OCF 2024 – Resources

Resources: OCF Booths and more

One of the lenses I see the world through is a marketing one. So, part of my life at festivals is seeing what is going on marketing-wise. Sometimes I can be helpful to a vendor or learn something myself. So, in no particular order – here is some of what came out of my bag this morning and the attached memories and stories. If you see any mistakes, please let me know @ albert@albertideation.com! Thanks. I also did a more overview write-up – that’s here.

  1. Harm Reduction Resources: from 8 til late – Rainbow Connection – Xavanadu – this ties in with the big contingent of healing resources and health education that happens here.
  2. I keep a list of Vendors I email about marketing once or twice a year – if you’d like to be on that list, click here.
  3. Todji Kurtzman – one of the artists this year. He had a piece in Xavanadu – todji.com for more of his incredible work!
  4. Someone from Lost Valley Education Center led a fun workshop on how to throw a block party – including 7 tips to throw an epic block party handout. It included an Icebreaker Bingo card which I used over and over again for the rest of the day.  They are at lostvalley.org – this was in Community Village on Sunday afternoon. Lost Valley is also hosting a Conscious Growth Convergence September 27-29 – looks lovely.  More info at consciousgrowthconvergence.org
  5. A friend mentioned Johnny Franco and Brother Dan – and their serenading of the audience. I didn’t see them, but she sent a video.
  6. Rebecca Bashara – metalsmith/designer – These folks were near my home booth, L12 – had these lovely stones lined up on tables and on a model that changed during the day. Very lovely.
  7. Then there’s the booth where you wish your Mom was there. Wooliza Fiber Arts was that one for me. Incredibly lovely woven pieces. wooliza.com
  8. LyndaFeman Ceramics – I always love to stop by and see what Lynda has going on. She usually has at least one fancy menorah! This year’s was delightful
  9. I’ve been stopping by and saying hi to Astrologer Mark S. McNutt for years. I loved hearing that he’s very full up in his work. It’s great when any solopreneur is so popular they don’t need to do much marketing. astrowizardry.com 
  10. I have a newsletter for friends and family called The Eleven – you can sign up for it here.
  11. Autumn Higgins – Ceramics, Art, Custom Pottery – Someone showed me a coffee mug they’d purchased from Autumn, and then later I happened upon her booth. Beautiful work! autumnhiggins.com
  12. Stage Coach Farm & Forge. I’d never seen this person’s work before. Hefty skillets and cookware. Damn, these things are heavy and will last several lifetimes. I’ve actually never seen anything like it. stagecoachforge.com
  13. One of my favorite parts of the whole time I’m at Fair is finding things that are being done elsewhere (I’m looking mostly at you, Eugene) that we might be able to bring to Portland. bringrecycling.org/classes is in that category.
  14. Raising Resilient Bees – digginlivin.com/book – there were a few bee-related booths – this one from Energy Park. I also purchased some of their propolis. Yum!
  15. Creative Spirit Collaborative – A Eugene-based group.
  16. Rabblebox 3-stringed guitars. Neato!
  17. Got feedback for OCF 2024? Online: https://tinyurl.com/4sjxtrp9 or, by mail: 442 Lawrence Street, Eugene, OR 97402
  18. If you walked the 8 you likely saw Jeff Eichen taking photographs with a tripod. He’s often dressed in green and he’s hard to miss. He’s doing good work to help those who have records due to cannabis use. Check out releaffoundation.org 
  19. How did Jenny Leis’s card get in my collection? Your Enthusiasm is Contagious – says her card. I was actually speaking to someone who I want to connect to her work in facilitation, training, and consulting. And for now: jennyleis.com
  20. Ah, this next one is special. The Eugene Environmental Film Festival! The woman in Community Village who was sharing about this event offered me a t-shirt which I’m wearing proudly. What she is doing is fantastic and I may travel to Eugene for this this fall. This is also where I heard the phrase “platform maker” for the first time. More about that as I learn more.
  21. Another one that my Mom would love. Wood ‘n I Weavings!
  22. Evan Burnette – Local Art Glass – lovely work!
  23. Pure Love Chocolate – This was their first time at the fair and they rocked it.  zero sugar.  yum!
  24. Wileyware, Booth L12 – We had fun and sold many glasses. I added to my collection and saw so many friends and laughed so hard – thank you, Marcia Wiley!
  25. L49 – James Island – Trees of Light Lamps – beautiful.
  26. I spent a lot of time with Joshua Morton. I believe this next picture is of his work. It sounds like he does a lot of good in the world – proceeds from his art – he donates his money from this event to a college scholarship fund for students in his area. Enjoy

Honorable Mentions – areas I visit a lot every year: Energy Park and Community Village – rock on!

