WTF is Wooly Fair? A memoir.

It began as a cathartic backyard talent show in 2005 at Providence's Steel Yard. That year, our stage was the back of a ramp truck and one of our headliners was a woman who played a saw like a cello. There were free and utterly unsafe rides in the back of Unimog and armaggedon-inspired game booths. That was the year "50 cent cockfights" debuted as an all-too-soon destroyed puppet theater. Nobody won. And everyone won. It was hellish / heavenly. In 2006, we did it all again but differently - Wrestle the Chef, Adult Tricycle Races while the excellent electro band Ebu Gogo played, a meaningful torch run and a celebratory lighting of the Wooly Cauldron where we somehow managed to destroy the torches on loan from Waterfire (Thank you, Waterfire for your graciousness). All different, but a pattern was emerging -- creation, catharsis, destruction -- served with an unearthly twinkle in the valley of a city promoting itself as The Creative Capitol.

Into the future, Wooly Fair ambled, each year different, but each year gathering a dedicated flock of Woolies -- the makers, artists, and artists-at-heart -- there to construct the ephemeral event, revel in it, and then break it all down. Wooly meaning warm. Wooly meaning wild. Wooly Fair celebrates the human impulse to make a place from your imagination with your own hands, make it with friends, and then throw a party inside it. Wooly Fair often as spectacular, weird, and impractical as a dream, a place as momentary as we (cosmically) are. Every year it is different, because every year we are different. But we remain, some iteration of that original thing, bound by the same Wooly spirit that coaxed music from a saw, or delighted in grownups riding tricycles. Wooly Fair is all that and then some: ghostly hoop lanterns, mirrored lights, and sewers filled with popcorn. Costumed denizens pelting you affectionately with popcorn as you enter. Put on some bunny ears. Lower yourself through the manhole. Come in.