I was driving East towards Eugene from Florence after playing piano on the Boardwalk. I happened to pass an area that I recognized with cliff diving and natural water slides. I figured to stop and check it out since it was still early Afternoon. There were many people there of all types and ages and I struck up a conversation with this hippie looking guy who told me about this festival called the Oregon Country Fair. He said he has been going for the last 12 years of his life and that its nothing you have ever seen before. I met some other guy who lived in the area and he too said that it was incredible, that it is, “…Like Burning man, but in the woods.” Immediately, I was convinced.
A week went by thus began the Oregon Country Fair. I remember entering the fair and it was like entering into an unknown world where people were dressed as goblins, goats, trees, and warlocks. I've never seen anything like it.
The costumes were beautiful, people were dancing, singing, playing instruments, and celebrating life. It was the ultimate Freedom of Expression without any judgements or apologies. Walking around and looking at the crafts I learned that each person was a very skilled artisan selected from the many— woodworkers, painters, fashion designers, drum makers, flute makers, luthiers, etc. Each item was custom made with special attention taken to ensure its quality. Nothing was from China.
I spotted a Luthier making a new guitar out of thin pieces of wood, a man who has been making custom made Combs out of mahogany, and Fashion designers who use scraps of fabric to create the most amazing dresses. The performers and musicians were highly skilled and very entertaining.
Everywhere you turned there was another musician showing off their skills.