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July 9, 2014

As a child, Yona Appletree spent his summers at the Oregon Country Fair, helping his mother sell tie-dyed clothes — and he continued to do so as he matured, manning his mother’s booth until 2010. Appletree grew up at the Fair, watching it slowly change. Now, as a computer programmer specializing in interactive art, he wants to help the OCF evolve.

“My earliest memories of the Fair are from about 1992,” Appletree says. “I was about 6 or 7 at the time; it was a little rougher, not in a bad way, but a little wilder.”

July 9, 2014

Since 1969, the Oregon Country Fair has provided attendees a temporary, zany escape from reality. It has changed over the decades, but its original values and pastimes are still key to the experience. One of those constants — unbeknownst to most — is the Rich family, and for them, the Fair is not an escape from reality, but an integral part of it.

July 9, 2014

Some Oregon Country Fair mischief is part of innocent tradition, some practices are heavily frowned upon and others warrant police intervention.

Unwelcomed activity at the Fair is deterred conventionally, with law enforcement, and creatively, with a volunteer security team numbering in the hundreds. Sneaking in, drug use and dealing, inappropriate behavior and theft are among the troublemaking OCF must curb every year.

July 9, 2014

Crashing branches, trees snapped in half, debris-littered roads — the ice storm that swept across Lane County in February left the streets a twiggy mess that took weeks, even months, to address.

The Oregon Country Fair site in Veneta bore its share of the damage, with the back half of the main camp kitchen totaled and three booths taken out by trees. Add to that a flood and a fire that damaged OCF’s iconic dragon-shaped entryway, and the Fair faced a much bigger challenge than usual when shaping up the grounds for July.

July 9, 2014

Just when the pollen haze clears out and right before the smoke from Central Oregon forest fires rolls in, the southern Willamette Valley is inundated with a different kind of summer haze: a fleet of Vanagons, Subarus and buses (VW and LTD) converging just west of Eugene in Veneta for the annual Oregon Country Fair. 

July 9, 2014

I was a virgin at the 2013 Oregon Country Fair. It felt good to be a virgin, and my cherry status seemed to please a lot of fairgoers as well. I received innumerable high-fives, endless sweaty hugs and was told repeatedly, and in no uncertain terms, that being a Fair virgin was a blessing and a miracle on a par with earthly nirvana or winning the lottery. This proved true, sort of.

July 3, 2014

Nothing says ’Merica like star-spangled hot pants. 

Allison Ditson flips through a stack of her handmade garter shorts and swimwear while Prince’s “I Would Die 4 U” fills her warm attic studio. Fabric is draped over every nook and cranny — in stars and stripes, neons and florals, glittering golds and black mesh — making the cozy space look like the shared dressing room of Wonder Woman, Betty Grable and Katy Perry.

June 26, 2014

The godfather of glass pipes works in a bus down by the Willamette River — make that a 1940s bus and a semi trailer outfitted with several workstations. Inside the bus, torch blazing, Bob Snodgrass focuses on a golden glass mushroom inside a pendant.

June 19, 2014
‘I’ve been here every day. It’s like a dream. I still can’t believe this is in eugene.’
Caleb Grant, rides for Tactics Boardshop. Photo by Trask Bedortha.

 

June 12, 2014

This story contains details of alleged sexual assaults that may trigger emotional distress in some readers and rape survivors. EW uses the word “alleges” not to indicate doubt in the survivor but as a legal term for when no charges have been proven in a court of law.

June 5, 2014

Conversing with Jeff Geiger is an object lesson in the power of pure enthusiasm. As artistic director of No Shame Eugene, Geiger is a tireless advocate for the sort of populist, no-holds-barred participation in art that defines his outfit, which is less theatrical troupe than a renegade vaudeville venue in which anyone can participate. No Shame Theater, as Geiger describes it, approaches the planned chaos of flash mobs, where minimal rules harness maximum creativity.

May 29, 2014

After an Alaskan earthquake sent a tidal wave crashing down on the Oregon coast in 1964, Cannon Beach residents decided they needed a fun event to raise spirits and bring people back to the beach. Thus, the Cannon Beach Sand Castle Contest began, and 50 years later it has grown into a weekend-long, award-winning event that draws thousands out to enjoy the sun, the sea and — of course — the sand.

