‘Fair Well’

By SUE RYAN

News staff writer

August 2, 2006

The deserted midway and empty fairgrounds in Odell Monday morning stood in sharp contrast to the bustling activity seen from Wednesday through Saturday during the 2006 fair.

“Awesome,” said Hood River County Fair Manager Clara Rice.

She said that Saturday’s gate sales were probably the biggest turnout for the fair with the draw of country-western singer Josh Turner.

“His sound man, his manager and I looked over the crowd and estimated 5,000 for the concert alone,” Rice said. “But even with that the carnival and food vendors were still busy.”

One of those who turned out for Turner’s performance and presence was fan Tracy McCafferty of Hood River. She stood front and center snapping away pictures with her cell phone as he launched into his first set.

Rice said in contrast to 2005 when the fair office had vendors shut down about 2 a.m. on Sunday, many of this year’s food vendors ran out of food.

“They were out of food at midnight (Saturday) so had to shut down,” she said.

That included customers queued up at Carnitas Michoacan, where Tone Diaz chopped meat with a cleaver.

Rice said the fair went smoothly, with only minor incidents reported by the sheriff’s office. She also said the fair owes a great deal of thanks for how smoothly things went to the sheriff’s office and all of the Lions Clubs involved in helping to park cars.

The number of local exhibits entered overall was down, a fact that Rice attributed to the triple-digit temperatures on the day of entries. The weather cooled considerably by the weekend, which aided those 4-H and FFA members during the four-hour auction Friday night.

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