Let the Funshine In! celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love emphasizing Marin’s dedication to the things we value most in our community, Family,
Art, Agriculture and the Environment. This summer’s Fair will celebrate that 1967 spirit with music, art, fashion and more featuring tie-dye and macramé competitions, Flower Power floriculture, Groovy/Psychedelic and Abstract art and photography, and daily 60s fashion parades.
Fantasy Fair Special Exhibit
This year’s Marin County Fair Let The Funshine In! will feature a special exhibit chronicling the Summer of Love’s origins in Marin County starting in June of 1967. The KFRC Fantasy Fair and Magic Mountain Music Festival, and the vibrant music scene in Marin during the Summer of Love were catalysts which transformed the Bay Area into the countercultural phenomenon’s epicenter. Photos, objects, and ephemera from the festival, as well as posters and graphics from Marin bands and local venues from the era will educate attendees about this fantastic history.
On the weekend of June 10-11, 1967, the Summer of Love kicked off in Marin with a two-day outdoor concert at the Sidney B. Cushing Memorial Amphitheater atop Mt. Tamalpais. KFRC Fantasy Fair and Magic Mountain Music Festival was the first of its kind—an outdoor music festival and fair featuring bands from across the musical spectrum including the Doors, the Byrds, Dionne Warwick, Jefferson Airplane, Sparrow (later known as Steppenwolf) Captain Beefheart, Canned Heat, and the 5th Dimension (who famously covered “Let the Sunshine In!” and “Aquarius” from the hippie musical Hair), as well as numerous local bands such as Sons of Champlin. Nearly 36,000 fans converged on Mt. Tam, comprising youth from local communities as well as the emerging counterculture from San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury neighborhood. The festival, in stark contrast to later shows like Altamont (where an unruly crowd policed by Hell’s Angels ended in the death of an attendee), was a fundraiser for Hunters Point Child Care Center and an intimate affair where performers mingled with the crowd. Imbued with feelings of hope and possibility, new ideas of music, fashion, and art flourished.
In Marin County, the Summer of Love was all about the music. Local heroes like the Grateful Dead, Big Brother and the Holding Company, Jefferson Airplane, Moby Grape, and Sons of Champlin regularly played shows at Santa Venetia Armory, Pepperland, and many other venues alongside internationally renowned artists like Pink Floyd and Frank Zappa. In this special exhibit, fairgoers will experience original photos of the concert by attendees and rock photographers, original concert footage, posters by famed Marin illustrators and artists, original handbills and programs, psychedelic light shows, and more!
Music Festival was the first of its kind—an outdoor music festival and fair featuring bands from across the musical spectrum including the Doors, the Byrds, Dionne Warwick, Jefferson Airplane, Sparrow (later known as Steppenwolf) Captain Beefheart, Canned Heat, and the 5th Dimension (who famously covered “Let the Sunshine In!” and “Aquarius” from the hippie musical Hair), as well as numerous local bands such as Sons of Champlin. Nearly 36,000 fans converged on Mt. Tam, comprising youth from local communities as well as the emerging counterculture from San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury neighborhood. The festival, in stark contrast to later shows like Altamont (where an unruly crowd policed by Hell’s Angels ended in the death of an attendee), was an intimate affair where performers mingled with the crowd. Imbued with feelings of hope and possibility, new ideas of music, fashion, and art flourished.
Two of the featured Fair concerts are by bands who played at the original Fantasy Fair and Magic Mountain Music Festival in 1967: The 5th Dimension and Sons of Champlin.
Saturday, July 1, 7:30pm – The 5th Dimension: One of America’s most celebrated vocal groups, The 5th Dimension leave crowds wanting more from their amazing treasure trove of hits. Garnering 7 Grammys, over 25 million in sales, 22 Top 40 hits, 5 No. 1 songs (including the mega hit, “Up, Up and Away,” “Wedding Bell Blues,” One Less Bell to Answer,” “Last Night I Didn’t Get To Sleep At All” and the iconic “Aquarius/Let the Sun Shine In,”). With her vocal prowess and stunning stage presence, lead-singer Florence LaRue is one of entertainment’s classiest performers who rose to fame from her humble beginnings to become a super star.
Tuesday, July 4, 3pm – Sons of Champlin: The Sons of Champlin started in 1965 in Marin County rising from the Opposite Six, a locally popular R&B band from the pre-Beatle era. The new band was named for “front” man, Bill Champlin. In 1967 the Sons of Champlin became a seven-piece band, adding a trumpet and more importantly, Geoff Palmer on keyboards, alto sax, and vibraphone. Not only did the Sons boast a horn section, their philosophical themes, R&B and jazz tempos and arrangements were far ahead of any in rock music, and set the Sons apart from the guitar-dominated bands playing the San Francisco ballrooms. Sons are one of the original bands who played atop Mt. Tamalpais at the Fantasy Fair and Magic Mountain Music Festival in the summer of 1967 launching the Summer of Love.
