The Cowbell Tolls for Thee

If you're anything like me, your neighbors are unlikely to hold a joyous community celebration of your life. You are bitter, unhappy and scared of horses. But the jolly ranchers of our eastern canyons unabashedly whoop it up this weekend in a neighborly two-day bash for Dusty Sullivan, their own Mrs. Good Samaritan. Ya'll are invited to mosey down to the newly refurbished community center under the oaks and sycamores of Silverado Canyon, where they'll honor the memory of the late Sullivan, a beloved local activist and gentle spirit who never met a person she didn't like.

Besides buying local arts and crafts and consuming tasty high-sodium and sugary fair fare, this two-day country-style shindig offers a chance to take in the rustic surroundings. What this rural community lacks in sidewalks, traffic signals and neighborhood associations, it makes up for in funky cabins, geo-domes, weird mansions, pet llamas, equestrians, eco-Libertarians, tree-hugging Sierra Clubbers, rodeo gals, yogis, birdwatchers, fiddlers, pickers, strummers, warrior mountain bikers, loud jersey-wearing cyclists, camo-wearing hippies, purpose-driven born-againers, dog lovers, peace freaks, pot growers, volunteer firefighters and Harley riders. All call themselves canyon folk or canyon freaks, whether year-round or weekend only. Join them at the checkered-tablecloth picnic tables among bales of hay, big hats and boots. Eat bratwurst and chili, enjoy live music, and practice being Dusty and Will Rogers. March in the doo-dah-style freeform “un-parade,” and catch local band Graceland Mafia (recent openers for Dave Alvin), the Mike Reilly Band and others.

Dusty Sullivan was lauded for being kind and nonjudgmental, her positive example reminding us of what our own lives might be. God, I hate people like that.

Silverado Country Fair at Silverado Community Center, 27641 Silverado Canyon Rd., Silverado Canyon, (714) 649-2095. Sat., 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Daytime admission, $1-$3; Saturday Night Music Festival admission, $5.

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