Dear Fair Family,

As I shared briefly in my 300 word candidate statement, I’m a country fair baby whose father played music with friends in 1969. Now each July, I water the sapling at main stage where I scattered his ashes, while noticing how much all of the trees have grown. I am still in awe of Wally’s Way, of the beautiful family he helped co-create, and I want to do more to honor his playful spirit for kids of all ages.

Fair isn’t just in my blood, it’s in my spirit. I started volunteering the year before the teen crew began, advocating for our right to volunteer. Now my eldest babe will serve on the teen crew next summer (after four years of baking cookies at Phoenix Rising :-).

This summer I’ve felt like a phoenix who is about to rise, after leaving a marriage that didn’t support my involvement in Fair or any real form of self care/expression. During the whole intense eclipse season, I’ve mediated on the question, “How can I best serve my family, the Fair Family/community, and Mama Earth?”

Growing up I always thought that I would someday be part of Fair’s community leadership, even though both parents warned me of the politics. Yet, I felt that someday my skills would be needed. I believe that time is now, especially after the last eclipse made me realize that I have nothing to loose and everything to gain.

I have three main inspirations for running/serving on the Oregon Country Fair board:

  1. Radically shift the leadership toward feminine empowerment – As I first began to question how I could serve the Fair Family, I dwelled a great deal on the shadow issue of entitlement. I don’t want you to vote for me because of who my father was or who my mother wants me to be. For better and worse, the Oregon Country Fair is a severely nepotistic organization, and I don’t want to perpetuate that norm. Despite our best intentions, the patriarchy is engrained in our organizational politics. I don’t know how exactly I can be part of this radical, but necessary shift, but I do know that I care more about fellow volunteers, and benefiting future generations, than about my own ego. I want to lead with an open heart and find creative new ways to live our ethos, collaborate and share our family values.
  2. Work to become a carbon neutral gathering by 2022 – (It’s now or never, people…we don’t have a decade to wait). I initially wanted to set the goal of 2020, but even I know that would be way too hard to accomplish. The truth is that for as much as we have done to focus on sustainability, we still need to do more. It’s likely that we’ll need to offset some of our impacts, but wouldn’t it be amazing to have forests and solar fields inspired by our family all over the state?! More than anything, we need to demonstrate to the rest of the world that it’s possible.

  3. Share our collective story and create a sustaining vision for the next 50 years – I don’t know about you, but I don’t live in a Fair bubble year round. While I do have new neighbors and friends who share a mutual love of our gathering, I’m still surprised by how many otherwise progressive Oregonians have never even heard of the Oregon Country Fair, or perhaps how outdated their impression may be. I truly believe that this next summer, celebrating our 50th, we have a huge opportunity to share our story with the world. Regardless of whether I have the opportunity to serve on the board, I want to be an integral part of creating an amazing celebration that will honor our first generations, while planting seeds of hope for future Fair Family.

Lastly, purely from reading the Fair Family News, I know that behind all the magic there’s been struggle and strife. I’m not going to say or pretend that simply getting some fresh blood on the board is going to fix everything, but I do believe that it would give us a chance to move beyond engrained politics. If given the chance, I would like to lead with laughter and compassion, while being aware of the legacy we are all leaving.

Beyond anything, I hope that publicly sharing my “platform” will help connect me with fellow Fair Family who have similar vision and passion for our eclectic celebration. As the Hopi Nation prayer says, it’s time to gather ourselves and have a good time. 🙂

Peace and Love,

Darcy Rose

Credit to the 2018 Photo Booth team