Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Archive

July 6, 2014

Thousands expected at Utah counterculture fest

Group includes train hoppers, students, lawyers, architects

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Thousands of young people and some more weathered hikers are trekking up a path that cuts through aspen and pine to a summit of a Utah mountain about 60 miles east of Salt Lake City.

The group includes train hoppers, students, lawyers, architects and others, members say. But each belongs to the Rainbow Family, which has convened every year since 1972, sometimes in two states at once, to join in prayers for peace, sing-a-longs in the travelling Granola Funk theater and unkempt free-spiritedness that has irked some residents in neighboring Heber City.

"People call us misfits, drug addicts, homeless, useless. That's not true," said Red Carlin, a retired carpenter and unofficial ambassador for the group. "Because of our existence, we're outsiders. We're the people your mom and dad pointed out beforehand and said, 'Don't be like that.'"

The gathering is expected to double in size this week as more members pour in to the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest for a four-day celebration that ends Friday. On Tuesday, some came in pairs, groups or by themselves in a variety of looks: dreadlocks, sundresses, with pets and dirt-caked faces.

Members began arriving about two weeks ago in Heber City, where residents say they're wary of disorderly conduct and question how much the gathering will cost their town.

About 10,000 people are expected to arrive by Friday, the height of the celebration.

Last year, the same number of members set up camp in Montana. The group there racked up hundreds of thousands of dollars in law enforcement costs, officials said. The festival prompted U.S. Forest Service officials there to draw up a list of lessons learned for other states.

In Heber City, authorities have doubled their force with help from state agencies.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller