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After cancellation in 2020, the fair returns with food, music, rides, crafts, animals, competitions and more.

COURTESY PHOTO: OREGON STATE FAIR - The 157th Oregon State Fair takes place at Oregon State Fairgrounds, Aug. 27-Sept. 6.It was a mere 160 years ago that Oregonians — only two years after Oregon had become a state — celebrated their first fair in Oregon City.

The Oregon State Fair has been held almost every year in Salem since then, with one exception being 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic and government crowd restrictions led to its cancellation.

Now it's back, and organizers hope better than ever. Of course, we're still dealing with COVID-19 and government restrictions based on the surging delta variant of the coronavirus. But, plenty of food, music, rides, crafts, animals and competitions have been scheduled for the fair, which opens Friday, Aug. 27, and goes through Sept. 6 at the Oregon State Fairgrounds in Salem.

"We are elated to welcome our guests back," said Kim Grewe-Powell, CEO of Oregon State Fair.

Per state health and safety mandates, masks are required to be worn inside buildings and are strongly encouraged to be worn — by people vaccinated or not — at crowded outdoor events.

Organizers plan to offer a vaccination clinic at Cascade Hall at the fairgrounds. The fair has partnered with Salem Health and Oregon Health Authority for the vaccination opportunities, noon-8 p.m. Monday-Friday and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday during the fair. All three vaccines will be available: Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.

Several new experiences and performances will be at the Oregon State Fair, including Puzzlemania, GASCAR Crazy Animal Races and Farmyard Follies, as well as nine new carnival rides, including Vertigo, Round Up, Tip Top and Eruption.

A big attraction has always been the concerts at L.B. Day Amphitheater, and reserved tickets remain for all of them (and general admission tickets that come with fair admission go to first-come first-served visitors). The lineup:

Chicago, 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 27; Seether, 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 28; Jon Pardi, 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 30; Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo, 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 31; Zach Williams, 7 p.m. Sept. 1; Flo Rida, 7 p.m. Sept. 2; Granger Smith featuring Earl Dibbles Jr., 7 p.m. Sept. 3; Collective Soul, 7 p.m. Sept. 4; and Ezra, 4 p.m. Sept. 6. Also, the Dia de la Familia program includes two full days of music, starting at 10 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 29, and 11 a.m. Sept. 6.

Other happenings include the Jetpack Flying Water Circus, Farrell Dillon from the CW Network's "Masters of Illusion" and ongoing attractions that include the carnival from Portland's Rainier Amusements, FairLift (a ride offering a birds-eye view of the fairgrounds), a nightly finale featuring Sacred Fire Dance Company, DogTown (including X-Treme Air Dogs) and horse shows and 4-H and FFA competitions.

Admission is $8 for ages 12-64, $6 for kids 6-11 and $1 for 65 and up; carnival ride wristbands are $55; 125 game/ride tickets are $50. There are presale specials for admission and carnival rides online.

The fair opens at 10 a.m. each day. For more: www.oregonstatefair.org.


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