Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Fair is Not Dead

Last summer I heard rumors that the venerable San Mateo County Fair might be cancelled forever, since San Mateo County is no longer the agricultural powerhouse it once was. The news made me very sad, especially since we went religiously every summer when we were growing up and when my sister and I were in 4-H, it was exciting to show crafts and food.

It Just May Have a Different Name Now

So 20 years later, I find myself in the same place (outside the "Fiesta Hall") in what used to be called the "Fair Grounds" but now has the sterile moniker "Event Center." While the warehouses full of prized chickens and dairy cows were gone, the rooms full of geeky model train aficionados and crazy crafters remained.

Maker Fair(e) 08

Adding the "e" to fair always makes me think of silly Renaissance Faire conceits. Fortunately, at this Faire, there was a blessed dearth of fat men in skimply leather halters.

The Dumpster Divers Anonymous Gang generously allowed Dutch, Art Teacher Lady and myself to participate in this year's Maker Faire.

I had a wonderful time nerd-watching (1 point for every Bill Gates look-alike, -1 pt for every smelly hippy, 5 pts for every biker child wearing a helmet, -5 pts for every angry Officer of the Peace), meeting up with old friends-- the B and G of Rosa Sinensis, the Pixie Toast Clan, top hats from the Zinefest and the Family Cyclecious.

The DDAs had two booths. One for Garbage Art and another for the Wooden Bikes. I ended up being a Helmet Nazi (all in the name of keeping the people's brains safely in their skulls). What is there not to love about riding a clown bike through the crowds gently reminding the helmetless criminals to "put one on"?

The Garbage Art was amazing. DDA had piles of vintage books, stamps, magazines, stickers, glue, paint-- all from dumpsters. She also provided cardboard for postcards and all sorts of interesting finds. We set up a table so people could sit down and create. It was so satisfying seeing artists really get into their craft. There was so much going on, that I couldn't sit still for more than 30 seconds at a time, so I wasn't much help there.

The Wooden Bikes came in a variety of bizarre configuration. My favorites were the Wedgebike* and the toddler-clown bike. They were ridiculously popular with maniacs of all ages. As a testament to the success of the venture, the Faire Police made not one, but two visits to remind us to make sure people's helmets were on. Evidentally, lots of Makers were complaining about being run over by small children in wooden contraptions.


H said...

I made $70! Despite this monetary benefit my personal accountant tells me to keep my day job. My therapist tells me to buy more resin and find more dumpsters.

rosa said...

I'm sad I missed it. Even sadder I missed your call re: free ticket! Next year....years agoo Brad & I went to the Scanda-fest in Turlock at their fair grounds. They were beautiful! Old with lots of trees everywhere. And no, we're not Scandinavian. It's a long story....

rosa said...

agoo! hee hee!

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