What’s it like being a parent at Oregon Country Fair? Michelle explains her way of looking at it and why she keeps bringing the kids along each year. It’s just part of a beautiful life….
Parenting at OCF
Transcription by Jade Rainsong
(Karen:) I am sitting here in Xavanadu, the new area and we are learning all about what it’s like being a parent at fair and having kids with you. So can you introduce yourself?
(Michelle:) Yes. I am Michelle and I have one child and we have four kids in our booth area coming to Fair now.
(Karen:) What’s your booth area?
(Michelle:) It’s Rare Find Jewelry. My mom is the booth rep there and she’s been doing this her whole life pretty much.
(Karen:) Fantastic. And how long have you been coming to fair?
(Michelle:) I’ve been coming to fair for 36 years now.
(Karen:) The little baby you have with you is climbing onto my lap looking at my badge. She’s really cute. How old is she?
(Michelle:) She is 10 months old. This is Sienna.
(Karen:) Hi Sienna. See if she wants to say anything… and you’ve got a young boy here too, what’s your name?
(Karen:) Jackson? And how old are you?
(Jackson:) 6 and 3/4.
(Karen:) Oh, that 3/4 is pretty important, right? Yeah, baby is really liking the microphone here. Tell me about some of the challenges for you having kids at Fair… bringing the little ones.
(Michelle:) I would say probably the biggest thing is just sleeping. (Laughs)
(Karen) Right, because it’s already hard to get enough sleep, right? Yeah and this this little baby you said is your niece?
(Karen:) You have a sister or brother here?
(Michelle:) Yes. We have three of us, my brother and my sister, we all have kiddos now.
(Karen:) So real family time younger
(Michelle:) It went from 4 to 10 people in the family.
(Karen:) What’s great for you, about bringing the kids here, like what’s the positive, a plus about having the kids at fair?
(Michelle:) I feel like everything, just letting them see all of the different colors and shapes and people and experiences. I like the idea of them seeing all this as just part of life rather than some thing that maybe they’ve never seen before. Yeah, so definitely culture, and of course the food.
(Karen:) Yeah different food for sure.
(Michelle:) I feel like it’s a very safe place for them to explore and kind of grow into becoming adults.
(Karen:) I was going to ask you like do you feel safe here with your kids running around and how do you work that? I mean you family here to help ya.
(Michelle:) We usually just I mean they know pretty well where they’re going now, but we try to make sure that they check in with us regularly and stay close at least.
(Karen:) And sometimes I you know, there have been worries about bringing kids here because of some of the nighttime elements maybe being a little bit, you know more party-centric and so how do you feel about that? Does that affect you?
(Michelle:) No, not at all. I figure I grew up here. I’m fine. And I love all of the parts of it. So yeah, I don’t have any worries about bringing the kids not all. Everybody is so friendly and you know, everybody’s just here to have a good time. And that’s it.
(Karen:) Is it a different vibe than maybe other festivals you’ve been to with the kids?
(Michelle:) Yeah. I just think it’s more …to me it’s more family. Like I obviously grew up here. So, I feel very attached to it.
(Karen:) Having fun Jackson? Well not right now that your baby niece is grabbing your face, right?
(Karen:) What did you like best so far?
(Karen:) Just like u were saying the food. Oh chocolate ones. Yeah. is chocolate your favorite? That’s my favorite too. I love it.
(Michelle:) You just got something though, that’s really exciting. What is it?
(Jackson:) A hula hoop.
(Karen:) You got a hula hoop? Have you tried it yet? Yeah, is it pretty fun? Is it a colorful one?
(Jackson:) Two colors.
(Karen:) What two colors?
(Jackson:) Red, and gold.
(Karen:) I’m glad you guys are here. I’m glad you’re having fun.