I've been envious, and more than a little irritated, at Corvallis since I learned that Trader Joe's chose to open a store there rather than in much larger Salem.
"What does Corvallis have that Salem doesn't?" I'd wonder. And quickly answer, "Major university. More highly educated people. A progressive, creative vibe."
Still, I hadn't spent much time in Corvallis recently. So to get a look at a town that Trader Joe's loves more than Salem, I said "sure" when Laurel suggested we go to the 2009 Fall Festival in Corvallis' central park.
Comparing it to the Salem Art Festival, I found the atmosphere hipper, cooler, more creative, and less up-tight.
As soon as we parked and walked a few blocks to the festival, I had an opportunity to try out the zoom on my camera when we passed by the music stage. An attractive beginning to what ended up being a very pleasant couple of hours.
Some of the food options were considerably healthier and tastier than what the Salem Art Festival offers, thanks to Nearly Normal's cuisine. I loved my falafel. Sitting down to eat it, I was struck by the difference in the length of the lines of people waiting for a fruit smoothie (short) and ice cream (long).
The Amazing Vend-a-Matic was fun to watch. Quirky and creative. I'm not exactly sure what people got for their $2 -- except entertainment from a black-gloved hand that snaked out of a slot in the box (plus a postcard).