Thousands enjoy 2019 Multnomah County Fair

Discover why volunteers work to keep this free, fun family event alive and lively. The Fair is over, but nonprofit Oaks Amusement Park is now open on weekends until school is out 

Families have fun taking in the Vendor Midway at the 113th Multnomah County Fair, held Memorial Day weekend at historic Oaks Amusement Park.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

All of the fun and interesting ingredients that make a county fairs, typically held in the late summer or fall,  are taking place at the 2019 Multnomah County Fair, held in historic, nonprofit Oaks Amusement Park over Memorial Day weekend, May 25-27.

“At this, the 113th edition of the Multnomah County Fair, there is everything one would expect to enjoy,” said Friends of Multnomah County Fair (FMCF) Executive Director Larry Smith.

From Howling Creek in Hockinson, Washington, fairgoers watch Noah Robbins who shows how police dog training begins with this “new student”, Franklin, a German Shepherd.

“And, we look for new events and so we keep bringing in new and interesting attractions that haven’t been in county fairs in the past, such as our opening day event we’ve christened ‘The Dog Days of Spring at the Fair’ that includes a dog parade, doggie costume judging,” Smith said. “And more serious-but-fascinating is seeing highly trained law enforcement canines and trained, working dogs go through their paces,” he added.

At this officially sanctioned show, hosted at the fair, American Rabbit Breeders Association certified judge George Germaine grades a French angora bunny.

Families enjoy looking at reptiles in the “Bugs Galore and More” exhibit.

Another new attraction catching the interest of visitors is called “Bugs Galore and More”, Smith noted. “They have all kinds of creepy crawlies, including bugs and reptiles; and I understand the iguanas like to be petted!” he said.

Grown in their back yard, Woodstock Elementary 3rd grader Aliya Kobus proudly shows her “Best Novice Youth” and blue ribbon awards for her rose entry, while her brother, Hosford Middle School 6th grader Andrew Kobus, shows of his “Best Youth Blue Award” for his oregano specimen.

Happy to win a blue ribbon for “Best Beef Jerky” is Lents neighborhood resident Jeff Walters.

The Oaks Dance Pavilion was filled with exhibits being judged in many categories, including plants and flowers, food preparation, arts and crafts, and quilting.

The fair has had several locations after in the mid 1990s, when the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners gave away the fair grounds, now known as the Expo Center, to Metro, and cut all of its funding, before handing it off to FMCF volunteers.

Rocking out on the Main Entertainment Stage is Bob Voll and the Too Loose Band.

Again, audiences enjoy the free Prof Bamboozle Magic Show is at the fair.

“We’re so grateful that Oaks Amusement Park has hosted the fair for several years now, allowing this more than century-old tradition to continue,” Smith told East Portland News. “Our all-volunteer organization believes it’s important to keep providing this true family event that continues to delight kids – of all ages,” he added.

“A small disappointment is that, after brief resurgent of 4-H clubs, with governmental funding drying up, it’s forced them to cut programs and lay off their staff so there is a very limited group exhibiting here this year,” Smith informed.

Hungry? Check out the “Signature Grilled Chicken Sandwich” being served by Chef Tim Zirkle of Z-Gourmet Events.

Taking a twirl on the Oaks Amusement Park Tilt-a-Whirl are Michelle Roshak and Hannah Elton.

While visiting the fair, many folks opted to also spend time on the Oaks Amusement Park midway rides, available a family-friendly prices.

With good weather, thousands of people came from all over the Pacific Northwest to spend time at this year’s Multnomah County Fair.

Although the fair is over, Oaks Amusement Park is open on the weekends until school is out.  Historic Oaks Amusement Park is located at the west end of SE Spokane Street at 7805 SE Oaks Park Way, 97202. CLICK HERE to see their website.

> On the Front Page:
Rhylee Yarbor shows her prize-winning bunny, “Dream”

© 2019 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™

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