What a fitting occasion…it has been a busy month since I got back from California and Woodflock. But, today is National Pink Flamingo Day…shouldn’t it be a great time to write my final California report…all about the famed Woodflock event in Red Bluff, CA.
The Memorial Day weekend event celebrated its 6th year in 2015. Known to Antsy McClain fans (aka Flamingoheads) as a Summer Camp for Flamingoheads, Woodflock has grown from 60 participants in its first year to well over 300. It is held at the Red Bluff Recreation Area on the Sacramento River in an enclosed area, all under Flamingohead control!!
The event includes evening concerts around a campfire, music workshops, games, guided meditations, crafts, etc. Lots of good food, prepared for and eaten by a variety of Antsy McClain fans from all over the country was also a given.
My trip to California culminated in a three day adventure at Woodflock. In fact, the entire purpose of my end of May trip was to attend Woodflock and to schmooze with my Pine View Heights cousins.
Some people reading this may be wondering “What in the world is a Flamingohead?” or where the heck is “Pine View Heights?” All of these and more are borne out of Antsy McClain music over the past two decades. Antsy began his adventure with the Trailer Park Troubadours back in 1993 and has continued to inspire and humor audiences all over the U.S., Canada and even in Europe. Pine View Heights is a fictional small trailer park in a holler in Kentucky. Everybody lives in aluminum, has big hair and collects pink flamingos. And Woodflock brings it all to life in a unique natural setting, right down to the skeeters and chigger bites.
Many of the “cuzzins” as all are affectionately called, are dressed up in their “Trailer Park Best” for the celebrations. There is big hair, pink hair, and sometimes no hair…but nobody cares as they are all there to enjoy the camaraderie that has grown out of a love of Antsy McClain’s unusual and meaningful lyrics and songs (not to mention his amazing artwork, poetry, storytelling and more).
My days were spent with friends and my nights were spent with IRV…short nickname for Ione’s RV. Ione Snyder made sure I had a place to sleep while at Woodflock. It had a good large bed in a conversion van. And thank goodness the nights were cool.
Like Carla Lockwood, Ione Snyder is a gem. She has probably been to more Antsy McClain shows than any other person I know of…well over 100 and counting. She is the resident Trailer Park Princess and most certainly deserves the crown!!
Though Antsy and the Troubs and their music was the cause for the gathering, once all were there, all the “adults” were like kids again, frolicking around in dress up, blowing bubbles, making tie dye t-shirts, and having a Way Cool World fun time. Following are a few shots of the fun…
And then there were the arts and crafts. Yes, just like camp when were kids…here are a few samples
There was a trailer/cabin decorating contest too. And somebody even won!! Lots of fun stuff…and did I mention that TODAY (June 23, 2015) is Pink Flamingo Day?
I enjoyed mingling with the Flamingohead family and seeing all of the fun t-shirts.
Over the years Antsy has designed dozens of t-shirts and many were to be seen at Woodflock among the followers. Here are a few fun ones.
And there are a goodly variety of wonderful folk….
I don’t want to neglect Hilary and Bruce, who did a wonderful job of morning meditation each morning. What a nice relaxing way to start the day… Bruce Wandmeyer, of course, is the sax player and slide guitar artist of Antsy McClain and the Trailer Park Troubadours. Hilary, his lovely wife, provided the meditation and soothed our souls.
This was why we were all here. We all share a love for Antsy, his music and his antics. And each of the band members in attendance were also a delight.
We sat around the amphitheater one evening to hear the stories behind Antsy’s upcoming new album, we requested songs, we sang along, we danced. It was time to be happy and relaxed. And we were.
And here are just a few more fun shots from my three days at Woodflock…I enjoyed the ride and now I have fond memories….
The trip to California was amazing. I loved every minute of it. I want to make sure to once again thank Carla and Ione for their kindness, generosity and amazing flamingo hospitality. Thanks to Ed…my partner in Men with Hats and good friend and photographer. Thanks to the other Flamingoheads for their familial friendship. Thanks to the Troubs for being the best musicians in the world. And biggest thanks to my dear friend, long time pal and practically a brother…that sweet guy known as Antsy McClain…without him, Woodflock wouldn’t be.