GARDNER — Hipsters of all ages, sizes, shapes and colors converged on Gardner, in northern Huerfano County, for two days of fun and music this past Friday and Saturday. The annual event (nine years and counting) attracts visitors from as far away as Oregon and North Carolina. Of course, Huerfano County boasts a sizable population of hippies that have lived in the area since the mid-60’s as various communes came to fruition. Girls with hula hoops (echoes of Sonic Bloom) were on hand, as were belly dancers with the Wet Mountains, the Sangres and Gardner Butte serving as the backdrop. Dozens of vendors peddled their wares with everything from smoking paraphernalia, to cosmic powered jewelry, to alligator legs and snow-cones. As always, the pulsing sound of great rock music provided the audio ambiance that is the true heart of Hippie Days. One vendor, who asked that we use his first name Dan, experienced true capitalism as he was forced to drop the price of the “new” Colorado State flags (with a marijuana leaf emblazoned over the “C”) from $15 to $10 when he found another fellow selling at the lower price. But with a beer in
one hand and a joint in the other Dan claimed, “I’m really not here to make money, just wanna have some fun.” It was year number two for Angela from Pueblo, as she sold handmade jewelry with real marijuana leaves encased in plastic. (Warning, it would be a ‘real drag man’ to get busted for pot jewelry in a state, where it is still illegal.) Huerfano’s very own David Enke was offering his chakra balancing jewelry that promotes a healthy pineal gland. Hmmmm…..think I’ll call P.T. Barnum for a second opinion. This writer chowed down some alligator legs for the first time. And yes, for the record, it tastes just like chicken only with a lot more bones. Numerous bands graced the stage, as announcers stressed for all to stay hydrated and stay in the shade. Mid-day on Saturday an open mike session was held that ran almost twice as long as planned. So much talent, so little time! Other local bands such the Usual Suspects rocked the scene with their variety of rock, blues, and jazz. As in the past, Gardner’s very own Planet O was the Saturday night headliner. All in all, Hippie Days proved to be a fun scene with no bad vibes to be seen.