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Ah Oregon Country Fair

It ain’t just for hippies and trippers no more. In fact, it hasn’t been an exclusively extended drug orgy for a long time (see “Notes of a Fair Virgin” for a hilarious meditation by a non-Fair goer), if it ever was. Yes, the Fair channels the communal, carnivalesque spirit of the Age of Aquarius, but over the years it has evolved and developed into something a bit more mainstream, a bit less narcotic and yet an event unique unto itself: a distinctly Northwest dream of utopia, a self-sustaining alternative village gripped by a kind of kaleidoscopic Renaissance spirit, where folks give free reign to their artsy-craftsy eccentric selves. The Fair, in this sense, is not only kid-friendly; it brings out the kid in us all — playful, awestruck, devious, voracious, a bit dirty behind the ears and full of boundless curiosity.

Oregon Country Fair runs Friday through Saturday, July 8-10; for info and tickets, visit oregoncountryfair.com.