OXFORD – Unbelievable. That’s how some of the few hundred Nateva Festival campers packing up to head home on Monday morning described the inaugural Fourth of July weekend event at the Oxford Fairgrounds.

The word also described the eastern fields where thousands camped for three days prior. Instead of trash strewn everywhere, left-behind waste was stowed in orderly row upon row of blue, black, and white trash bags.

Amid it all at 11:15 a.m., two young women wearing American flag bikinis slowly packed their gear into a car while basking in the 92-degree heat.

One, Rachel Rhynders of Syracuse, N.Y., intermittently stopped what she was doing, closed her eyes, raised both arms and swayed to a thumping bongo and bass rhythm streaming from a nearby campsite.

“It was awesome!” the waitress at the CopperTop Tavern in North Syracuse said of her first music festival. “I definitely loved it. The perfect vacation. It was the most relaxed time and the people here were so friendly, and the size was just perfect. I didn’t even see much people get in trouble.”

It was a nice reason to come to Maine, said her friend, Jordan Parkinson, also a CopperTop bartender from Syracuse.

Initially, they were going to spend the Fourth at the annual Disco Biscuits Festival at Mariahville, N.Y. It was closer and less expensive.

“I think if we went to the larger one, it wouldn’t have been so enjoyable — too many people,” Parkinson said.

The pair came to see the bands The Flaming Lips, Sound Tribe Sector 9, EOTO and Furthur perform.

Furthur, which featured two former Grateful Dead members, closed out the festival with “U.S. Blues” at 11:45 p.m. Sunday.

Several people commented about the very visible police presence, complaining that there was too much on-site security.

Of the 34 men and women booked into Oxford County Jail in Paris, 26 were arrested while at or near Nateva, mostly on charges of felony drug trafficking or possession.

Nateva Festival President Frank Chandler said organizers purposely stacked the deck with police and security to create a family-friendly music festival, safeguarding guests and surrounding communities.

“We wanted a safe environment and we were very clear about that,” Chandler said. “We took actions to make sure everyone who came knew we were serious. Drug dealers are not welcome in our community and we enforced that, and that’s what we’re going to do next year.”

Judy Allen, a nurse supervisor at Stephens Memorial Hospital in Norway, said emergency room staff saw several Nateva participants, but not as many as they’d expected.

“We saw numerous people with drug-related and non-drug issues, and there were a few who had problems with the heat and dehydration,” Allen said. “We planned for extra security because we expected an influx, but it was the equivalent of when the Dead came to town” in 1988.

Down Route 26 at Irving’s Lil’ Mart, convenience store and fuel station clerk Megan Annance of Oxford said the Nateva crowd was “polite and courteous.”

Back at Parkinson and Rhynders’ campsite, Parkinson looked skyward and sighed when Rhynders suddenly called out her name. Her friend had stopped packing and started dancing again.

“We’re never getting out of here,” said Parkinson, who was nearly nine hours away from a 12-hour work shift.

Rhynders smiled broadly and said, “Thanks, Maine, for having us.”