!" I demurred. To me hooping is like belly dancing: yeah, men can do it, but women look so much better doing it, men should be the admirers rather than the doers.
Artistic boats floating in a peaceful pond. So Oregon Country Fair'ish.
Leaving the fair, I saw some people pointing in the air. Yeow! A bunch of kites were really high. This seemed like an appropriate photo to end with.
It also shows how well my above-mentioned Lumix camera does with the 30x zoom. Even though I was holding the camera in my semi-shaky hands, the stabilization feature did quite well at maximum zoom, focus-wise.