A few years back my brother was a student at the University of Oregon and found himself with a group of friends at the Oregon Country Fair. A few days after that I got a very excited phone call about why the Oregon Country Fair was the best thing ever and why I should, nay, HAD, to come back with him the next year.
Well, it didn't happen the next year. Or the year after that. In fact, it took us many years of shrugging our shoulders and saying, "maybe next time," to actually find a summer in which we were both going to be on the West Coast during the festival that had became a bit of a symbol of sibling goals for both of us.
When we did finally show up for the Oregon Country Fair, just my brother, his girlfriend, and myself, there had been a lot of build up. I was a bit nervous since my travel philosophy has always been, "if I keep my expectations low, I won't be disappointed."
How the Oregon Country Fair more than exceeded my high expectations
From the minute we pulled into the campsite I knew I was in for a treat. Every single person greeted us with an infectious smile and those who were fair-pros acted like we were about to spend a weekend in heaven.
That night we spent a calm evening laughing and hanging out at the campsite, making an effort to get a full night of sleep before heading to the fair early the next morning.
Then the morning came and the Oregon Country Fair completely blew me away. Before we were even in the gates there were people dancing in costumes, giant dragon sculptures, and smiles on every single face. I could tell this was the kind of place I was going to love.
And boy was I right. The music was just my style; a little funky, a little folky, and a little psychedelic. The costumes and decorations were mind-boggling. The food was life-changing. All of the handcrafted goods on sale were some of the most creative and unique pieces I had ever seen. Plus, there was a 24hour drum tower, and honestly, what more do you need in life?
How the Oregon Country Fair was unlike any other festival I have ever been to
Earlier this year I had the fortune to go to both the Envision Festival in Costa Rica and the Hanuman Festival in Boulder, Colorado. But there was something about the Oregon Country Fair that set it apart.
Maybe it was the fact that everyone we met was unbelievably friendly and authentic. Maybe it was the freedom to be yourself, whatever that looks like, from the minute you stepped inside the festival gates. Maybe it was the fact that the performances were really, really good. Or maybe it was just because I was sharing the whole experience with some of my favorite people on Earth.
Whatever the reason, my take-away is clear: the Oregon Country Fair was a truly unique and spectacular experience. If you can ever find a way to make it to Oregon in July, I highly recommend it. And I know, without a doubt, that I will be back soon.