Multnomah County Fair ‘enlarged’ this Memorial Day Weekend

INCLUDES HISTORIC VIDEO | There’s still time to get your crafts (and crops) ready to win blue ribbons as this year’s Fair at Oaks Amusement Park, held again for three days at the end of May …

Continuing their tradition, the Multnomah County Fair returns to Oaks Amusement Park on Memorial Day Weekend.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

As you read this, Memorial Day Weekend may still seem a ways off. But, volunteers from the Friends of Multnomah County Fair have been busily preparing for the 117th Multnomah County Fair (MCF), which will celebrate its 118th season on May 27th, 28th, and 29th.

“The only year we’ve missed was in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown in 2019,” explained the organization’s President, Larry Smith, at a mid-April planning meeting on the grounds where the Fair is now held — historic, nonprofit Oaks Amusement Park in Portland.

He and the volunteers are getting ready to put on another great event, says Friends of Multnomah County Fair president Larry Smith.

“Since its inception, much of Multnomah County has changed from rural farmland into urban city areas,” reflected MCF Co-Manager and Entertainment Director Mary Beth Coffey.

“With funding no longer available for groups like Future Farmers of America and 4-H in the county’s schools, the agricultural focus of the Fair has now turned to cultural aspects of the community,” Coffey explained. Consequently, the Fair is focusing on adding more cultural diversity.”

Demonstrating the skills of hoop juggling she’ll be performing at the Fair, it’s Kendall Rae Moyer of Bright Heart Circus.

However, each day between 1 and 3 p.m. each day, breeders will still be showcasing live small animals, Coffey pointed out.

“While you won’t see barns full of large animals, you will enjoy top notch local talent performing on Center Stage, by acts reflecting our area’s diversity,” Larry Smith chimed in. “A highlight will be Dia de la Familia on Sunday, presented by – and celebrating – our county’s growing Latino community.”

In the 2022 Multnomah County Fair’s Creative and Living Arts Exhibition, judges and visitors look at the many entries all competing for ribbons and cash prizes. East Portland News archive image

Returning this year is the Creative and Living Arts Exhibition, which will again be inside the Oaks Park Dance Pavilion. Here, entrants compete for cash prizes with their sewing, gardening, crafting, culinary arts, and photographic entries.

“We’ve added some new judging categories this year!” Smith enthused. “You now need not reside in Multnomah County in order to participate – and, every department has categories for kids of all ages.”

CLICK HERE to open the Fair’s webpage for entry forms.

Kun Li, and Ophilia (correct SP) Lu with the Vision Envoy Dance Group perform part of a dance number they’ll be performing at the Fair.

All day long, throughout the long Memorial Day holiday weekend, you’ll find live entertainment on stage. And, as you stroll through the Fair, there’ll be vendors’ booths to shop, and other activities to engage your attention.

On Saturday, the Dashing Dachshunds’ “Wiener Dog Races” return. And on the third and final day of the Fair – Monday, Memorial Day – enjoy the Westside Kruzerz car show.

Mianel Aiaujo, of Ballet Papalotl Folklorico, is one of their many dancers who will perform on Dia de la Familia at the Fair.

“Again, admission to the Multnomah County Fair is free,” Smith pointed out – although Oaks Park now does charge a daily parking fee in its parking lots.

The Fair does not close down the carnival rides and fun at the nonprofit park, either. You can still enjoy the Oaks Amusement Park thrill rides every day of the Fair, at regular prices.

Watch our video showcasing the 2022 Multnomah County Fair:

“We’re frequently updating our website with new events, entertainment acts, and features – so please take a look,” invited Smith. So, learn all about the 2023 Multnomah County Fair online  CLICK HERE.

© 2023 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™



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