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Yamhill County Historical Society will hold its annual Farm Fest and Plowing Competition on April 4 in McMinnville

PHOTO COURTESY OF YAMHILL COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY - Draft horses of all breeds will go to work April 4 during the annual Farm Fest and Plowing Competition in McMinnville.

Area residents can take a step back in time in April when the Yamhill County Historical Society stages its annual Farm Fest and Plowing Competition in McMinnville.

Set for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 4 at the Yamhill Valley Heritage Center, 11275 S.W. Durham Lane, the event is in conjunction with the Oregon Draft Breeders Assoc., who has joined in the fun for the past decade. General admission is $8 and kids 12 and under enter for free. Admission to Farm Fest is waived for families who purchase a $30 family membership to the historical society.

"Attendance has steadily increased every year as we try to add new and additional exhibits and activities," said Raylinda Price, a spokesperson for the historical society. "Typically, 1,500 to 2,000 people attend every year, depending on the weather, but the plowing competition happens rain or shine. Come prepared if it's raining, but there are lots of indoor activities as well."

The event, now in its 12th year, is multi-faceted and includes the largest plowing competition with draft animals on the West Coast, according to a press release, including more than 20 teams of draft horses and mules. Also on tap are horse-drawn and antique equipment exhibits, Pioneer Kids' activities, historical displays, tours of the museum and the 1880s-vintage Hutchcroft School, old time music, food and more.

Vendors will be on hand hawking their wares and there will be demonstrations of the sawmill and blacksmith operations at the museum. The Plowman's Café will be open and offer a variety of snacks. Live music is scheduled throughout the day and will entertain in a variety of genres.

Because the historical society is primarily a volunteer-run organization, proceeds from Farm Fest and other events go toward operational costs to run the museum and to continue the mission of the historical society, Price said, which is to "Preserve Our Past and Enrich Our Future" as it pertains to the Yamhill Valley.

The society was established in 1957 and is now located in two spots: the original Lafayette location now houses the society's research library in the Miller Museum; the Yamhill Valley Heritage Center was built in the early 2000s and continues to expand with the addition of a blacksmith shop, sawmill and the one-room Hutchcroft Schoolhouse. Plans are to develop a pioneer village on the site as well.

Price said drawing people to the event in an age of electronics and online wizardry hasn't proven to be a problem.

"Over the past four year that I have been involved with the event I have notice that people are actually excited to come out to a live event such as Farm Fest and witness firsthand the early farming practices that are demonstrated," she said. "The teams of draft horses and mules that work the fields are something you can't just see anywhere anymore. You can meet the teamsters and get up close to the horses and mules."

For more information, call 503-472-2842, visit www.YamhillCountyHistory.org or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Arts & Leisure briefs

Ducks Unlimited annual fundraiser set

The Newberg branch of Ducks Unlimited will hold its annual fundraiser on March 7 at the Newberg Armory on Morton Street. Doors open at 5 p.m., dinner is at 7 p.m. and will feature prime rib and chicken. There will be multiple raffles, a silent auction and an oral auction featuring bird hunting trips, fishing trips, firearms and outdoor gear, as well as baskets for women and kids.

Funds raised from the event go toward restoration and conservation of wetlands throughout the Willamette Valley and in coastal estuaries, organizers said.

Cost is $65 per person or $85 for couples. For more information, Call Allan Hopp at 503-538-3421, 503-538-9219 or email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Winery will host 'pop-up' dinner on Friday

DAYTON – Domaine Serene winery will host The James Beard Taste America: Portland Pop-Up Dinner beginning at 6:30 p.m. Friday at its location at 6555 Winery Hill. This is the ninth dinner the winery has hosted for the James Beard Foundation.

Speakers will include Domaine Serene President Ryan Harris and the winery's director of winemaking and viticulture, Michael Fay. A cadre of local chefs, including Domaine Serene's own Ryan Mead, will pair a four-course dinner with wines from the area.

To reserve tickets for the event, visit www.DomaineSerene.com.


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