Site Preparations and Legal Maneuvering
Alba explained about the site saying that the 160 acres had been purchased as part of a plan to make a permanent community. He said that 100 acres of the land was a natural amphitheater and that the remainder was a wooded site with plenty of grounds for camping. Three springs and a river were located on the grounds and the springs had been tested for purity and would be used to provide water for the event. Seattle's Open Door Clinic would provide medical care. Four ambulances would be onsite and a lifeguard would be posted at the river. Fair supplies would be airlifted into the site by four helicopters. Fire lines would be built and fire fighting equipment strategically located. A free food center run by the Hog Farm Collective would dole out enough rice and vegetable dishes for 50,000 persons daily. Other food would be sold at cost by different organizations. A parking system would keep traffic flowing continuously and talks were underway to secure an additional 80 acres of parking.
Alba explained that much of the equipment being used at the site was left over from the ill fated Buffalo Party Convention at Eatonville, which had been closed by court order in Pierce County during early July. Squads of fair workers had been scattered throughout the Northwest in an attempt to attract people to the fair and they were to distribute maps when the location was released. Leaflets would be dropped on Vortex I, the rock festival in Estacada,Ore. which was semi-endorsed by the state, in an attempt to draw young people away from downtown Portland and the American Legion Convention.
What happened next depends upon who the story was being heard from. The Sky River people said that Edwin Tate was herd ed into the courtroom by the Sheriff's office, badgered by the Prosecuting Attorney's office, confused, frightened, and talked into signing an order to kick the people he had just sold his property to, off that property.
Tate's attorney, Robert O'Dell, said that Tate, realizing at last what the festival people were up to, signed the order with the idea of rescinding the deal and stopping the procedings.
Whichever version was correct, the order telling people to leave was delivered Tuesday afternoon, Aug. 24th, by Chief Deputy Eugene Cotton. Ric Alba , a spokesman and leader of the group, received the order at the site, but declined to leave.
Charles H. W. Talbot, Seattle, an attorney representing the Hydra Collective, said that Sky River youths have rights to the property as a check for $1,000 binding the sale of the property had been presented to an escrow company on Monday, Aug. 24th.