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The county stopped supporting it years ago, but volunteers keep the Multnomah County Fair going every year in Southeast

DAVID F. ASHTON - At Oaks Amusement Park, to stake out the outdoor exhibit space, are Multnomah County Fair Board President Larry Smith and Courtney Lobo, Oregon State University Extension Service 4-H Education Program Assistant. The 111th annual Multnomah County Fair will be held on Memorial Day Weekend, May 27-29, at historic Oaks Amusement Park, on the east bank of the Willamette River, just north of the Sellwood Bridge. As usual, parking and admission are free. And this year's fair will make a point of honoring military and first responders.

"This year, 4-H clubs will play an even more important role in this year's fair, and will bring several new attractions," said Courtney Lobo, Oregon State University Extension Service 4-H Education Program Assistant.

In addition to the usual animal judging and craft displays, there'll be a "Maker Space", Lobo told THE BEE. "This will be a hands-on learning area where kids can come up and learn skills such as rope-making and knot-tying, and there will be an electronic area with small circuit board projects," Lobo said. "Also, we will be hosting a project with Portland Urban Beekeepers, who will have an educational display called 'Catch the Buzz'."

And this year, members of the 4-H Youth Advocates for Health program will provide healthy cooking demonstrations for fairgoers too, Lobo added.

"We're bringing three days full of entertainment to the fair," said Multnomah County Fair Board President Larry Smith. "Plan now to enter your crafts into the competitions in arts and crafts, photography, floral and garden, foods, and needlecraft in the Historic Dance Pavilion."

Returning attractions include camel rides, Professor Bamboozle's magic show, local musicians and dancers, the "Walk on the Wild Side" exhibit, and – new this year for adults – a beer garden, Smith pointed out.

The midway will be open during the fair at nonprofit Oaks Amusement Park, with rides available at family-friendly prices. The Multnomah County Fair will be open from noon to 7 p.m. each day, May 27-29; and, again – with free gate admission and parking. If you're not sure how to get there, go west on Spokane Street, past Oaks Pioneer Church and cross the railroad tracks – then turn north on Oaks Park Way.

If you would like to enter an exhibit, or would like additional information about the fair, go to the website – multcofair.org – or call 503/737-4921.

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