Things to Do in Fort Wayne and Beyond

Get groovy with Buck Lake Ranch’s Hippie Living Fair

Thousands anticipated in Angola Sept. 10-12


Brandon Jordan

Web Developer & Distribution Director

Published September 1, 2021

Buck Lake Ranch is hosting a weekend of “peace, love, unity, and respect.”

The Hippie Living Fair comes to Buck Lake Ranch in Angola on Friday, Sept. 10, and lasts through Sunday, Sept. 12. The fair is open to people of all ages. Organizers for the event expect an estimated 10,000 to 20,000 people to attend through the weekend.

“We tried to even go a step further because of last year, because of how highly politicized everything is,” event organizer John Malone said. “And ‘hippie,’ it’s a pejorative term. You know, in the ’60s and ’70s, ‘sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll,’ that’s what they’re kind of expecting, and that is not the event at all.

“The Hippie Living Fair is really just a three-day celebration of peace, love, unity, respect, and then bringing literally artists, artisans, makers, and pickers together with fires,” Malone said.

Rich History

The rich history of Buck Lake Ranch adds to the hippie-era atmosphere of the fair. A number of big names and performers have graced the renowned grounds since its founding in 1947.

These notable acts include the band Alabama, singer and actor Roy Rogers, June Carter, Buck Owens, Merle Haggard, and Grammy award-winning songwriter Dolly Parton.

“Hippies are known to be kind of more outdoor, open air,” Malone said. “So, that’s why it naturally is like a perfect location for us, and that’s why we decided [to have it there].”

Singer and actor Johnny Cash once graced a stage at Buck Lake Ranch. According to the ranch’s website, he was escorted there in “prison chains, released only long enough to perform and then taken back into custody.”

Event coordinator Ashley Plummer said that her grandmother had the opportunity to visit Buck Lake during the hippie era.

“She is 85, but when she was younger — like 21, or ‘that age’ — they would go out there to Buck Lake for music,” Plummer said.

Three Days and Three Stages

The fair boasts three days of music and entertainment across three stages at the ranch, including a number of tribute bands.

The Rolling Stones tribute band Start Me Up will participate in a nationwide battle of the bands during the weekend. According to their website, Start Me Up has performed internationally as well, amassing 100,000 attendees at their Honduras concert.

The show Clash of the Tributes (USA) will film the group’s performance at the September fair, pitting them head-to-head against a Texas counterpart, Satisfaction. This performance comes less than a month after Rolling Stones drummer, Charlie Watts, died at age 80.

The weekend’s feature band, Magic Bus, will perform at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 11. According to the band, their goal is to “recreate the atmosphere” of the Woodstock-era.

As bands play on until midnight, the Hippie Camp offers ample space for fairgoers to sleep during the weekend-long festival. Organizers say that more than 1,000 campsites will be used at the ranch, and that they would like everyone at the camp to be dressed like a hippie.

One of the weekend’s camp counselors, Mr. Lester — described as the “Jimi Hendrix of the Banjo” — will walk around playing music while people set up camp. A sacred fire will also be ignited at the campsite.

More Than 40 Vendors

The fair’s Travelers Vintage & Retro Market has had more than 1,800 vendor applications from several different states submitted as of the end of August.

This experience will take place throughout the weekend from 3-8 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 10; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 11; and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 12.

According to organizers, the market has more than 40 vendors who will set up in campers and combine their spaces. The spaces will be decorated with backdrops and other personalizations to align with the hippie theme.

A hemp mercantile market will also be featured at the Travelers Vintage & Retro Market, as well as organic health and wellness booths and a hippie-themed photo booth. Not to mention that a beard and moustache competition is another aspect of this unique fair’s events.

For more information on the Hippie Living Fair, or to buy tickets for the event, visit the fair website at hippielivingfair.com

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