Oregonians will come together August 23-September 2 to enjoy carnival rides, fair food favorites, competitions, entertainment, animals and more during the Oregon State Fair. Hundreds of activities are free
with admission: daily stage entertainment, livestock, arts and crafts, vendors.
Fair admission is the same as last year ($11 adults; $6 kids ages 6-12 and seniors; 5 and under free) and includes free entry to the Classic Cars, Blues, Brews & BBQ festival Aug. 24-25 and Harvestfest Aug. 31-Sept. 2, plus daily performances on seven stages.
Headlining concerts and performances:
• Country artist Brantley Gilbert (Aug. 23)
• Celebrity Impressionist Terry Fator (Aug. 24)
• Classic Country Group The Oak Ridge Boys (Aug. 25)
• 80’s rockers REO Speedwagon and Loverboy (Aug. 30)
• Disney stars Bridgit Mendler and Shane Harper (Aug. 31)
• Country superstar Martina McBride (Sept. 2)
• Bullrageous, Rodeo-style show (Sept. 2)
Concert tickets can be purchased online at oregonstatefair.org, and by phone at 877-840-0457 up to the day of the performance. Service charges apply, except when purchased with a credit card at the box office, 2330 17th St NE, Salem: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. M-F until Aug. 20; 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. Aug. 21-22; 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Aug. 23-24; and 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Aug. 25 through the end of Fair.
Carnival and fair discounts
• Les Schwab Tires Kids Day: Monday, Aug. 26 – Kids 12 and younger get in to the fair free from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. All rides and games are half off when purchased by 5 p.m. This is also Foster Family Day; foster families get in free with valid certificate documentation.
• Wristband Ride Days: Tuesday, Aug. 27 & Wednesday, Aug. 28 – unlimited carnival rides for $30. Session 1: Wristbands sold 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; rides until 5 p.m. and games until 10 p.m. Session 2: Wristbands sold 5 to 9 p.m.; rides begin at 6 p.m., rides and games good til 10 pm.
• Celebrate Freedom Day: Tuesday, Aug. 26 – Free admission for veterans and active military; family members pay regular admission prices.
Special events and attractions
• Pairings! A Celebration of Oregon Wines, Cuisine & MusicThe first big event of fair begins at 4 p.m. Aug. 23. Oregon wines will be paired with hors d'oeuvres prepared by Oregon chefs, with performances by the Libertine Belles and Pepe & the Bottle Blondes. Tickets: $35, includes fair admission.
• Dia de la Familia on Aug. 25 features the FREE show Dareyes de la Sierra, plus performances by Oregon talent show finalists in Tengo Talento, Mucho Talento, presented by Estrella TV.
• It wouldn't be fair without some wacky competitions. Fairgoers can test their spitting distance in the Watermelon Seed Spitting Contest (Aug. 31) and indulge in the Willamette Valley Fruit Company's Marion Berry Pie Eating Contest (Aug. 31 and Sept. 1). There are also plenty of more serious competitions for connoisseurs of baking, brewing and even salad making. Cake decorators will compete to design the Capitol’s 75th Birthday Cake (Aug.24) and bakers will try for the most delicious chocolate cake in Gerry Frank’s 54th Layered Chocolate Cake Competition (Sept.1)
• Toytopia: a huge, hands-on exhibit featuring games and toys throughout the decades, including a retro arcade, a giant interactive dollhouse and the world's largest Etch-a-Sketch. Also: brain-stumping puzzles at Puzzlemania, baby chicks at FarWest Hatcheries and entertainment on the Portland Spirit Cinnamon Bear Stage. All free with admission.
• Live 95.5 Club Energy Teen Zone, featuring a surreal party experience with Headphone Disco, weekend performances by Little Rascalz, Live 95.5 DJs, daily karaoke, glow parties and prizes. Free 3 to 6:30 p.m., $5 admission after 6:30 p.m. Ages 12-18.
• 2012 America's Got Talent winners the Olate Dogs perform unbelievable and adorable stunts, plus returning favorites NW K-9 Challenge will host their X-Treme Air Dogs dock diving championships. Free performances daily on the Pavilion Lawn. More animal exhibits are in Les Schwab Tires
• Familyville: Extreme Raptors, plus returning favorites Great American Petting Zoo and Walk on the Wild Side.
• Fun contests, shows and events are happening throughout fair week in the BARNS, including a Sheep Decorator Show and Shearing Demonstration (8/24), Cow Olympics (8/27 and 9/2), Pygmy Goat Agility Fun Course (9/1), and an opportunity to meet rodeo royalty from throughout the state, including Miss NPRA Sara Marcus and Miss Rodeo Oregon Nicole Schrock (8/31).
• Of course, every day is an opportunity to see different breeds of cattle, sheep, pigs and other large livestock, plus baby animals and poultry. Many Oregon livestock ranchers are at the top of their craft and recognized nationally for excellence, such as the cattle that will compete in the Roll of Victory Angus Show (Aug. 25).
Fairgoers can access fair maps, attractions, vendors and schedules on their iPhones and Android phones by downloading the "My Events Experience" app. The Oregon State Fair Facebook page has daily updates and opportunities to win prizes. Visit oregonstatefair.org for more information.