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A love affair with Mountain Festival

For some, Tehachapi's Mountain Festival is a take-it-or-leave-it event. For others, it's the highlight of the summer season, marking the transition into fall. It is the embodiment of everything good about small town America.

Folks come from out of town to take in the beautiful mountain weather while partaking in shopping from the artisans set up in the park, as well as visiting local shops. Locals use this time to wander around downtown, visit shops they've been too busy to check out and chat with friends, old and new. From the rodeo that kicks off Friday night to the Thunder on the Mountain car show on Sunday morning, it's a three-day, fun-filled weekend.

Local business owner, Sarah Rose, is one of those people who loves Mountain Festival.

"I think my love affair with Mountain Fest started when we moved downtown 14 years ago. Our home is literally three houses away from central park (Philip Marx Central Park.) Like or not, we're in the middle of the party. Thank goodness we like it!" Sarah laughs. "Whether we are wandering around, checking out the vendors wares or just sitting in our front yard and striking up conversations with people walking by, we love it."

Sarah's neighbor holds a massive party every year in their front yard which inspired Sarah to do the same.

"We set it up 'open house' style where friends can come and go. We invite people but often it's more friends just wandering by who we see the most of," she explains. "Mountain Fest is such a fun experience for us that we chose to get married on that weekend. That way, we can have a party every year that doubles as an anniversary party."

The parties stopped though in 2021 when Sarah and her husband, John (John the Plumber) decided to open a store in Old Town.

"We didn't open the doors to the Hippie until September of 2021 so we decided to forgo the party and instead have a booth at Mountain Fest," she said. "We went from being attendees to working the event. It was so successful that we did it again in 2022."

So, can you expect to see a Healthy Hippie Trading Co. booth at the park in 2023? The surprising answer is no.

"Right up to about three months ago, I just assumed we would," Sarah said. "But this past year at the Hippie has taught me so much about taking time, making time for friends and family. As much as we enjoyed being a vendor at the event, bottom line, it's work. Learning how to be a human being rather than a human doing has become a priority, so I have made a commitment to relax this Mountain Fest weekend."

Despite not having a booth at the park, the Hippie, located in Old Town at 20418 Brian Way will be open from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday and 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Sunday where they will be having an end of summer sidewalk sale.