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Good vibes at Gardner’s Hippie Days

by Reed White
GARDNER — On the weekend of August 25, Gardner hosted its mostly-annual “No Bad Vibes Festival,” which is more commonly known as “Hippie Days.” Due to nearby communes that were established in the 60s, Gardner has gained a reputation for being counterculture-friendly. After experiencing anxiety in the permitting process this year, the organizers hosted yet another successful tribute to Gardner’s roots.
The hippie spirit is alive and well in Gardner. Organizers have still managed to keep the event free. Some booths offered free beverages and icicles. Others, such as Citizens for Huerfano County, provided free information about preserving a safe and pristine environment in Huerfano County. Healthy and tasty food was the norm, and few if any of the goods for sale were products of China. Festival rules were simple: No glass containers and no bad vibes.
Diverse music acts are a tradition at Hippie Days. This year was no exception. Clark Dimond opened Saturday’s show by playing avant-garde compositions on his iPad in real time. While he is well known in Huerfano County for his banjo and vocal acts, Dimond has recently experienced a stiffness in his fingers. Not being one to let anything get in the way of his music, he has evolved to using an iPad as a musical instrument.
Musicians and dancers followed with a diversity of entertainment: D&A (David and Annie Enke with Johnny Watson), the Naska James band from Salida, Orphan Valley Tribal Dancers, Jaquie Gipson with Johnny Watson, the Gumbie Jets, Planet O, and Techno Psychedelic Funk.
Colorfully clad dancers and kids at play kept the sedentary spectators amused. Judging from the smiles on the faces, good times were had by all at one of Huerfano County’s best annual festivals.