Rainbow Family discusses values, gathering at Steamboat meeting
Six members of the Rainbow Family of Living Light met at Bud Werner Memorial Library Saturday afternoon to meet with Steamboat community members and discuss the upcoming Rainbow Gathering.
Though the meeting was sparsely attended, members of the Rainbow Family took the opportunity to discuss the logistics of the festival in addition to the values of the loose-knit, nonhierarchical group. A similar meeting was held in Craig the evening of June 22.
The Rainbow Gathering will take place in Adams Park in Routt National Forest, just north of Hayden. This congregation marks the 50th anniversary of the first Rainbow Gathering, which took place in Grand County in 1972.
The members emphasized that they “try to be in a place and a way that we’re not stepping on anybody’s toes,” and welcomed visitors to come by their camp during the gathering, which will take place July 1-7.
“This is just an outspoken event of people that want to see something more in their lives than they had when they grew up,” said Val, a member of the Rainbow Family who has attended gatherings since the 1980s.
Attendees explained some of the logistics of the gathering, such as their plans for food and water. In preparation for an influx of people coming to the forest, about 4-8 miles of flexible pipe has been laid to move and filter naturally occurring water.
Gathering attendees will be able to eat vegan food distributed from the “main circle”. There are other smaller kitchens, where different types of cuisine are cooked up by attendees, ranging from bread, to Indian food or a kosher kitchen.
They added that they are hoping Routt County Public Health will come to the camp to ensure the festival can operate safely. They said there had been some outbreaks of disease at previous gatherings, but that they strived to be cautious and wanted the event to be safe and healthy.
Steamboat local Angie Gamble coordinated an earlier meeting at the library to discuss the Rainbow Gathering.
“Rainbows believe that we’ve been given a sense, a conscience, and we can tap into that and what love really is,” she said.
She added that the purpose of the group is to foster community, practice acceptance, and pray for peace.
Routt County residents have expressed concerns, particularly about the environmental impact of the gathering. A section of Routt National Forest just south of where the gathering has taken place has been closed, effective Saturday, June 25.
Attendees emphasized that while visitors are welcome, they request that no one comes through the camp on motorized vehicles the morning of July 4, which is when gathering attendees participate in a silent peace celebration and prayer.
To reach Katy Pickens, call 970-871-4208 or email her at kpickens@SteamboatPilot.com
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