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Thousands flock to Woodward for Symbiosis festival

A largely 20- and 30-something crowd was filing into Woodward Reservoir Regional Park north of Oakdale on Thursday morning for the four-day Symbiosis Gathering getting underway. The camping and consciousness festival features music, art, dance, speakers, workshops, a Kidziosis zone, food and drink and other vendors. Here, in the parking area around the box office, Guppy Swims, from Georgia; Pookha Fae, from Oregon; and Chef Paddi, from New Orleans greet other arriving festivalgoers.
A largely 20- and 30-something crowd was filing into Woodward Reservoir Regional Park north of Oakdale on Thursday morning for the four-day Symbiosis Gathering getting underway. The camping and consciousness festival features music, art, dance, speakers, workshops, a Kidziosis zone, food and drink and other vendors. Here, in the parking area around the box office, Guppy Swims, from Georgia; Pookha Fae, from Oregon; and Chef Paddi, from New Orleans greet other arriving festivalgoers. jfarrow@modbee.com

Before play comes the work – of getting into Woodward Reservoir Regional Park for the four-day Symbiosis Gathering that started Thursday.

Slow-moving lines to buy or pick up event wristbands at the box office outside the festival grounds were followed by slower-moving lines of cars to the admission gate.

No one seemed in a particular hurry, though, as Symbiosis attendees waved to familiar faces in other vehicles and on occasion hopped out to visit when vehicles were at a standstill, which was often.

Campsites along the shore were filling up fast with RVs and tents. The gathering, held at Woodward in 2013 and 2015, drew a sellout crowd of 15,000 people last year.

Organizers have said Symbiosis, a traveling event now in its 11th year, will be in Oregon next year.

This year's event has six stages of music and also will offer interactive art installations, other performances and hundreds of talks, workshops and yoga sessions.

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