Fair Sets Sights on Becoming Carbon Neutral by 2025: We Need Your Input!

posted on Jul 28, 2020

July 28, 2020 —In 2019, the Oregon Country Fair made a commitment to reach Carbon Neutrality by 2025. In order to achieve this, the Fair is working closely with students and faculty at Portland State University’s Institute for Sustainable Solutions.  To get to Carbon Neutrality, first we need to know where we are now. Lots of information has already been gathered from the Fair office. Now it’s on to the larger community to get the rest. We need your help! Your participation and ideas are critical to make the Fair’s sustainability journey a success. Here are two exciting ways you can participate:

(1) Please complete this survey below so the team can learn about your impact on Oregon Country Fair’s carbon-footprint. These few questions about transportation to and from the Fair will help paint an accurate picture of how the Fair can become more sustainable. Please share it with all your fellow Fair friends and family. All survey responses will remain confidential.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CT3WXB7

(2)   When you’re taking the survey, please sign up for one of three virtual town halls coming soon in mid to late-August. At these events, we will talk about the opportunities, challenges and strategies associated with pursuing Carbon Neutrality and look forward to hearing your ideas about how the Fair can reduce our Co2 emissions in four key areas: public transportation, organizational transportation, booth operations, transport and energy, and renewable energy.  Make sure to click the RSVP link at the end of the survey for more information and to sign up!

First Ever Virtual Oregon Country Fair!!

posted on Jul 10, 2020

First Ever Virtual Oregon Country Fair July 10, 11, & 12
We hope you will join us for a weekend of creativity, joy, and music from the safety and comfort of your home, or wherever you may find yourself this weekend. Hang out with your friends, catch some great shows, and support our amazing community of artisans, all at vocf.oregoncountryfair.org! 

Starting today at 10:30am, you can enter the virtual Oregon Country Fair by going to vocf.oregoncountryfair.org. Just click on “Join the Virtual Event” and you will be taken to the Virtual Fair Experi-Meant. Consider this the Peach Gate to the Virtual Oregon Country Fair. From this page, you can get to all of the virtual happenings. We’ve prepared quite a few events to help ease the loss of the real world 2020 Fair. Just like the physical event, there is a lot going on and several different ways to engage. Music, Workshops, Spoken Word performances, and more! With 13 stages, and something like 100 acts on the schedule, there is a lot happening. Rose City Circus is even joining by performing onstage from the Alberta Rose Theater in Portland OR and live streaming their performance straight to you!

On Saturday the Community Village is featuring a wide variety of music videos, live streamed performances, activist clips + BLM voices, jokes by Frog, fun MC’s, and a live stream from an empty WOW Hall.

Our very own KOCF 92.7 will host the virtual Hoarse Chorale stage – all streaming video live; some from a local empty venue, and some from up and down the west coast. KOCF will also replay the performances over the radio beginning at 9pm each evening on “Live From the Oregon Country Fair”. You can stream KOCF 92.7 HERE.

There is an “Artisan Marketplace” that will take you to links for many of the incredible artisans whose booths you would normally visit during the Fair. We have even heard that numerous crafters are creating special items to commemorate the Fair That Wasn’t There.

From the landing page you can also take a 2-dimensional “Walk around the Eight”  OCF’s Cartography Crew did amazing work to provide a Story Map Experience. It is an interactive version of the Peach Pit Map and can lead you around the grounds while you click links for booths, areas, stages, Whitebird and more.

You can watch all of the world class entertainment and so much more from the landing page, or you can enter the Peach Portal, where a rogue, multi-crew hacker collective known as m8rix, has succeeded in bringing the Oregon Country Fair to a semi-immersive 3D environment. Create an avatar and wander the m8rix through your computer. Check out Crafter’s booths and listen to music at the virtual stages. Run into friends and make new ones on the path (yup – you can even talk with other avatars!)

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The Oregon Country Fair is a 501(c)3 and the yearly physical event is normally our largest fundraiser. So for this year, we launched online 2020 Merch sales. Just like the Commemorative Booths at the physical Fair – but without any lines! We have t-shirts, sweatshirts, stickers, a 2020 poster and more.

While we want to hold hands, we will instead hold space…for hope, for each other, and for this community which reminds us that even under the bleakest of circumstances there is beauty and light that shines through. Be sure to join us in the celebration at  vocf.oregoncountryfair.org.

Fair Offers Pandemic Emergency Relief Grants

posted on Jun 26, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Eugene, June 26, 2020— Even though the covid-19 pandemic has canceled the 2020 Oregon Country Fair, the OCF Board of Directors has opted to continue the Fair’s longtime commitment to community philanthropy with Special Covid-19 Emergency Relief Grants for 2020. The Board set aside $20,000 for the grants.

Lane County nonprofits with programs related to emergency assistance for economic hardships created by the pandemic are invited to apply for the grants. The deadline is July 17, 2020.

For more information on the Special Covid-19 Emergency Relief Grants, go to www.oregoncountryfair.org/philanthropy.

Over the years, the Fair has donated more than $1.5 million dollars to philanthropic organizations. In normal years when the fair takes place, grants have gone to social service agencies and nonprofit organizations through both the Jill Heiman Vision Fund and the Board of Directors’ Donations Fund.

NCU and 2020 Fair Cancellation

posted on Jun 19, 2020

As we noted in the May 7, State of the Fair announcement, the Fair operates under NCU (Nonconforming Use) rights which could have been lost if we did not hold an event this year. It also stated that we have been working very closely with Lane County to preserve our property rights in these unique times. Today we have good news!

On June 16th, the Lane County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to amend the County Code regarding Nonconforming Use limitations. This means we (and all other Lane County events in this NCU category) have been allowed this one-year hiatus. This also means that we won’t lose the NCU status due to cancelling our July gathering. A special thanks to the awesome team that put in the effort to make this happen.

Unfortunately, the 2020 Fair is still officially cancelled. There will not be a gathering of any kind on the Fair site. Please be aware that the site will be closed and secured from July 3rd through July 13th. This is important for the health and safety of our community, staff, our immediate neighbors and local community.

Please watch for more information and visit oregoncountryfair.org  in the coming weeks to find out about exciting options to engage with the Fair Community this year.

 

Statement of Solidarity and Support for Racial Justice

posted on Jun 09, 2020

The Oregon Country Fair expresses our profound outrage at the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others before them whose lives have been taken by racial violence.  We stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and the ongoing protests occurring throughout our country against the systemic racism that leads to these horrific deaths.

As an organization and community, the Oregon Country Fair is committed to the quest for social justice and the right for all people to live creative lives of dignity, respect, and meaning. This year, the COVID-19 pandemic and yet more killings of Black Americans have exposed the systemic racist underpinnings of our country and revealed how short we have fallen in creating a nation with “liberty and justice for all.”

We need to call out and condemn racism, oppression, and injustice when we see them in the world – but that starts at home.  We pledge to look within and prioritize the difficult and uncomfortable work of challenging and overcoming the deeply entrenched personal and organizational assumptions and biases that have hindered our progress toward becoming a more welcoming, inclusive, and equitable organization and community for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.