~ By Pamela Stevens (Ranger Honey)
We did things a little different this year for DeCompression. Element 11 joined forces with the 7th Bi-Annual Ogden Equinox Celebration for a fabulous camp-out weekend at Fort Buenaventura State Park. The OgdenFamDam has been throwing Equinox Celebrations at the Fort since Spring 2010. They started with about 150 people at a Winter Solstice celebration in December of 2009 and it has grown organically from there. This fall at the Decomp Fall Equinox event there were estimated to be over 800 people.
There were 30 live bands on a professional sound stage and about 8-10 liver bands on a smaller stage in the EQ Eatery and we had two DJ stages nestled in the beautiful trees and meadows of the Fort. There have been a few burners who have been supportive through the years and helped this wonderful, all-ages and affordable decompression happen to further bring together the communities of Salt Lake City and Ogden including Anne Simmons, Micky Baker, Chef Daddy, The Willis’, AntiM, MyLarry, Dean Quada and so many more. Other organizers such as our sound guy and Carrie and Rick Gerber attend our events are music festival organizer and have give great support. Dana has run the hospitality bar for years and never misses a beat.
Volunteers working together from both Element 11 and the OgdenFamDam pulled together to produce an amazing event. It had a good mixture of burning man philosophies and Odgen charm. Walking through the event you would see all happy people, happy kids frolicking, talented-usually-paid musicians thanking us for letting them play for free….so much joy. I am happy with what we have been able to accomplish the last four years. We keep our event private, even though we are big enough to be public or a money making machine…we don’t want that…we want our friends there, enthusiastic people, no worries, self-regulated crowds, egos- out of the loop….some people don’t “get it’ but after their first visit they get it and come back bringing gifts and art to share.
Happy kids at Decompression on Chef Daddy’s art car, The Jody.
A bit about the venue space—historically one of the first if not the first trader station in Utah on the Ogden river. Wonderful ancient trees, flowing rivers and ponds full of life- grass and yet close access to the Front Runner and city amenities. We have running water and toilets and showers. Or as Ranger Luscious said, “Wow, you are the opposite of Burning Man.” Yes, we have water and green life. The County and City has always been supportive and we have never had problems with the Ogden PC. Weber Co. loves us and stays for the entire event and helps us as much as possible. I can’t tell you how happy I was to see art cars rolling through our beautiful venue this year. Having the rangers there—amazing, super great team to work with and I dusted off my khaki for the occasion….and yes, I still love rangering. I could go on forever.