Sara Kirschenbaum
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More "What I Did this summer"

Posted Thursday, Sep 10th, 2009 at 4:03pm

I had three big trips this summer - first to Ohio in June, then to NYC in July, and lastly to Michigan and Chicago in August. The trip to Michigan was with Annie. She and I attended the Michigan Women's Music Festiva. This was the 34th. year for the feminist gathering. I had been there a couple of times in the eighties and Annie and I had been there last year.

Annie insisted on going again this summer. She loved the outrageousness of this feminist utopia - and was surprised to have her mother be ahead of the game in the mind-blowing radicalism department. So off we went again, flying into Grand Rapids and renting a car. We were there for the very start of the festival which begins with a traffic jam. Hundreds of cars wait on a back road of Hart Michigan, waiting for the elaborate welcoming at the festival gates. As you wait in line, women - some dressed in costumes - keep you company and entertained. Everyone says, "Welcome Home!" And you know for the next 6 days you will enjoy a women-only environment where every body is honored as beautiful and there is no limit to what women can do. About 3,000 come each year.

Here is my camp site (there are about a dozen different camp sites on the 600 acre land. I chose Bread and Roses - a chemical-free camping with the understanding that there will be no drugs or alcohol).


Here are some pictures from the Opening Ceremony:






Everyone is asked to do two 4-hour workshifts to keep the festival running. I always do mine in the kitchen. The idea of cooking for 3,500 out in the woods with open firepits, seems impossible. But they do it and the food is great. Here is a glimpse at some celery-washing:


And some watermelon slicing:


There are over 40 concerts, a film festival, and tons of workshops. One of the workshops offered is breast-casting. Here's a picture of someone's stuff by the side of the road:

breast casting

Here is a photo from the annual "butch parade:"


and from the "femme parade:"


Here's a photo of a somewhat bewildered child. There are tons of girls at the festival and you can't help but wonder what effect the festival has on them. I know for me, having my 14-year-old there was wonderful but not a little uncomfortable.


Note: she has her shoes on backwards.


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