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2004 Oregon Country Fair

In Oregon there is a maxim that everyone needs to attend the Oregon Country Fair at least once in their lives. So we joined the throngs of Oregonians who migrate to Eugene once a year to celebrate and be inspired. The purpose of the fair is, in the words of one of the founders, "To start living like we’ve been talking about living since the summer of '69." In anticipation of a hallucinogenic flashback, we bought tickets, put on our tie dyed shirts and caught the magic bus to the 35th annual Oregon Country Fair.

We were unprepared us for the assault on the senses that awaited us. Being a little anal retentive, we started out trying to follow a map through the maze of trails lined with hundreds and hundreds of food and craft booths. The map soon got discarded (we now believe it was distributed as a ruse for folks like us). We ended up just wondering along the Long Tom River and  through the wooded acres to places with names like Toad Hollow, The Rabbit Hole, Cuckoos Nest; The Laughing Oak, Morningwood Odditorium, Dharma Garden, Strawberry Lane, The Twilight Zone; Refer Bridge, Mellow Place, Yes You Canopy  and Nirvana Park.

We were enjoying watching the pageant of freaks adorned in bizarre costumes (or lack of them), when we heard wild and riotous music coming from the Gypsy Caravan Stage. Upon entering we were immediately assimilated into the communal atmosphere of a trance induced mob dancing to the music of the March Fourth Marching Band.

We were in awe of the intoxicating resonance produced by this alternative New Orleans Marching Troupe, and made an unrealistic pact that we would become groupies and follow them like faithful Dead Heads. (We did locate their next gig … but didn’t make it up to Portland to experience them again).

Later, at the Drum Tower, we were mesmerized by the undulating bodies that danced in harmony with the primordial beat of the tribal drums.

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