Thanks for visiting – stay in touch! Albert

OCF 2014

OCF 2017

OCF 2023

OCF 2024

OCF 2024

Hello! Here’s my report about this year’s Oregon Country Fair (OCF). Like life, everyone has a different version of how this event shapes their lives. We all wander about asking each other “Did you see this? Did you eat that? Did you see so and so?” But in the end, you have a map, weather, food, drink, music, theater, crafts, people, costumes, rainbows, and HEAT! This was the hottest OCF I’ve ever attended (15-20 years attending, in a row-ish). Much time was spent grumbling about the heat – and figuring out how to survive and thrive given that condition.

Don’t miss Part 2 – Resources + Booths

If you know nothing about OCF and want a quick video that gives you a magical glimpse, here’s this year’s promo video. For a limited time, they’ll be streaming the main stage acts here.

This Fair is like no other. It’s been going on longer than most and is heavily volunteer-run and organized. It probably has more volunteers than just about any event in the world. Many people involved stay with it for a lifetime. There are many booths (food/crafts) that have been there since the beginning, 55 years ago! People also switch from one crew to the other depending on life circumstances – ex: my partner is on that crew = and I joined that crew. Or, we broke up and I needed a new place to be! I heard a lot of that in one of the many Facebook groups that people gather in to talk about the event. Like this one!

Volunteering is how one earns a pass to be able to stay in the Fair after dark and also usually enables you to camp in or close to the Fair. There are woods and nearby open fields and they are filled with tents, and vans, and RVs. Luckily, after my first visit 20 years ago, I have become “Fair Family” and that gives me this wristband that allows me to go to and fro at all hours. Some people bust their butt all year long and some people do very little for this wristband. But my sense is that it all comes out in the wash. Those who work super hard on this event reap rewards that others can’t dream of. Particularly noticeable is the close community in some of the groups where people put together something magical together while watching their families grow together. Strong bonds are created as well as family and Fair lore!

So, I guess this may be more of an inside baseball reading on the Fair. We on the inside are cautioned to keep our experience on the down-low somewhat. Some of that makes sense, but I’ll try to lean into my own experience – which I think it’s Fair to say is mine to share. If you have feedback for the event, you can leave it here.

So, this year I drove with my housemate to the event on Wednesday and we arrived in the afternoon. Once through Albert’s Circle, we arrived at camp. Our campmates were already somewhat setup and there were a couple pop-ups that made our entry a bit more pleasant. Getting in can sometimes be easy, but sometimes it can be a bear (taking hours to find your name or pay for a parking pass in person). Luckily, this year I was able to pay for my camping and parking pass online – whew! Once I had arrived at camp, I set up my tent, and said my hellos – it was off to the Ritz to luxuriate in the amazing sauna and shower and fire areas.  If you’ve never been to The Ritz it’s really quite something. You pay your money and in you go (please take off your shoes as you enter!)

The Ritz has been there a good long time. When you enter you’ll see an open space with a fire area in front of you; a stage off to the left and in the distance 5 rows of showers (on either side of poles) and then cubbies to put your things. Off to the right at midnight is a giant sauna that can probably hold 70-100 people. The seats are tiered – 4 levels * 4 sets of these. On the edges of the showers are your cold shower – pull on a rope and you are hit hard with cold water! Very cold water! At 2 o’clock from the entrance – more cubbies and a fire area which is cooking just to warm your belly. I’ve never seen anything like it. 3 pm? Another sauna – probably the original – seats about 40 and is round. More cubbies are behind that and then you have more showers and another fire area which also hosts an amazing cobb bench. There’s another of these as you walk in – a great place to sit and relax once you’ve done the sauna/cold water combo a few times. There’s a place to check your valuables (instruments). The stage features acts from the Fair – I’ve played there many times – and it’s so fun to play music for naked people!! Hot showers, saunas, live music, and friends – this place really is my heaven.

