Set up in progress for ‘Rainbow Family’ gathering in Utah

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NORTHERN UTAH -- An international group of free-spirited campers who call themselves the Rainbow Family have chosen the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest about 40 miles from Heber for their annual July gathering.

It’s an event thousands of people travel from all over the world to attend.

When you arrive at the camp, chances are you'll hear, “Welcome home” or “loving you” from someone you don't even know, but the thing is when you arrive to camp you are considered family--part of the Rainbow Family.

"We’re a group of people that come together as a family and take care of each other and love each other and to try and promote healing and meditation and prayer, just love and we're just like a big family reunion,” said Avocado Andy, who is a chef for the Rainbow Family gathering.

"The Rainbow Gathering is a hard thing to sum up, it's a lot of things to a lot of people,” said Joshua, another attendee.

For decades, the Rainbow Family has gathered in remote locations all over the world--attracting people from all walks of life.

"I’ve been to one in Costa Rica, Canada, my daughter was born at a Rainbow Gathering in Quebec,” Joshua said.

This year’s camp spans for miles and miles in the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest. It’s an organic community where money is no good.

"We don't buy anything from each other,” Avocado Andy said. “We trade if we need to or we just take care of each other. If you have a need and it’s a need not a want, I’m going to make sure your need gets met.”

And all needs are met; there are doctors and nurses for emergencies, kids’ camp and yoga. There is an array of kitchens serving up a variety of food and there is running water.

"These guys run miles of above line 3-inch PVC pipe, running water to each kitchen or kitchen site so we can stay clean and sanitary and make sure no one gets sick because we don't want sick hippies in the woods,” Avocado Andy said.

The U.S. Forestry Service is patrolling the camp sites regularly, but the Rainbow Family said they are just here to spread peace and love. They said the weeklong event is kid friendly and alcohol free.

"We experience what nature really is,” said Buckles, a hitch hiker who attended the gathering.

"We’re just a big family, and anyone is welcome: If you have a belly button you are a Rainbow,” Avocado Andy said.

Right now is the official set up of the camp. The healing gathering where everyone is invited takes place July 1 through July 7.

Related story: Officials warning residents about 'Rainbow Family' gathering, LDS Church moving children from area


      • Charles

        Sorry to say but I stay clean, dress in nice clothes and almost definitely make way more money than you and this will be my 12th gathering. The rainbow has MANY colors.

      • your_freindly_neighbor

        u say smelly, dirty & trash riden, you then speak about all people. we arr all this way (every human being), including yourself. rainbows know how to clean up after themselves at best. we should (and the great majority of rainbows do) respect and love our environment.

        with personal experience in both environments from forest to city, i see the most consumption, trash, waste and disrespect in the cities. where ever you, sir, arr at–maybe you should take a trip to camp-out with positive intentions and compassion, and you will truly see how dirty and messy a rainbow gathering is. we as beings bring to it (and anything) what we will; whatever your outlook or point-of-view you have is what becomes your reality. if you are dirty and messy and you go there or anywhere you will naturally fixate your focus on such. just sayin ~ Love n’ Light Brother, Be Safe

    • mama sara

      hey its mama sara how can i get ahold of you find me on face book sara ibach or dead mans jewel

  • Finn Humane

    Glad FOX published a informative and good hearted article. KSL went on a slander parade.

    The gathering is a good place. Family cleans up everything in the area when it’s over, alcohol and drunkenness is highly discouraged, and violence is a never.

    Call us freaks, hippies, or whatever you will. But we are kind people looking for a week in the woods with our brothers and sisters. Just let it be known, we don’t call you those things!

  • Jacob

    Why waste your time promoting hate Mike Hunt ? Go be a normal clean hardworking human then, and let us dirty hippies be

    • It Is Me

      His screen name is Mike Hunt. Think about it for a second, say it out loud a few times, you’ll get it.. He’s being a jerk on purpose. Most people who are unhappy with themselves and with life act that way.

      • dirty hippie

        utah could use some dirty hippies and less men married to 20 different women at once most under the age of 16… just saying. and being a hippie doesnt mean you dont have a job and arent hardworking. being a hippie means loving one another for who they are and accepting even the weirdest folkd from all walks of life.

  • Avocado Andy

    Bickering in NOT the answer, folks. If Mike wants to hate on us, Let him. We know the truth about who we are. We need to set good examples through our actions. I have a good job and my own home, and my hair is short and I keep my self clean. This year marks 11 years of Rainbow Gatherings for me. I would encourage all of you to come to The Gathering, swing by The Instant Soup Kitchen, ask for me (Avocado Andy) and we can chat about breaking “Rainbow” stereotypes. And thank you, Carly Figueroa, and your cameraman, Mike. Doing this interview was a lot of fun.

  • Mommy

    This article states – When you arrive at the camp, chances are you’ll hear, “Welcome home” or “loving you” from someone you don’t even know, but the thing is when you arrive to camp you are considered family–part of the Rainbow Family
    This is not true if you are looking for a loved one who has suddenly decided they want to dis-communicate from their family and friends and the family just wants to know – why? and wont allow their child to disappear nor give up on their child (luckily we have a big family too).. wanna see a pack of wolves attack, be asking questions about a missing person, just don’t be alone.

    • Buttercup

      Really, Mommy? My experience has been that the family has always tried to connect families with their loved ones. Generally, a message is sent out, by voice on foot, via email, social media posts and etc., that they are being looked for and to please call home to let them know you are OK. You may have encountered a reluctance to put you in direct contact, even if they could, because not everyone looking for someone has their best interests at heart. Also, some people just don’t want to be found for their own reasons and that is generally respected. Still, if they were found, they would be encouraged to make contact with you. My advice is make up a flyer, go to the camp called “Info” and let them know your situation. My friend Karin posted the following on the “2014 Rainbow Family” Facebook Page today. (You can post there, too): “Let your loved ones know where you are and save me a bunch of stress
      That is the best start for spreading the word. Good luck. Warmly, Buttercup

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