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Alt-Fair

Staying in town during the Oregon Country Fair
B.o.B. plays the Hi-Fi Friday, July 7
B.o.B. plays the Hi-Fi Friday, July 7

Crowds, dust and scorching temperatures aren’t for everyone. So if you’re like me and want to avoid gaggles of people at the Oregon Country Fair, use the empty streets of Eugene as your catbird seat.

Eugene Weekly gets hundreds of event submissions every week, and Fair weekend is no exception, so make sure to check out our What’s Happening calendar to start. 

During the Fair, hiking Spencer Butte won’t be quite so much like waiting in line at Disneyland, and strolling through Saturday Market will be much quicker. Here are a couple more things you should check out while Fair takes place July 7 through 9.

The Wayward Lamb hosts a variety of dance parties, burlesque shows and events, and is one of the best places in town to enjoy a cocktail on a warm afternoon. The bar opened nearly two years ago, providing a welcoming space for the queer community. It offers a menu of locally sourced food, a private events space and has male and female go-go dancers that make monthly appearances. 

“We are a safe, welcoming and inclusive space,” owner Colin Graham says. “It’s very clean, we have the best bathrooms, the windows can’t be beat, we have great DJs.”

Both Graham and Tony Tam Sing, the Wayward Lamb marketing manager, say it’s a great place to enjoy a drink alone. Graham says the comfortable environment makes it easy to enjoy conversations with staff and other customers and a lot of people become fast friends after having a drink. 

During Fair weekend, the Wayward Lamb holds dance nights on both Friday and Saturday until 2:30 am. Once a month, Queer Burlesque takes over The Den — the bar’s private events and dance space. That takes place Saturday, July 8.

If you’d rather enjoy a more relaxing weekend, take a yoga class. Studios are less likely to be crowded this weekend, and whether you’d like to hit your yoga mat in the morning or in the evening, Eugene has several options.

Everyday People Yoga is a Vinyasa flow studio —its website recommends an $8 to $12 donation per class. The instructors are friendly and helpful, and the bright and spacious studio hosts a variety of class offerings, making it a great place to explore practicing yoga whether you’re a beginner or advanced. The studio hosts workshops throughout the year too. Visit epyogaeugene.com for class schedule and workshop offerings. 

On Saturday, July 8, the Friends of the Library is holding its summer book sale at Eugene’s downtown library. Bring your reusable totes because most books — fiction, mystery and children’s books — are $1. The sale runs 10 am-4 pm. 

B.o.B is performing at Hi-Fi on Friday, July 7. The 28-year-old rapper has been nominated for six Grammys and six BET Hip Hop Awards, and is on tour promoting his fourth album Ether. The show admits all ages, begins at 7 pm, and tickets are $25 to $30. Meet and greet tickets are $99. 

If you want to venture beyond Eugene, check out the McKenzie River Lavender Festival just outside of Springfield. The festival is a celebration of Oregon’s lavender farms and industry. Local vendors will be selling lavender products as well as books, jewelry and other local products. Tours of the McKenzie River Lavender Farm will be offered from 10 am to 5 pm Friday through Sunday, July 7-9. 

And a gentle reminder — as refreshing as the Oregon Coast is, in order to get there you’d have to pass through Fair traffic. So it might be best to save that for another weekend, especially since the Lane County sheriffs deputies like to step up patrols along Highway 126 during the Fair.