Trail Days followed tradition with festive bonfires and multiple deluges to keep the dust down. I was really surprised by the number of lightweight gear manufacturers there, even though it had been growing over the years.
The vendors included Six Moons, Gossamer Gear, GoLite, Hennessy Hammocks, Jacks'RBetter, Speer Hammocks, TinMan, Vargo, Packa, LuxuryLite, and others that just aren't coming to mind. The great thing with these smaller companies was that most of the owners were there to really provide some insight. One exception was Glen van Pelski, who couldn't make it but, Grant Sible was there.
Although Tent City was populated by mostly the heavier 2-man traditional style, there were a noticeable number of TarpTents, Hammocks, and a few tarps (however, I don't remember any 5x8' tarp/ponchos). So...although the light weight message is making it's way to the east coast, the hardware is changing more slowly. Maybe it's just the time delay needed for the old equipment to wear out, before buying new stuff...a foreign concept to some of us.
I got the Justin Gunn video featuring Glen van Pelski & Jackie Paulson, and we watched it on the way home in the minivan (the family had dropped me off at Trail Days for a separate trip). I found it a great intro to ultralight backpacking for traditional hikers. Here is the link.
There were some good talks, but unfortunately I missed the "Survival-lite vs Ultra-light" talk that Paul Fitzner from Etowah Outfitters led. He also sponsored a tarp pitching contest that exposed people to tarp camping in a nice hands-on and fun way.
GoLite sponsored a short hike to talk about ultralight backpacking and demo some equipment. Hey...BPL, where were you guys? Ryan, you should have heard what Coup was saying about you! ;-)