Friday, June 27, 2014

Oregon Country Fair!

The one time of year that I take rare days off for vacation is to attend the Oregon Country Fair -- OCF.  It's not a reenactment event or a medieval/renaissance faire, more of an art fair, with everything very hands-on and communal and creative. There's a lot of face painting and tie-dye to be had, but it also draws the steampunk crowd and reenactors and weirdos in general.  Check out the link. There's tons of pictures!

All the food is made on premises and no commercial entities are allowed. So if you want a cold beverage, maybe you'll get a lemonade or a homemade rootbeer or an iced tea, but you won't find a Coke machine or Starbucks here. At mealtime, there's all kinds of cultural foods, fresh fruits and veggies, and pizza, burgers, and spaghetti -- but if you want McDonalds or KFC, you're out of luck.

There's music everywhere, and craftspeople selling everything from ironmongery to shoes, musical instruments, clothing, hats -- you name it. I always stop at the place that sells leather, fur, and horn/antlers, because they have a scrap bin that I enjoy rooting through. That and the library. The library is set in a grove of trees, and wooden shelves are set up between the trunks. There are benches, hammocks, swings and rugs to sit on and read, and there's usually a gentle breeze. It's lovely to sit and take a quiet moment there.

There's no reason for me to wear my 14th century anything there, but I often do anyway, just because it lends to the magic of the event. Last year I wore my parti-colored dress and straw hat, and I was very cool and comfortable all day, despite the 80 degree heat. (that's about 26 c to you metric folk)

This year we're camping for two nights and three days and I'm not sure what all I'm going to wear. Probably I won't garb up for all three days. I'd really like to wear my new blue dress and belt, but I'm not sure wool ---even a lightweight wool like this blue-- is the best choice for the hot weather. I mean, I think I'd probably be okay if I were sitting in the shade a lot and tucked up my skirt, but as I'll be with a group of friends who won't be similarly dressed, I don't want to slow them down or be the reason we don't sit in the sun to enjoy a show or something.

I'd love to go to a real reenactment event sometime, where everyone would be dressed in a style similar to mine, so I could talk and learn and shop and not feel so alone in my odd little hobby.  I'm so jealous when I read blogs like Neulakko and see everyone having such fun playing and learning together!

Until I find something like that, OCF will have to do. (Along with trips to Camlann Medieval Village!)

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