My Annual Pilgrimage to the Oregon Country Fair

my pal Sarah and I sharing pad thai

My first day of college freshman year our resident assistant asked us to pick a possession that has a special significance for us and bring it out to the courtyard to meet our section mates. Sarah and I both walked out of our dorm rooms wearing fairy wings and we’ve been friends ever since. After we wrapped up our first year of college Sarah insisted that I come stay with her and her family in Corvallis, OR for a weekend in July and go to the Oregon Country Fair.

a parade of flamingos

It was a fabulous weekend in a magical place: dancing to a jug band along a dusty path, joining a dragon parade meandering through the woods, attempting to juggle under the Yes You Canopy, marveling at Tom Noddy’s bubble cube, swirling a secret elixir in a pretty old fashioned bottle, checking out the clever wares at the craft booths, listening to the trees, and sharing coconut ice cream over sticky rice in the beaming sunshine at the main stage. The fair gave me a hearty dose of faith in humanity and our collective pull towards a better future. I decided immediately upon arrival that I wanted to go to the fair every year forever.

a stilt-walking dragon, wings and all!

So far, so good. This past weekend I made my twelfth annual pilgrimage to the Oregon Country Fair and it was splendid as always. Sarah picked me up in Portland and we headed down together, chatting about our future plans as she drove us through beautiful countryside. We arrived just in time for Shabbat and we were greeted with big hugs, catching-up-questions, a giant pan of homemade spanakopita, and a beautiful key lime tart covered in fresh cherries. My window seat bed was made up for me and I snuggled into it Friday night feeling utterly content.

aftermath of the Oregon Country Fair

On Saturday morning we drank our tea, donned our costumes, and headed down to Veneta play at the fair. I’ve been so on-the-go this summer that one day at the fair seemed just right and it was nice to take everything as it unfolded. Making no plans, I still managing to sprinkle four families in the parking lot with pixie dust, dance to great folk music, snag a heaping plate of pad thai without waiting in the typical snaking line, eat a Coconut Island before it melted, protect my glitter-covered henna tattoo until it could leave its mark, and run into several friends (shout outs to tiny house heros Abel Zimmerman of Zyl Vardos and Deb and Kol of Caravan – The Tiny House Hotel!)

I am so grateful that the Oregon Country Fair is a part of my life and I’m already looking forward to next year. See you there!

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