After being shut down in 2020 — and after having visitors shut out from visiting the exhibition hall that was actually set up in 2021, due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic — organizers of the 2022 Multnomah County Fair say this year will be in-person, and full of fun and activity.
The historic fair again returns to nonprofit Oaks Amusement Park for three days in May, over the Memorial Day weekend.
"Given the past two years, this — the 117th Multnomah County Fair — will be three times as big, and three times as interesting! We'll do this by diversifying our activities and vendors," enthused Larry Smith, President of Friends of Multnomah County Fair, the nonprofit organization that nowadays produces the historic county fair.
Smith — as well as Mary Beth Coffey, who retired from the Oaks Park Association — and Tracy Burback of FunTastic Shows, have all been working together to create a unique fair experience this month.
"Since COVID restrictions have lifted a bit, and wearing masks outdoors is no longer required, the three of us — and volunteer members of the fair's Board of Directors — have set about re-invigorating the fair," Coffey told THE BEE during a planning meeting at Oaks Park.
The remaining COVID restrictions will keep 4-H and Future Farmers of America from exhibiting this year, Coffey conceded. However, the American Rabbit Breeders Association will be holding a major regional judging competition on Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend.
"Considering the wide diversity of residents in Multnomah County, this year the fair presents entertainment and activities that represent the many native countries and cultures of the people who live in our region," Coffey pointed out.
For example, on one afternoon, Chinese "Lucky Lions" will prance through the fair and down the midway. "And, we've reached out to Irish, Native American, Hispanic, seniors, and LBGTQ groups, among others, who will provide a diverse range of entertainment at the all-new Multnomah County Fair," Coffey disclosed.
Smith chimed in, "Don't forget that the fair hosts the Creative Living Exhibit Hall in the Oaks Park Dance Pavilion — where Arts & Crafts, Floral, Photography, Needle Crafts, and Foods will be competitively judged. Plan now to submit items, and win cash prizes!" To obtain entry forms, and sign up, go online — https://www.multcofair.com/pageserver/exhibits
Carnival rides and 'fair food', too
"This is a really good partnership, because Oaks Amusement Park has amusement park rides for all ages, great 'fair foods', and acres of free parking all available to our guests," Coffey observed.
Friends of Multnomah County Fair operates on donations; it was incorporated in the mid-1990s after its own county fair was totally defunded by the Multnomah County Commissioners. "This year, we've gone out of our way to invite members of the Multnomah County Commission to come to the fair and be part of this famous celebration," Coffey said.
Find out how to enter the "Weiner Dog Races", see the lineup of talent, and check out all of the entertainment scheduled for at the 2022 Multnomah County Fair — by visiting their all-new website — http://www.multcofair.com
The Multnomah County Fair — admission to it is FREE at Oaks Park — is open from noon until 7 p.m. on Saturday May 28, Sunday May 29, and Memorial Day, Monday, May 30th.
Historic, nonprofit Oaks Amusement Park accessed on at S.E. Oaks Park Way — turn north at the railroad tracks, at the foot of S.E. Spokane Street in Sellwood. For more information about The Oaks, see their official website — http://www.oakspark.com
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