Hood River County Fair starts Wednesday in Odell

Entries will be accepted starting Monday

The 2003 Hood River County Fair, set for July 30 through Aug. 2, will offer nationally-know entertainment, lots of opportunities for county residents, and fun for all.

Hood River County residents still have time to take advantage of opportunities to exhibit their creations and/or demonstrate their talents at the quickly-approaching 2003 Hood River County Fair. And everyone still has time to save some money on the fair’s fun carnival rides.

The fair’s open classes offer county residents almost unlimited opportunities to display the products of their hobbies, gardens, farms or kitchens. From art to photography, cakes to canned goods, school projects to quilts, flowers to collections, poultry to tree fruits, there are open classes to permit almost endless opportunities for residents to display their talents and products – and perhaps win a ribbon or premium. Exhibits will be entered at the fair beginning Monday at 1 p.m. Pick up a free Hood River County Fair Book at one of numerous locations in Hood River, Odell, Parkdale, and Cascade Locks, check exhibit times and requirements, then plan on being an exhibitor at the fair.

The Hood River County Fair Talent Contest takes place from 6 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday in the fairgrounds’ park area. Prizes include cash and performances at the Oregon State Fair. Attendees will enjoy fine performances by local people.

Every day is “Bracelet Day” on Cascade Amusements carnival rides. Save money on carnival rides by purchasing a $15 ride bracelet coupon for just $12 in advance of the fair’s opening. They’re available at the fair office and at Waucoma Bookstore and E.T.C. in Hood River, and must be purchased before 5 p.m. Wednesday. Each bracelet coupon purchased may be used on any one day of the fair.

Carnival rides begin at 1 p.m. each day, and continue until 11:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, and to 12:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday. The fair gates open at noon each day.

Wednesday is Family Day. For just $10, an entire car full of family and friends gain entrance to the fair, and the opportunity to enjoy the Hood River county Talent Show, the Soroptimist Barbecue, and the 4-H Style show. Regular general admission prices are $5 per person, children aged 6-12 $1, and under 6 are free.

Thursday is Senior Citizen’s Day. Hood River county residents age 62 and older, are admitted to the fair for $2 per person, and invited to enjoy a special free lunch served at noon in the park. Seniors from outside the county may join them for lunch for $2.

The fair sound heads south of the Border Thursday evening, as popular Latino band Los Temeros performs on the park stage at 8 p.m.

Appearing Friday evening at 8 p.m. on the main stage is country singer/songwriter Jonathan Harris, well known as an enthusiastic opening act for performers such as Merle Haggard, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Jo Dee Messina, Black Hawk, and many more. His music appeals to all listeners, and is gaining a quickly growing following.

Fair headliners Riders In The Sky take to the main stage at 8 p.m. Aug. 2. Grammy winning musicians, they combine refreshing acoustical music and a wide repertoire with outrageous comedy. They are guaranteed to entertain listeners of all ages regardless of musical preference. They even provided music for Disney/Pixar’s movie “Toy Story 2.”

All musical performances are free with admission to the fair.

There will be plenty of other fair fun, too. The Pirate’s Parrot Show, with a 40-foot pirate ship and up to 20 parrots, appears three times each day — at 3 p.m., 5 p.m., and 7 p.m. And Michael O’Neill, clown, juggler, and stilt walker, will perform daily.

On Wednesday, the Hood River Soroptimist Club will once again hold its popular barbecue from 5 to 7:30 p.m. On Friday evening, the 4-H/FFA Livestock Auction begins at 6:30 p.m. at the animal barns. Saturday morning, at 8 a.m., the 17th annual Open Horse Show takes place. Master gardeners will have displays in the center of the floral building, and will offer free seminars Friday and Saturday afternoons.

New this year is the “Kid’s Creative Corner” in the north gym. Kids 14 years and younger are invited to make a craft or art project, then take it home at no cost. Also new is a comfortable place for adults to relax and rest for a few moments as they make their way through the exhibits.

The fair even has a special program for young summer visitors to our county. Children under 16 who are not county residents, but who are visiting an adult resident, are invited to make a project with that adult during their visit, and enter it in this special program.

For more information about the 2003 Hood River County Fair, call the fair office at 354-2865, or check the Web site at hrfair.com.

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