Great County Fairs in Oregon

by Lauren Braden on August 3, 2018

in Trip Ideas


Great County Fairs of Oregon

I grew up in a small town in southern Illinois that had been settled by Swiss/German Catholic farmers a few centuries ago. Instead of a county fair, we had a fair every August called Kirchenfest on the sprawling church parking lot, and my Dad was in charge of making the funnel cakes. He usually let me help by finishing off each plateful of sweet fried dough with a generous sifting of powdered sugar. After a few hours of “helping” I would start to feel the sugar crash from the many bits of funnel cake I’d snuck off the plates and right into my mouth. SO GOOD.

But there is more to the county fair than powdered crispy bits of dough, or deep-fried food on a stick. There’s the community celebration of the accomplishments of ordinary citizens, like the tastiest apple pie, best home-brewed beer or crunchiest preserved pickles. I’m talking about Blue-Ribbon recipes, of course.

And then there is the fair at night… spinning lights on carnival rides and first kisses on the big wheel. There’s something exciting and just a tiny bit dangerous about the fair after dark, at least in our dramatic imaginations.

Over the next few weeks, Oregonians have their pick of great county fairs. Which is your favorite?

 Five Great County Fairs in Washington State



Tillamook County Fair, Tillamook.

August 8-11 2018.  Map.

When I think of Tillamook I think of its famous cheese… perhaps that’s why this fair has more dairy animals on display than any other county fair in the state. The Tillamook County Fair is recognized as one of the top ten Blue Ribbon fairs in the nation for its unique offerings. But that’s not all that’s unique to this county fair. Come for the horse races and demolition derby, but stay for the Pig ‘N’ Ford race, where folks drive around the track in stripped-down Model T’s with pigs under their arms. Admission: Adults $10, seniors $6, children ages 6-11 $6, ages 5 and under FREE. Contact:  (503) 842-2272




Photo courtesy of Umatilla County.

Umatilla County Fair, Hermiston.

August 7-11 2018, Map.

“Let’s Stirrup Some Fun” is the theme of the Umatilla County Fair, where you’ll enjoy a patriotic parade, live music and livestock Got a baby? If you’re feeling competitive, enter your little cherub in the Pretty Baby Contest or pucker up for the Watermelon Seed Spitting Contest.  Admission: $7 for adults and $5 for seniors $4 for youth ages 6-12. Kids 5 and under FREE. Contact:  (541) 567-6121.



Clackamas County Fair and Rodeo
, Canby.

August 14-18, 2018 from 10am – midnight (8pm Sunday). Map.

Step right up for blue ribbons, classic carnival rides and family-friendly rodeos, all at a price you can afford! Moo with the plethora of livestock, then head over to the talent show and shoe ’em what you’re made of, whether your talents lie in hog calling or break dancing. Admission: $8 for adults and $5 for seniors and youth. Kids 7 and under FREE. Contact: 503-266-1136.



10300436_10152500616124309_3423771659409604118_nDid you miss your local county fair? Oregon’s biggest fair, the Oregon State Fair, is August 24— September 3, 2018 in Salem.





GOOD TO KNOW: This article was originally published in 2012 and is updated every summer because we love county fairs!
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