Food vendors don’t start selling until at least noon on Thursday so I was on my own till then. Our camp was having a group dinner of jambalaya that night, but I wandered over to visit a friend nearby and he was serving … jambalaya! So, I ate and played music with him and his friends.

 

The only reason I have any pictures at all (if you want to see them all they’re over here) is because of this bench and the others near it (go see the pics!). I never bring my camera/phone to Fair. The last thing I want is to be spending time on my phone (it goes pretty much dark once I have my tent up. But after the Ritz on Thursday morning, I meandered to where these benches sit (not open to the public) and I had a seat. They are brand new, were finished the day before and I think might be made from lumber milled from downed trees on site. OK, one more.

These benches are filled with musicians each night – sometimes until dawn – playing songs for one another and collaborating. It’s a pretty magical place and I usually spend at least a couple of hours there each year, but this year – this was my visit. I sat on the benches and realized – I must show other people the benches and the design – hopefully, places like Breitenbush and elsewhere will create something like this!

The Land

Last year’s storms took a heavy toll on the trees. Many are downed or were removed pre-event. This has also led to piles of wood all over the camping areas. It also led to many booths losing shade this year – making a hot fair even hotter! I hope that the Fair Org is thinking about how to remove these wood piles given we’re now in a wildfire-prone area. I’d suggest sooner rather than later and would be happy to help organize work parties until this is done. Otherwise, we risk losing the forests. The Cascadia Wild/Forest Defense booth had a petition asking the Fair Org. to open the land to indigenous groups who have been gathering here for thousands of years. I signed.

What it’s like to be the Mayor

Being the outgoing person that I am I know a lot of people at this event. I’m sure I’m not the only one. But I am one – I have been called The Mayor (and I usually suggest – there are probably more than one 🙂 – but I am certainly one. This leads to a different type of experience than many people have. I walk a pathway and am often greeted by name frequently. As I get older and everyone else does, too – I am not always able to place the other person, but eventually, we get to where we met and stories unfold.  I spend a lot of time in various booths – playing music and trying the local foods and other offerings. So, this adds up to a lot of connecting and reconnecting every day. I am a humble mayor. I also spend a lot of time interacting with strangers and seeing how things are going with them. I try to leave things much better than I found them 🙂

And back to the Ritz

walking and walking

the dusty paths

saying hello

sharing a kind moment or two

communicating clearly

the truth serum of Fair

One thing that is very clear to me is that at this event people are very real with one another. This often means skipping over the chit-chat and getting right to the meat of things. It might be health-related, or relationship-related – but conversations tend to go deep fast. It’s very refreshing and can lead to deepening relationships, too. There’s also clarity about not over-sharing various logistical things. This is probably an aspect that is more prevalent in the Fair Family world, but it might also be spilling over to everyone – and it’s one more way that life at the Fair is different – and why we cry when it’s over. I saw a lot of crying this year.  People need this type of experience more than ever right now. I heard one child ask: “Why does Fair have to end?” – I’m sure many people would love to have more villaging in their lives.

Heat

It was a scorcher this year – with daytime temps in the high 90s. There were misters; there was encouragement to drink water. Stay hydrated. I’m sure WhiteBird saw its share of heat-related visits. A way I figured out to beat the heat was to have a small towel that I could put around my shoulders (once wet) and even over my head. Whew, without that I don’t know how I would have coped. Also, trying to stay in the shade as much as possible was a strategy. That didn’t work too well when I had to cross town, though.

I like to highlight the craft and other vendors that I meet along the way (plus, the ones I work with!). Here you go,  Part 2!   What’s the story behind these lamps, L48, for instance?

and these glasses – L12 – Wileyware!

