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The pandemic shut down the fair last year, but country music, corn dogs and demolition derbies will be back this summer

Yamhill County Fair's organizers announced last week that the annual celebration will return Aug. 4 at the fairgrounds in McMinnville, after the fair was put on hiatus last year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

For more than 165 years, the Yamhill County Fair thrilled and entertained generations of people with its rides, livestock exhibits and rodeo. Then, 2020 arrived and the world was thrown into a pandemic that shut down the fair and nearly everything else in American society.COURTESY PHOTO - County-western singer/songwriter Mitchell Tenpenny is slated to perform Aug. 5 at the Yamhill County Fair.

"Since 1854, the Yamhill County Fair has had the honor to showcase everything that is special about our diverse county," fair organizers wrote in a statement. "Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we were unable to hold our fair in 2020, making the next year very important for our community. We are chomping at the bit to put on the 2021 Yamhill County Fair."

To that end, organizers announced last week the line-up for the entertainment over the four-day event.

Country-western legend Clint Black was scheduled to perform on Aug. 4, but cancelled the show on May 26 due to COVID-19 concerns. Fair officials are trying to find a replacement entertainer for that date.

Slated for Aug. 5 is country singer/songwriter Mitchell Tenpenny, who will be riding the wave of his platinum-certified single, "Drunk Me," which came off his debut album, "Telling All My Secrets." Tenpenny has been opening for acts ranging from Lynyrd Skynyrd to Dustin Lynch, Maren Morris, Jake Owen and Brett Young.

The country theme will continue on Aug. 6 when singer/songwriter Ned LeDoux takes the stage at the fairgrounds. The Wyoming native kicked off his career playing drums in father Chris LeDoux's band, then struck out on his own in 2016 when he released his debut EP, "Forever a Cowboy." His first full-length album, "Sagebrush," followed in 2017 and was followed by the 2019 release of his sophomore effort, "Next in Line."

The final act in the fair's concert series will be a serious departure from the prior three when the '80s metal band Quiet Riot takes the stage on Aug. 7. The band — best known for big hair, screaming lyrics and over-the-top shenanigans on stage — has more recently seen many of its most popular songs used as soundtracks for video games like "Grand Theft Auto," "Legends of Wrestling" and "Guitar Hero."

In addition to the musical acts, the the annual Yamhill County Rodeo returns to the fairground Aug. 5, 6 and 7, with a demolition derby set for Aug. 7. The always-popular 4H and FFA livestock competitions will occur daily, carnival rides will thrill the kids and vendors will be hawking everything from elephant ears to corn dogs.

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/YamhillCountyFairRodeo or call fair office manager Lacey Carroll at 503-434-7524.


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