Tall, short, old, young, friendly, scary, hippie, pirate...all bumping elbows on the crowded streets of Carlsbad Village. For two weekends a year, North County gathers, at the Carlsbad Village Fair to barter for beaded keychains, bent-spoon sculptures, belly dancing outfits and other pointless novelties. They mingle together, unrestrained by social class, to cheer for one another's kids at the rock wall and support the local small businesses. However, underlying the communal gathering atmosphere lurks the real reason the fair even happens: consumerism. These vendors encourage the idea that "happiness and satisfaction come from attaining wealth and possessions" and make customers feel more successful because they are buying "things just because [they] want them" (Kasser 504, 507). Certain gimmicks attempt to instigate purchases: limited time and "just for you" discounts, appeals for charities, and reminders of Mother's Day. Does this rampant materialism hurt the consumers' well-being? It's hard to say from such a rare event, yet I believe that fair-shopping satisfaction comes from contributing to the community moreso than elevating one's social status.