My Previous Reviews of OCF

OCF 2014

OCF 2017

OCF 2023

poem by Sheba Hulsing

Oh Faire how I love thee,
Feet oh so dirty
With a hoarse voice parched
We continued to march
Circuitously we danced
And pranced
Oh so entranced
And romanced
By the beauty of all of you
In your brilliant hues
Tears welled and flowed
At the beauty so bestowed
Each moment a blessing
Especially as we were undressing
To sing oh to sing
Dry cracked voices merging
How our hearts were surging
As we found harmony
As we found harmony
I’m forever changed, each year, again and again. Magic beyond my wildest imaginings and I’m delighted to be so tired and so nourished.
Thank you to the fair family and all the magic that lives in each and every one of you.
Until we dance and play again. I love you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oregon Country Fair 2023 in Review

OCF 2023

It was the best of Fairs it was the worst of Fairs. Every Fair is unique and this one certainly was that, too. Everyone has a different time at this Fair, too. It takes everything you arrive with, magnifies, twists, and takes it all into a kaleidoscope and brings it back to you for your amusement or derangement. It’s good, bad, and ugly! I had a time at the Fair this year. One of my fave fun things to do is to share some of what I learned or who I met at the Fair as a way to stay in touch with them and introduce you to them, so without further ado – and in no particular order – here is some of that! Photos by Mike Meyer! And if you want to see lots more photos and videos – check out the OCF Unofficial Group (I’m an admin on there!). And if you somehow found your way here and would like to get monthly updates from me about the life and times of Albert – Sign up here for The Eleven – my monthly newsletter. OK, now, on with the show!

A card found among the various business cards: “I have come to bring out the beauty you never knew you had and lift you like a prayer to the sky.” – Rumi

Well, it was the 11th – so, the rest of my story came out in newsletter form. – Enjoy! The Eleven, July 2023

OCF 2022 was a very short one for me.

The Eleven August 2019

The Eleven is my monthly newsletter for friends and family.

It comes out on the 11th of most months. You can sign up for it, here. Archived past versions of The Eleven, are over here.