May 29, 2014

A muted chorus of flip-flops drags across pavement on a sweltering spring day, as scantily clad coeds make a pilgrimage toward the river, inner tubes draped like bandoleers. Gotta keep those hands free for important things, like beer.

Yes, you can drink on any river in Oregon, but as to whether you should … well, as in many things, moderation is key. 

May 29, 2014

From farm to sea to garden, Oregon is an invigorating place to live if you love good, fresh food and drink. Every summer, foodies gather around the state to celebrate the bounty of our cuisine at food festivals. Here are six events worth planning mini road trips around in the summer of 2014:

May 29, 2014

Eugene Weekly asked geographer Al Urquhart to let us in on some of his favorite spaces and places in Eugene.

What would he show summer visitors from larger Western cities — Portland, Seattle? We don’t want sites simply of local interest. With these places and spaces Urquhart said he is trying to show the unique character of Eugene and Springfield. Urquhart taught cultural geography at the UO for about 30 years and has been keenly interested in the unfolding of this area. Let us know what you would add or subtract from this list.

 

May 29, 2014

Let’s face it — we had a rough winter. OK, so maybe we didn’t weather the so-called “polar vortex,” but with two snowstorms, an ice storm of epic proportions and temperatures plummeting to below 7 degrees in December, there were plenty of “what the hell?!” moments. 

May 22, 2014

Galloping down the beach, the wind in your hair and whipping through your horse’s flying mane as her hooves splash in the frothy waves — I’ve daydreamed about it, and I know I’m not the only one. Even non-horse owners get caught up in the romance of thundering across the sand and water à la The Black Stallion

May 22, 2014

Originally the Santiam Wagon Road was built to move wild horses from near Sisters to Halsey for auction. It was also part of the first transcontinental car race in 1907; the Sevenmile Section near Tombstone Pass was the steepest of the entire race.

May 22, 2014

Ultramarathon runners push themselves hard, running up to 100 miles at a time and ascending thousands of feet. A deep passion for what they do and strong commitment to running turns a hobby into a lifestyle, and Eugene is home to some of the highest-placing ultramarathon contestants.

Approximately 20 times a year, long-distance runners come to the Oregon wilderness to compete in ultramarathons — races longer than the average 26.2-mile marathon and spanning up to 100 miles. Ultramarathons are run on trails, which often include vertical ascent. 

May 22, 2014

The city of Eugene opened its first 18-hole disc golf course at Alton Baker Park just over a year ago and there has been a steady stream of nubby rubber discs flying ever since. Andrew Rich, the course’s operator, says that on a rainy day the course will see about 50 rounds of play, and on a sunny day those numbers shoot upward of 250.

Adding Alton Baker to Westmoreland, Dexter and Cottage Grove, there are now four courses in a 25-mile radius around Eugene.

May 22, 2014

Water, timber and minerals are natural resources with which we, as Oregonians, are familiar. Often, communities come into conflict when deciding whether to use or preserve these natural resources. But there is one natural resource that is frequently overlooked yet always available: the sound of quiet.

May 15, 2014

A new route is in the works for bicyclists to travel between downtown Eugene and UO. The possibilities the city is considering include bicycle-specific signals and a two-way cycle track — bicycle lanes going both with and against traffic on one side of the street — on 13th Avenue, as well as a concrete barrier between bicycle and car lanes. The parents of a Eugene cyclist who was killed on his bicycle have pledged a large donation to the project.

May 15, 2014

Bikes are born in Eugene. Eugene’s relatively good riding conditions draw cyclists to the area, where many innovate and stay. These are three bike builders in Eugene committed to building a bike economy.

 

May 15, 2014

Back in the early ’90s my good friend Mike Ryan and his buddy made it their mission to scout a trail on motorcycles that could be done by bicycle from Junction City to Cape Perpetua. It took some time but they eventually succeeded, and as a personal challenge, Mike promised himself he would ride this same route every year until he turned 60.