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Buzz at the Beach

Annual Oktoberfest shows a culture in transition

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The second weekend in October was a busy one for local culture, with most major venues working one or two significant spots. The biggest among them was probably Beaches Oktoberfest, built around the SeaWalk Pavilion and centered on a First Street strip that’s drawn more negative press in months past than anything outside the vacuum of space.

None of that was on display, however. There was a dignified amount of public drunkenness, and little if any violence.

Neither City Hall nor the police had a solid estimate, but there were easily thousands in attendance. It was more than enough to pack the event (not to mention surrounding bars and restaurants) with revelers. The slate of bands, headlined by The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus on Saturday and The Wailers on Sunday, drew a youthful, progressive-minded crowd. Most of them appeared to be all-in on decriminalization.

Yet, even deep in the crowd, the ambient aromas of Alfalfa ashes were overwhelmed by the smells of grilled meat, tobacco and funnel cakes. Vape Nation was out in force, but it just wasn’t as wild as one might have expected–probably because the crowd was surrounded on all sides by police checkpoints.

And because the (high) times, they are a-changin’.

There was at least one vendor at Beaches Oktoberfest that has reaped tremendous benefit from the passage of Amendment 2. Little Man’s Big Friend opened up just a few months ago, selling a range of quality CBD-based products suitable for both man and beast. They offer a variety of soaps (I got the “O.G. Hemp Kush Exfoliant”), made with ingredients like honey, terpenes, silk protein, argan oil, almond grain, oatmeal, sativa hemp extract oil and goat’s milk. Each kind of soap contains 200mg of CBD, and they can double as a shampoo or shave bar. The vendor also sells seven types of lotion, at concentrations of 250mg and 1,000mg, ideal for right out of the shower. (I got the lemongrass and tangerine.) They also sell four flavors of tincture and vape oil, at concentrations ranging from 100mg to 2,000mg. These go under the tongue, onto your food or straight into your lungs through the gimmick of your choice.

Best of all, the place is a one-stop shop for pet-owners, since they make three varieties of pet tincture at concentrations of 100mg and 250mg. These are available in flavors that even humans might enjoy: Bacon, Peanut Butter and Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil. Technically, humans could try them, but they’re made for dogs, cats and horses, all of which have similar vascular systems and physical needs as we do. They’re all hypoallergenic, and mostly vegan-friendly, ideal for soothing all manner of skin conditions.

Their CBD base is in the Great Northwest, at a Washington company that supplies a number of vendors in the region; samples are then sent down to Naples, Florida, where they double-check the stuff for purity and consistency. You can reach them online at littlemansbigfriendcbd.com or call them at 599-0696. You can also find them every weekend at Ramona Flea Market, which is always a good time anyway. Little Man’s Big Friend is just one among several excellent vendors, and it’s a much better alternative to just getting drunk and rowdy, though of course there’s always time for that, too.

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