Beloved Festival by Carlton Ward
Greetings!
Hello from the Beloved Festival year 12 (photo above by Carlton Ward). I’ve been attending this one every year and it just keeps getting better. On Sunday, the 11th, 2019, it will be a late morning after a very long night for many of the attendees.
Before I start with a review of the last couple of months – please take a moment to donate to Amy McGrath who is running against Republican Senator Mitch McConnell. Donate any amount. You’ll feel better after that.
Well, it’s been quite a full time on my end these past months. The main reason I didn’t send out an 11 for July was that I was busily preparing for the Oregon Country Faire. Here are some highlights from recent travels around the area.
June: Summer Solstice Healing Retreat @ Breitenbush – my 24th year. I started attending this event in 1995 when my friend Shelley G. asked if I wanted to travel from my new home, Seattle, and volunteer for something fun in Oregon. I had no idea how influential this event, Breitenbush, and the family I’ve met there would be in my life. It’s a sweet gathering where we all offer healing workshops for one another and I get to play a ton of music and sing my heart out. This year was, as they say, “the best solstice ever!”. Come join me next year – send a note to be alerted when tickets go on sale (usually in April). It’s one of the most cost-effective ways to visit Breitenbush, too.
June: World Domination Summit: This was my 2nd year attending this incredible conference. My write-up from last year still stands as an accurate reflection of what this is all about – how to live an extraordinary life in a conventional world. But this year I really dove deeper and tried harder to understand what was going on. And, I offered 2 meetups of my own to fellow attendees. Yes, it’s an incredible group of people from all over the world coming together for a week sans cynicism and sarcasm. And, when that happens, and people are there to learn from one another and collaborate on each other’s projects and personal growth – incredible results occur. I’m still in awe of my experience this year and bought a ticket for the final year, 2020. This is probably the most expensive ticket that I bought this year, but the price was worth it for just one day. Join me next year!
July: 2 weeks later I was helping out in the Wileyware booth at the Oregon Country Fair – 50th Anniversary. I finally realized that what I do at OCF is visit friends old and new in a 5-day long conversation-fest. I played music naked at the Ritz on Friday this year, which is certainly fun. And the Wileyware gang is a blast – our annual cocktail party on Thursday night featured many of my favorite musicians – Steve Bennett, Timothy Michael Shaw, and Katie Sontag. Overall, one of my best Faires ever. Then, it was home to rest for a couple of days before the …
Northwest String Summit or, Strummit as it’s known. This was my 4th year attending Strummit and I have to say it was one of the best musical highlights of my life. The quality of the music is very high – it’s mostly jam band/bluegrass – which I love. Think Danny Barnes meets Yonder Mountain String Band meets Dark Star Orchestra meets a bunch of traveling bands that you’ve never heard of who are full of such heart and stories it makes you wanna cry with joy. See below for some links to the Saturday night Yonder Mountain set and music by SideBoob (a collection of all of the women who play the festival who are available to play at the time appointed). Their outfits were incredibly outrageous this year. Strummit has some work to do to improve – some of the same issues I note in my review above from 2018 are still prevalent. I’m particularly concerned about the amount of time bright spotlights are focused directly on the audience and I’m working to try to get this across to whoever is running the mainstage lights. I’m mostly discussing this in the Strummit FB group. Btw, it would be great to have more friends at this event next year. Come dance with me!
August: This past weekend my friends and I played @ Destin and Kellie’s wedding. That was delicious and fun – here’s a picture of me with Mt. Hood behind from Husum, WA!
Albert in Husum 2019
Then, there is the ongoing work with QuietCleanPDX! I’m meeting with a group every other week to push for a ban on gas-powered leaf blowers. Check out our Resources page. If you want to stay abreast of what we’re doing click here and that will automatically add you to our email list on that topic.
I’m also still busy trying to protect and increase Portland’s tree canopy. I organized a group to go see Canopy Stories, recently, and that was fun and educational. If that topic interests you, join us in a group on Facebook.
There were also some community-building activities – I instigated a fun 44th Ave. SE block party on 8.2.19. It was the first time some neighbors who’d lived on the block for years had ever met one another. And, the mix of generations was awesome to experience, too. On another day I gave a lesson in “birthday autoresponders” to 2 local 13-year-olds while their parents watched. I’m trying to figure out how to pass along the knowledge I have about social media and email marketing to the next generation – because they are powerful tools if used well. I’m also playing way too much online chess on chess.com. Just one more game…
Like you, I’m pretty upset about the gun violence that’s been happening. It’s the fault of Republicans and especially President Trump – that is where the blame lies – and I hope you’re excited as I am to throw them out of office in 2020. They are also responsible for our inaction on climate change. Until they are gone we can all keep speaking out and working on issues and for candidates who speak the truth and do not support white supremacy. I do have hope – and will continue speaking out.
In the meantime, I think it’s also important to take care of our health – physical and emotional. Do what you have to to get enough rest; drink water, and stay connected with friends and family. We will weather this storm – let’s do it together and laugh, cry and live in the world we want to see – NOW!
Take care and happy Summer.
Albert
PS – Here’s a great set of music by the Yonder Mountain String Band from this year’s Strummit. And Sideboob’s show – all the women who played at Strummit.
PPS – If you like the work I do in the world please take a moment and post a review in one of the spots below. This is something I asked of business connections, but I’d love it if you’d say something you would. Thanks!
Greetings!
If you are willing, I’d love your review on the following platforms. If you have a Constant Contact account a review in the Constant Contact marketplace would be fantastic.
If not, a review on Nextdoor.comYelp!, FacebookLinkedIn, or Google , would be welcome – thank you!
I hope you’re having a great Summer.
Sincerely,
Albert Kaufman
PS – if you leave a review in 5 of the 6 places – let me know and you will receive something very fun.

 

The Eleven – 7.11.17 The Oregon Country Fair (OCF) Revue

Greetings!

Happy 11th. I just returned from the Oregon Country Faire (OCF) and I can still feel the dust in and on me. Fairy dust. Dust of connection – dust of love. OCF is one of the most special events I participate in – it’s a chance to watch a group of humans growing; changing; aging; celebrating and coming together as a large village. I see a lot of the same faces year after year and one of my joys is spending the day wandering aimlessly until I meet a friend or make a new one. Here are some highlights from his year:

1. The little girl (3) who decided I was the right person to play a game of “fall into/onto Albert” – and her parents who graciously allowed it to unfold beautifully.

