If You Believe in Fairies, Clap Your Hands: A Photographic Journey of the Oregon Country Fair


Twice in the Womby’s School for Wayward Witches series, Clarissa Lawrence goes to the Oregon Country Fair and can’t tell the difference between Fae and humans dressed in eccentric costumes.

OCT is a real festival that takes place outside of Eugene, Oregon in July. It is something in between a music festival, hippie fair, and renaissance festival. People dress in elaborate costumes, there are marching bands, performance art, lots of stages playing music and with carnival performances, arts and crafts demonstrations, and stages with hippies giving talks about saving the environment.


I think any lover of fantasy and the fantastic who attends will experience the magic and awe of Oregon Country Fair, so it is no surprise I would set two novels there—and perhaps will set more in the future. I have attended four times in the last ten years, one of the times performing as a belly dancer. This year I went with a friend who has lived in Eugene for ten years but has never gone to the fair. My friend said her experience was influenced (possibly biased by my books) and she felt like she could believe any of those costumed people on stilts could have been Fae. She kept saying things like, “It’s the Fae!” and “That’s the Raven Queen’s dress,” which I found delightful.

It is hard to capture the essence of the fair in pictures but I have posted a few highlights.