If you put snapshots of the Common Ground Country Fair into a time capsule and some historian opened it 500 years from now, he might have a hard time pinpointing the exact time period. Free-spirited hippies, young and old, in their tie-dye tees, maxi skirts and flower wreaths might make him think of the 1960’s. Was it Woodstock? Bearded men in overalls pulling horse drawn plows might make him guess the 1800’s or earlier. Hipsters in straight leg pants and thick framed glasses sampling smoothies and kelp chips, well, those images just might make him reference the early 21st century.
Touted as a celebration of rural living, the 38th annual Common Ground Country Fair, which drew about 60,000 people to the small town of Unity, Maine this weekend, was much, much more than that; it was more like a rural renaissance. Scores of booths and demonstrations of organic vegetables and meat, solar power, wood products, tiny house living, Old World crafts like spinning and sheep shearing – the list goes on as long as Rip Van Winkle’s beard.
The festival was definitely worth the drive, and all the traffic, which rivaled rush hour in Boston any day of the week, the likes of which, I am sure, Unity, Maine, population 2,099, sees but once a year.
Here are some fleeting moments of the 2014 Common Ground Country Fair:
All photos: The Garden Spotter