Yellow Springs Street Fair

62.) Yellow Springs Street Fair – October 8, 2011

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Founded in 1825, the village of Yellow Springs was named after a nearby natural spring thought to possess healing properties (it was rich in iron ore, which left a yellow-orange color on surrounding rock).

Originally, the village founders came here with the intention of creating a Utopian community, but that vision eventually fell apart due to differences of opinion and, instead, many resorts and spas were built up in the area to let tourists take advantage of the special water.

Talk about a 180!

But interestingly enough, the village did become a sort of Utopia through its open-mindedness and acceptance of people throughout history. This acceptance helped it become one of the final destinations along the Underground Railroad for many free slaves. It also led to the passing of an ordinance against discrimination based on sexual orientation back in 1979.

In short, Yellow Springs respectively has always been a hippie town in some sense of the word, and this was the main reason I wanted to visit, which I finally got to…

…for the Yellow Springs Street Fair.

The Street Fair is a biannual one-day festival that takes place in downtown Yellow Springs and it’s very popular. So popular, in fact, that I arrived shortly after it started at 9 am…

…and I had to park way up there on Route 68.

But as I walked into town, I was filled with wonderment as I noticed…

…an art car/truck parked behind boxes of free books…

…and a pizzeria mural that made me grin from ear to ear.

I was home!

The festival itself took place over a few streets…

…and a map, although not necessary, was helpful to cover everything.

Usually, I simply followed the sidewalks down one street…

…and up another…

…but sometimes there were also narrow passages…

…and I was led into a parking lot farm market…

…or deep inside a village store.

But, honestly, even if I did stray off the path into a store, it was worth the experience. Many businesses were so artistic, vibrant and inviting…



…that it was a little hard to resist.

And with such diversity among area businesses, I figured that the community must be diverse enough to support them, which meant a likelihood that festival vendors would be diverse as well…and they were!

Vendors sold everything…

…from hippie garments…

…to locally made apparel (Basho)…

… as well as items that were painted…

…woven…

…recycled…

…burned (Memory Nook)…

…and even carved for safe incense burning (Slideburner).

Various groups and organizations were mixed among the vendors, sharing information in the realms of…

education

religion

…the environment

history

…and politics.

And as I strolled the streets and checked out the booths…

…I noticed not only smaller sidewalk vendors set up…


…but various talented bands playing their hits…

…and even an extra festival (sort of)!

But for all this exploration, the typical festival goer needed sustenance…
.

…and I had noticed a few food vendors along my travels…

…but then I also found a huge row of food vendors down one road…

…with some tasty ethnic menus…

…some healthier options…

…and even a huge eating area to enjoy it all with friends.

And as I passed the festival goers enjoying their meals under the tent, I looked at my watch and realized how late I was on the festival schedule. Even with the desire to continue my explorations of the town and its shops, I paid heed to my higher calling of attending another 5 festivals that I had to visit that day.

All other minor callings I had…

…would have to wait until the next festival.

.

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