2. Hours spent in the Ritz (pictured below) – a collection of showers, saunas, a glorious fire pit and often live music – the large collection of naked people – singing together in the sauna; wandering the big open area and standing laughing in the sunshine – it’s a highlight of every day at the Fair for me. It’s also the perfect place to share village news.
3. My pals at Camp It doesn’t Matterhorn: a wonderful gaggle who come together each year to help my friend Marcia Wiley build and run a great booth at the Fair: Wileyware, booth L12.
4. Serendipity; amazing food; laughter; staying up late; trying new things; giving and getting lots of touch (this year I brought my massage table – a definite PLUS!); playing music at Otter Camp; dancing to music at nearby late night music happenings; James; fair magic; the guy who approached me with a big hug – mistaking me for someone he thought he knew and then, after some conversation inviting me back to his camp for a cold beer on tap in the middle of the woods; natural bug spray; the amazing crafts at Fair – WOW! – seeing some of my clients ‘ booths and hanging out with them; great food! – quieter music along the pathways; hanging out with friends on the sweep crew; the many ideas that came to me about how to live life fully. Getting to a place of a really quiet mind on Saturday – that was pretty interesting. Here’s a little taste via video…
5. We have a group of teens in our camp from out of town (Seattle). I met another group of Fair kids who knew their way around and sent them as a gift to our booth to take our teens out – that was a fun match-making 🙂 – watching said group walk arm in arm – giggling, back into the Fair about 5 hours after I’d set this match in motion.
It’s important that we have these gatherings and this year’s Fair felt very important for this community. Partially to re-group given the current political climate… It’s a group that comes together to make magic. To teach each other life skills. To pass along the skills that we have around communication; organization; kindness; and long-term relationships – and practice them. And MAKE MISTAKES!
This Fair taught me once again that you just can’t help make mistakes when you are trying new things and pushing past your comfort zone. It’s just about impossible when you’re surrounded by so many people and various depths/types of relationships – not to make mistakes. I think that’s one of the challenges in our society – that’s it’s somewhat easy and safe to stay in one’s cocoon – stay behind the laptop; stay in one’s life and just get by. The Fair invites us to get out of our comfort zones (it’s probably closer to how people who live in villages live) – it presents us with the opportunity to make and test out new connections rapidly. As that’s happening we all get stressed and balls drop and balls are juggled exquisitely, too! This is how we learn. I did my fair share of magic and messes this year and I look forward to coming back next year to do it all again.
I feel so grateful and thankful that the Oregon Country Fair exists. Thank you wise and wonderful Eugenians (mostly) who spend countless hours, blood, sweat, tears, and money to make this available to people. As I heard on the path a number of times – Oregon Country Fair forever!
I received good advice from friends at the Fair to put it out to my community that I am single and seeking a partner. Here’s my OKC profile – if you know someone you think I’d be a fit with, please let me know!
Happy 11th!  Happy Summer!
Love,
Albert
Albert

2023 Write-up.

Oregon Country Fair 2014

Oregon Country Fair 2014ocf2014

Face-Painting by Eecole at Energy Park: Photo by Nadi
Hi there,

I thought I’d send this newsletter after returning from the Oregon Country Fair. I’m glad I did. Now I know what to say 🙂  I started writing as I was heading out the door for the Fair, and could not put the words together – instead, I packed, and trucked to the Fair.

The Ritz. I really have to start here. The Ritz Sauna/Shower complex at the Fair is something really special. Here’s a picture of the entrance-way. Photos aren’t allowed inside, so it’s hard to find any online! 
To see some video of the Ritz and a current project there, visit here.
Why do I love The Ritz so much? Well, the Fair can be hot and dusty – then, for a small bit of $, you are welcomed into a world that is pretty unbelievable. Two sections of hot showers; dozens of happy, shiny naked people of all shapes, ages, and sizes – add in 2 large saunas – an older one – circular on the inside – 4-5 levels of seating. And, a second, newer sauna – same height – possibly able to fit 50-75 people – imagine singing, yoga, quiet sitting and a lot of sighing – repeat, washing, rinse, – an area to brush teeth/shave and then to top it off – a lovely seating area with a fire in the middle and some seats around it – standing around a fire to dry off – add then, some of the best talents of the Fair playing music on a small stage by the fire.  Do that for a couple of hours each day and you, too, will see the light 🙂  This year, a new addition was a mid-section high fire, between the changing areas which is brilliant.
If I had my way, I’d live somewhere with such a sauna/shower area available for daily use. I would never get tired of it. But OK, I’d eventually have to step outside, and when you step outside of the Ritz you are faced with so many great pathways, food booths, and smiling faces – it’s hard to figure out which way to go. And luckily, my work with Wileyware affords me a great reason to “be” at the Fair – sharing beautiful practical artistic glassware to people young and old. I realized this year that it’s a treat for people to know about Wileyware – whether they have any or not – to just see it, hold it, and learn about it is a valuable/interesting experience all on its own. And, to watch kids’ faces (young and old) as they pick up a glass and turn it around in their hands – that’s fun!
Wileyware
Part of my Fair experience this year was coming early, setting up camp with friends, and then building our booth.  Here’s what it looks like after a Winter of flooding in the area of our booth! Video by Paxton, who is an OCF Board member.
Our booth imagery starts around minute 2:40 (L12).
Left Bank Walk through
Left Bank Walkthrough – video by Paxton