Community Stage Concerts (Three Twins Stage)
Celebrate the Summer of Love with legendary rockers It’s a Beautiful Day who sang the iconic song “White Bird (In a Golden Cage).” They’re on stage with original member David Laflamme on violin/vocals, Linda Laflamme on vocals, original drummer Val Fuentes, 36 year veteran Toby Gray on bass, 16 year veteran Gary Thomas on keyboards, and Rob Cunningham on guitar. It’s a performance not to be missed.
The celebration continues when CRYPTICAL with guitarist and Special Guest Stu Allen take the stage to pay tribute to the Bay Area’s own Grateful Dead. Known as The Bay Area’s Premier Grateful Dead Experience, these five musicians (Stu, guitarist Barry Erde, keyboardist Mitch Stein, bassist Stephen Ramirez and drummer John Hanrahan) have a collective résumé that reads like a Who’s Who of rock, funk, blues, R&B and jazz, and will perform a very special set this evening comprised of material that the Dead were playing in 1967. Celebrate The Summer Of Love and get your Groovy on with CRYPTICAL!
Virtual Reality and Hands On Art Making
The Summer of Love was noted for groundbreaking developments in art, fashion and music. It was a time of self-expression, exploration and creativity where the imagination knew no boundaries. Peace Love and happiness was the mantra for a generation and the catalyst for the technology and ways our lives our led today.
Come experience state-of-the-art technology as we “transport” fairgoers to far-away places, exotic landscapes, surreal and psychedelic worlds, and more.
Virtual Reality is the new computing medium where you can create, experience, and discover distant and fantasy worlds in immersive experiences. Come create art and music in virtual 3D worlds. Visit the Taj Mahal, swim with dolphins, and step back into time as you visit the Summer of Love.
Mellow Yellow Kaleidoscopes
Stop by and make a hand-made kaleidoscope filled with beads, colored paper and trinkets from the 60s.
Mandala Spin Art
Let centrifugal force spin-out your spiritual mandala with the all the colors of the rainbow.
Be a Hippie!
Step back in time and dress up to be a hippie for one moment captured in the photo time machine.
Calling all talented, artistic, technologically savvy, green-thumbed, and creative people: The exhibit categories are now open to the public for the 2017 Marin County Fair, Let the Funshine In!
Special contests include:
- Tie Dye
- Flashback to the 60s
- Kaleidoscope Arts
- Tangle Art
- Spin Art
- Flower Power Floral Arts
- Zen Gardens
- Let the Funshine In! themed contests
A Renaissance of the Spirit
A Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the
Renaissance Pleasure Faire in Marin County
The original Renaissance Pleasure Faire arrived in Marin County during the 1967 “Summer of Love.” It would open minds, change lifestyles, and delight guests for decades to come. Although the Faire itself has moved on, its influence continues to ripple through Marin County, and indeed, through American culture.
This interactive exhibit will entertain yet another generation of Marin guests with music, song, children’s participation theatre, puppet shows, and evocative images of China Camp and Blackpoint, the two magical forests where many of the children of the Summer of Love found a spiritual home.
The first Renaissance Pleasure Faire grew out of the emerging counter-culture movement and its impulse to reconnect with ancient folk traditions. Founders Ron & Phyllis Patterson’s concept of improvisational living history, cleverly combined an innovative educational technique with the countercultural spirit.
An increasingly authentic re-creation of English seasonal crossroads fairs, the Renaissance Pleasure Faire evoked the sights, sounds, and spirit of those ancient holidays. It was the first large scale crafts festival in Northern California; it influenced clothing styles and introduced ethnic music and dance, exotic foods, and environmental theatre to many of its early guests.
Although Southern Californian conservatives initially fought against the Faire’s freedom of expression, Marin County and the Bay Area welcomed the event with open arms, beginning a love affair that lasted for decades and still resonates in the artful creativity of our lives.
The early Pleasure Faires created a rich tapestry of village life: awareness of our relationship with nature... the joy of buying something hand-made from its maker... children joining in pleasant revelry... Such are the pleasures of the Pleasure Faire that will be celebrated on its 50th birthday, this summer at the Marin County Fair.
Psychedelic Liquid Light Show
At 6 p.m. daily at the fairgrounds’ Showcase Theater, a live psychedelic liquid light show will celebrate the
psychedelic art form that pioneered in the rock clubs and events of the ‘60s. Using vintage projection instruments and innovative techniques, the artists hand-animate painted slides, liquid mixes, and reflective materials to create a kaleidoscope of color and pattern. The performances feature members and archival materials from
Glenn McKay and Jerry Abrams’s original Headlights, joined by performers such as Dennis Keefe, James Baldocchi, and Jay Moss.