It will always be the ‘Barter Faire’ to me

Geoff and Hilarie Klein and their girls enjoy a trip to the Okanogan Family Faire. The couple hails from West Seattle but enjoy coming out to the Okanogan when they get  a chance. Geoff is the co-founder of the Tumbleweed Film Festival which takes place the first Thursday, Friday and Saturday of August in Oroville. Gary DeVon/staff photo

Geoff and Hilarie Klein and their girls enjoy a trip to the Okanogan Family Faire. The couple hails from West Seattle but enjoy coming out to the Okanogan when they get a chance. Geoff is the co-founder of the Tumbleweed Film Festival which takes place the first Thursday, Friday and Saturday of August in Oroville. Gary DeVon/staff photo

The Okanogan County Family Faire celebrated it’s 40th Anniversary last weekend and although I’ll probably always think of it as the “Barter Faire” it continues to be something that every one should see, at least once.

Managing Editor Gary DeVonIt was made even more special because it was a chance to help introduce the faire to my friends Geoff and Hilarie’s two and a half year-old twin girls. I’ve lost count of how many faires I’ve been to, not counting the few times I went when I was a kid, I’ve probably been most years over the 25 plus years at the newspaper. Geoff must be getting to the point where he’s been to half a dozen, although he’s missed the last two for obvious reasons – namely having twins. Hillarie has been two or three times before and both were excited to get to introduce their kids to the faire and the Okanogan in general.

While the faire in many ways is like some sort of fantastical small city come to life in the hills above Tonasket, one can only imagine what it must look like through a child’s eyes.

The kids and grown ups spent a lot of time in Youthtopia this year. The swings and the slides made for lots of activity among the twins. And you know us Godfathers never get tired of pushing ones Godchild in the swing. Perhaps the next favorite thing for the twins was the music and dancing – most of the kids dancing by the stage seemed to never tire out.

Everyone at the faire is very welcoming and most you meet leaves you with a “have a good faire” as you move on to the next sight, sound or vendor. People from all walks of life can be seen taking in the sights, enjoying the food and checking out what the vendors have to offer. And this year the weather was great with blue skies, sunshine and just a hint of the winter to come as day turned to evening.

While I limited myself to a 40th Anniversary T-Shirt as far as purchases go, there were lots of items that beckoned me

 

About Gary DeVon

Gary DeVon is the managing editor of the Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune and celebrated his 25th year at the newspaper in August 2012. He graduated from Gonzaga University with a degree in Communications - Print Journalism, with an emphasis in photojournalism. He is a proud alumnus of Oroville High School. His family first settled in Okanogan County in the late 1800s. His parents are Judy DeVon and the late Larry DeVon and he has two younger brothers - Dante and Michael. Many family members still call Oroville home. He is single with a grown daughter, Segornae Douglas and a young granddaughter, Erin.

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