Fair Time

Make a date in Odell, July 28-31

Traditions make Hood River County Fair an event to be appreciated every year for entertaining us while also preserving and displaying our county’s agriculture and rural ways.

The price is right, and virtually unchanged for the past 10 years.

As examples, the 4-H/FFA Livestock Auction, carnival rides, floral displays and Saturday night grandstand show provide a lively variety of events and activities for people of all ages.

These events and others are like familiar friends we see each year. But every time Fair comes around there’s something new to do, and this year will be no different; what stands out is the July 28 “Canned Corn Meal,” a benefit for Gorge Heroes Club.

It’s also an event that needs a little explaining:

John and Kathy Alley of Hood River enjoyed their first Canned Corn Meal on a vacation to Colorado and decided the culinary feast would be fun to share with family and friends.

The Alleys will supervise the preparation of vegetables and sausage in milk cans and be assisted by members of the fair board and Gorge Heroes Club.

The food will then be placed in a trough from which people will be allowed to select their favorite items.

Yes, in a trough; think of it as a salad bar with sausage. The “canned” term refers to the food’s preparation in an unusual vessel — unusual, but also sanitary. As part of the event there will also be music and a tribute to people in military service.

(Soldiers from the Hood River Armory will be given a complimentary meal, and veterans dine for only $5.)

Partaking of this unique meal is one way to honor those who serve our country while also savoring a new experience at the county fair.

When you’re done, stroll over and get a sticker at the sheriff’s booth, munch on an elephant ear, have a look at the lambs and pigs and take a ride on the Scrambler.

The fair starts Wednesday, and it will be much easier to get in and out, thanks to a revised parking system (again coordinated by Hood River Lions, speaking of great traditions).

Whether you’ve never been or haven’t given the fair a try for awhile, this is a good year to reconnect with a vibrant, and evolving, Hood River County tradition.

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