In a rather nondescript field in Colorado Springs, CO tucked within a valley at the shadow of BASS Pro Shop nearly 40,000 people gathered to witness the first ever Tiny House Jamboree. Billed as “the Sturgis of tiny houses”, the Jamboree became a phenomena in its own rite. For three straight days a surging, growing, group of people ambled around the Mining Museum’s lawn to hear over a dozen notable speakers, tour one or all of several tiny houses, and to share conversation with vendors. Heck! Some even showed up to drink a local brew, eat a barbecue sandwich, and just be in the presence of like minded folk. They came from all 50 states, more than a dozen countries, and every socio-economic demographic imaginable.
Presented by EcoCabins out of Colorado Springs, the event had been hyped up for months with most expecting somewhere between 2500 and 3500 people. No one expected over 35,000 and certainly no one expected the community that formed just within a weekend. But consider such a success to only be a warmup as Zaruba and his team have announced the 2nd Annual Tiny House Jamboree to be held August 5 – August 7, 2016 in Colorado Springs, CO. No more information has been provided as of yet but there is speculation abounding regarding ticket prices, featured speakers, tiny houses on tour, etc however entrepreneur, businessman, and founder of the Jam, Darin Zaruba adds, “After experiencing the first Tiny House Jamboree with the great community, and meeting all the amazing people in this crazy movement, we couldn’t not do it again. It became like a gigantic family reunion, meet and greet, Woodstock festival, and beer fest all rolled into one – all around tiny living. Several people told me it was a life-changing experience, and I took that responsibility seriously. What’s not to love about all that? Had to be done!”
Over the last few years the love of tiny houses has grown from a niche movement to a full-fledged cultural exchange and national events such as the Jamboree as well as Ryan Mitchell’s Tiny House Conference are capitalizing on such. Both are well suited to offer a glimpse into the life of a tiny houser as well as the popularity of the movement on the whole though the two vary greatly as to their audience and their profit margin.
The biggest difference thus far is that there will be an entrance fee for the Jam in 2016. According to their Facebook page the cost will hover around $8/day or rather $25/weekend. Considering the number of vendors, homes, speakers, etc. present at the 2015 event, $8/day is a serious bargain. Parking was even free!
As you prepare to attend the 2016 National Tiny House Jamboree consider keeping these tips in mind:
- Book your hotel or campsite early. There are few near the location so they will go quick
- Bring sunscreen to the event
- Food and beverage is allowed to be brought inside the fairgrounds
- Wear comfortable shoes
- Consider making a trip out of the event with your MeetUp group, Facebook group, or local interest club
- Smile at everyone you meet
All said, will you be attending the 2016 National Tiny House Jamboree? Did you attend the 2015? What did you like about it? What did you feel could have been different?