Jen Blue/The Creswell Chronicle
The slumbering city of Veneta sprouted to life last week as thousands invaded the forest grounds with body paint, sparkles, and a child-like enthusiasm that spread like pollen through the winding labyrinth of small stage shows and artisan tree-fort booths. The annual three-day event enticed approximately 58,474 people to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the forest fair.
Friday ticket-holders were treated to a special performance on the main stage featuring Phil Lesh and the Terrapin Family Band. Lesh last played the venue in legendary show with his former bandmates, The Grateful Dead, in 1972 and 1982 to much fanfare. Fairgoers were surrounded by entertainment on over 20 stages of vaudeville, bellydancing, magic, contortionists, clowns and more, all while filling their bellies with delicious variety of gourmet eats from a myriad of vendors.
72 hours after the madness began, the woodlands feel silent again, as the caravans of exhausted fair folk dispersed down the road and back into the ether, trailing glitter as they went.