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 of chronicling the Summer of Love’s origins in Marin County starting in the summer of 1967. The KFRC Fantasy Fair and Magic Mountain Music Festival, and the Chosen Family commune at Olompali were the 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 be shown alongside photos and artifacts from the Olompali commune.
On the weekend of June 10-11, 1967, the Summer of Love kicked off in Marin with a two-day outdoor c
oncert at the Sidney B. Cushing Memorial Amphitheater atop Mt. Tamalpais. KFRC Fantasy Fair and Magic Mountain
Olompali State Park lies just sixteen miles north of the Sidney B. Cushing Memorial Amphitheater on Mt. Tam. The bucolic reserve was home to Coast Miwok peoples, a rancho, a Jesuit retreat, and briefly a hippie commune. Established by Don McCoy just after the Summer of Love in November of 1967, the Chosen Family was strongly connected with the Bay Area countercultural scene, especially the band the Grateful Dead. Following two drug raids, the accidental drowning of two toddlers, and finally a fire which consumed the Burdell Mansion in which most of the residents resided, the commune closed. Archaeologists and historians have recovered artifacts from the site including vinyl records, reel-to-reel tapes, and other personal belongings from the fire debris. These objects give a unique window into this exceptional time and place; and Maura McCoy, the founder’s daughter, has created a documentary detailing her experiences growing up in this commune.
Fair goers will experience original photos of the concert by attendees and rock photographers, posters by famed Marin illustrators and artists, original handbills and programs from Marin bands and rock venues, a video projection of an original liquid light show by Sausalito artist Glenn McKay and unique artifacts from the Chosen Family commune at Olompali.
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.
Also performing will be, CRYPTICAL, comprised of five local musicians with a collective resume that reads like a Who’s Who of rock, blues, R&B, funk and jazz. CRYPTICAL bends all minds and bodies in its performance of—and expansions on—classic Dead songs.
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 CountyFair, 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