Building our booth consists of building a floor – think boards, skill-saws, cordless drills and we build and take it down each year when the Fair is done. There is a strong Leave No Trace ethic here – the woods are turned back so it’s hard to find evidence so many people passed through (parades, marching bands, and thousands of visitors for 3 days!).

Then, there’s the music. A long-time favorite of mine is Seattle Jim Page. I’ve been seeing/hearing Jim play (often with Artis the Spoonman) over the years at Pike Place Market and OCF. Here’s a song that Jim played on the main stage that was haunting.

Jim Page - Ghost Bikes
Jim Page – Ghost Bikes Lyrics (if you want to sing along)

One great thing about the fair is that many of the artists will play shows on various stages and then play along the pathways. So, I got to see Jim with hundreds and then with just a couple of people a few hours later. If Jim had great marketing and some luck, he’d be as popular as Bob Dylan. His songs are hard-hitting – and capture what’s really going on in our world. Sometimes the message is hard to hear, but it’s always right on target.

Food: oh my. So so good. From gluten-free cupcakes to falafel to amazing Get Fried Rice – the salads, and egg rolls, and tastes of friends’ choices – simply incredible. Possibly the best selection of food anywhere on the planet.  Food, music, catching up with friends – it was such a wonderful, kind reminder of the beautiful planet we live on and how it’s possible to live in harmony together.

Because, really, that’s the brilliance of the Oregon Country Fair. It’s a picture of how humans can be together – come together and harmonize – be kind to one another – take care of one another – treat each other well.
If you’re ever interested in being a part of the fair (and I mean being someone who is doing something in the Fair which leads to a wristlet allowing you to stay in the fairgrounds overnight) – please let me know. It’s not that hard to find a group to participate with – but planning and effort are essential.
Here are some more photos by Nadi who helped Eecole and Brian in the Energy Park face-painting booth (Grounded).
Well, there you have it – 5 days in Veneta, Oregon – a little taste. You can find tons of pictures on FB right now.  Everyone who attended is posting all of their pics online.
I hope your Summer is going well.  I have a couple of free classes on social media/email marketing coming up – please come or spread the word. Details below!
Take care and have fun out there!
Albert Kaufman
Portlandia!

Upcoming Events

Campaigns That Drive Action: Offers & Promotions & SEO Basics

Wednesday, July 23, 2014, from 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM PDT
Increase & reward loyalty while driving new customers to your door. And, a special SEO session with Jesús Meca Rodríguez @ Portland Microsoft Office

Getting Your Business Thriving with Email Marketing

Wednesday, August 20, 2014, from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM PDT
Getting Started with Email Marketing is the most cost effective way to build your business – join me, Albert Kaufman, for a guided discussion about how email marketing works and how to get up and running. 8.20.14 – great inner NE PDX location. @ Holladay Park Church of God @ 21st and Tillamook, NE

Luna Bell – Photo by Nadi

Addendum: At the Oregon Country Fair this year I saw a woman with the best t-shirt. It spelled out the word B-I-T-C-H on both sides. Here are the words that were written to spell out the word:

Beautiful Intelligent Thoughtful Caring Honest

and then on the other side

Being In Total Control of Herself