June 28, 2013

How We Spend Our Summer Vacation: Oregon Country Fair


The seeds for the Moisture Festival were planted at the Oregon Country Fair, a three day gathering in the woods outside Veneta, Oregon. Oregon Country Fair has a rich and varied history of alternative arts and performance promotion, educational opportunities, land stewardship and philanthropy.  The fair community rises out of the Long Tom River marsh once year to bring together thousands of of performers, artists, volunteers, vendors and crafters to create "events and experiences that nourish the spirit, explore living artfully and authentically on Earth, and transform culture in magical, joyous and healthy ways".

The Oregon Country Fair is a phenomenon for many reasons. It has been regarded as a Vaudeville Mecca since it was created in 1969. Variety artists have been a cornerstone of the fair’s entertainment, performing for the fair audience then hanging out together late into the night when dreams are born. It was at the Oregon Country Fair that Maque daVis and Ron W. Bailey first dreamed of bringing some of the fair’s fabulous entertainment to Seattle. The dream would unfold to include Tom Noddy and his bubble magic, Hacki Ginda, the DuCaniveaux troupe, Tim Furst aka Fyodor Karamazov, The Fremont Players, Henrik Bothe, UMO and many others who make up the vaudeville community at the fair.

The Fair continues to nourish and inspire the artists that bring their unique magic to Seattle's Moisture Festival ever springtime.  All of them would recommend a fabulous summer vacation plan for a trip south to Oregon, then west from Eugene to this wonderful one weekend a year gathering.

3 comments:

  1. I first saw the Flying Karamozov Bros at the OCF in 1978. The energy of the fair was so infectious that I hid in the woods, dodged the sweep and snuck into the famous Saturday evening vendors only show. There in the dark with only the flashlights of the fair family to light the stage, wonders unfolded.

    The technology of the fair has changed over the years (they now have running water and electricity at some stages) but the energy remains. I volunteer at a booth these days so I don't have to hide to get into the show. It's always a treat to get a sneak preview of the new talent that eventually shows up at the Moisture Festival each year.

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