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Not a bad vibe in sight at Gardner’s Hippie Days 2013…

by Mary-Ann Brandon
GARDNER— Saturday afternoon in Gardner Colorado saw the coming together of multiple generations who share a common identification with the label “Hippie”. While not everyone in attendance can claim the moniker, (yours truly included) it was clear that from the oldest founding member of Libre, (Dean Fleming who turns 80 this year) to an infant sporting a marijuana leaf boa, a longing for the utopian society first brought to this part of the country in the mid 1960’s continues to be a dream pursued with vigor by a passionate few.
Presumably emboldened by Colorado’s new liberal laws pertaining to the recreational use of marijuana, this year’s Hippie Days was a joyful celebration of music, dance, food, tie-dye and a daring nod to all things cannabis related.
Of particular note was a couple who arrived with a live unicorn in tow, adding a spark of whimsy to an already light-hearted festival. Periodically the crowd was reminded to keep their dogs under control. Even the canines seemed to understand the gravity of the admonition to exhibit “no bad vibes” with nary a dog fight to be witnessed all afternoon.
The talent line-up drew heavily from the local musical pool including an early set by one of Libre’s founding members, Jim Fowler. After his performance, Fowler spent the rest of the afternoon flinging around the dance area with pure reckless abandon. As if a confirmation of the Little Feat song, “Old Folks Boogie” indeed they do! Seeing a handful of people in their 60th and 70th decades, fit and enthused, moving their bodies to the sound of the beat, provided a glorious inspiration to never give up on your dreams.
Photos by Mary-Ann Brandon