Mystic festival draws 2,500

TDrum circles. Blessings. Lava lamps. Tea ceremonies. Raw and living food. Light shows. Fire dancers. Didgeridoos. Raw superfood smoothies. Dreadlocks below the knees. Spontaneous jam sessions. Folks walking around in their birthday suits. An emphasis on community and spirituality.

The Mystic Garden Party returned to the Jackson Wellsprings north of Ashland for the third year, bringing with it more festival-goers and an even larger array of all things "hippie."

The four-day event, which ran through Sunday, drew an estimated 2,500 people to the hot springs spa.

"All these festivals are like mini Burning Mans," said Felicia Renaud, an artist from Sebastopol, Calif., who purchased a vendor space to sell mood lights, hand-painted bulbs that project mosaic-like images. She said the past two years she's attended the Burning Man Festival, an annual gathering in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada and the pre-eminent festival of its kind.

Many festival-goers camped throughout the weekend, with tents and vehicles dotting the 30-acre property in nearly every imaginable spot.

Unlike the first two years it was held, the festival was professionally produced. Many who attended in years past said they noticed improvement in the organization of the event.

There were musical performances on four stages, internationally known speakers, workshops and dozens of vendors pedaling exotic imports, "eco-friendly" wares and other artisan products. Food booth offerings were exclusively raw and organic.

— Ashland Daily Tidings

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