Volunteers gearing up for modest Multnomah County Fair
Although it will be a vastly scaled-down affair, it looks as if the 115th Multnomah County Fair will indeed take place – open to the public, this year – at Oaks Amusement Park at the end of May.
In 2020, the 114th edition of the fair was unlike any other in its history, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. First, the Memorial Day weekend dates, and then postponed summer dates, were cancelled by Oregon coronavirus rules – but volunteers believed they'd be allowed to host a few guests to view exhibits in The Oaks Dance Pavilion. That plan was nixed as well.
Not giving up, finally on October 17, Friends of Multnomah County Fair (FMCF) volunteers hosted a "virtual" fair – as the exhibits were photographed and made into a program, later shown online. Only THE BEE was allowed to visit it in person, and you saw the pictures here.
"This year, we hope to host a small, but 'live', fair on the Saturday and Sunday of Memorial Day weekend," said indefatigable FMCF Executive Director Larry Smith.
"Our fair will be entirely contained within the Dance Pavilion this year, where we'll welcome gardeners, cooks, canners, bakers, artists, needle-crafters, photographers, and artists to bring their materials to be judged," Smith told THE BEE.
Oaks Amusement Park rides and concessions will be open, at the capacity that public officials then allow, during the fair dates.
"Sadly, due to ever-changing government regulations and conditions, we aren't able to schedule any outdoor activities this year – such as live entertainment, commercial vendors, and food booths," Smith conceded. "But, on the upside, FMCF is very happy to welcome the help of Fair Managers Tracy Burback of Funtastic Shows and MaryBeth Coffey, retired Oaks Park Association marketing manager – both of whom bring a wealth of experience to the fair!"
Entry by free timed-entry tickets
"As of right now, we would only be able to allow no more than 50 visitors into the building at a time – subject to change, for better or worse – between now and Memorial Day," pointed out Smith. "Admission will be by free timed-entry tickets, made through the Oaks Park website, www.oakspark.com".
He added that, this year, they are planning to "live-stream" fair exhibits and activities – including a Talent Contest – on their website, so that anyone reluctant to venture out to Oaks Park can see it from home.
· Entries for the competitions will be taken in from noon to 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 28.
· The fair will be open on May 29, from noon until 5:00 p.m., and on May 30, from noon to 4:00 p.m.
For the latest up-to-date information about the 2021 Multnomah County Fair – including online exhibit entry forms – see their official website – www.multcofair.org
Larry Smith of the nonprofit Multnomah County Fair informed THE BEE of new developments in the plans on May 10th:
"With Multnomah County out of 'extreme risk' through May, the Fair will be allowed to have guests in the building. Preference will be given to those with ticketed entry, obtained from Oaks Park's website (should be up and running the week of the Fair); walk-ins will be allowed in, if and when space is available -- but they likely will have to wait.
HERE IS THE NEW SCHEDULE:
Friday, May 28, Noon to 7:30 p.m. -- Exhibitors can take in entries outside the front door and set them up in the Dance Pavilion in Oaks Park.
Saturday, May 29, Open to the ticketed public from noon until 6 p.m.
Sunday, May 30, Open to the ticketed public from noon until 4:30 p.m. Exhibitors may reclaim items from 5:30 to 7 p.m.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we won't be able eto offer our normally-scheduled outdoor activities this year -- such as vendors, food booths, and entertainment. Oaks Park amusement rides will be available by prebooked appointment, and their concessions areas will be open.
We will be streaming Fair events on our website at various times on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday -- including performances from the winners of our online Multnomah County Fair Talent Show, in three age divisions."
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