In 1974, the Barter Faire was created to help a community connect and barter surplus harvest and goods for other goods needed for winter. Through the years, the Okanogan Family Faire (OFF) has become an annual event attracting vendors, musicians, artists and crafts people from communities, near and far.
The Okanogan Family Faire is a non-profit organization registered in the state of Washington, Okanogan County. The purpose of this charitable corporation is to provide community events which support public education on a broad range of traditional, rural, economic, and spiritual values that reflect respect for the diversity of all people, wildlife and earth.
The Faire was started by Skeeter (Michael Pilarski, Friends of the Trees Society) in 1974 to help folks be able to trade their surplus produce and goods for things they needed to help them through the winter. The first faire was near Lake Chelan because a large communal community (Antakarana Circle or Circle A.) had grown near Manson. After that first event, the Faire moved farther North into the Okanogan Highlands. Overtime, the organizers of the faire formed an unincorporated group that called itself The Barter Faire Association. As the Faire moved around, it became obvious to organizers that hauling the infrastructure was a tremendous challenge of logistics. Moving outhouses, water barrels, signs, gate houses, etc, seemed like too much work for a three day festival. Also there was the issue of finding a site that was large enough and landowners who were willing to allow this event to occur on their property.