Oregon State Fair concludes Sept. 2

Hundreds of free and ticketed activities and performances offer something for everyone.

Fair admission is the same as last year ($11 adults; $6 kids ages 6-12 and seniors; 5 and under free) and includes free entry to Harvestfest Aug. 31-Sept. 2, plus daily performances on seven stages.

Fair via Apps

Fairgoers can access fair maps, attractions, vendors and schedules on their iPhones and Android phones by downloading the “My Events Experience” app.

The Oregon State Fair Facebook page has daily updates and opportunities to win prizes.

Visit oregonstatefair.org for more information.

Tickets are available for headlining concerts and performances:

n Disney stars Bridgit Mendler and Shane Harper (Aug. 31)

n Country superstar Martina McBride (Sept. 2)

n Bullrageous, Rodeo-style show (Sept. 2)

Concert tickets can be purchased online at oregonstatefair.org, and by phone at 877-840-0457 up to the day of the performance. Service charges apply, except when purchased with a credit card at the box office, 2330 17th St. N.E., Salem, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Aug. 25 through the end of fair.

It wouldn’t be fair without some wacky competitions. Fairgoers can test their spitting distance in the Watermelon Seed Spitting Contest (Aug. 31) and indulge in the Willamette Valley Fruit Company’s Marion Berry Pie Eating Contest (Aug. 31 and Sept. 1).

There are also plenty of more serious competitions for connoisseurs of baking, brewing and even salad making. Bakers will try for the most delicious chocolate cake in Gerry Frank’s 54th Layered Chocolate Cake Competition (Sept. 1)

New in the Pavilion is Toytopia, a huge, hands-on exhibit featuring games and toys throughout the decades, including a retro arcade, a giant interactive dollhouse and the world’s largest Etch-a-Sketch. Also: brain-stumping puzzles at Puzzlemania, baby chicks at FarWest Hatcheries and entertainment on the Portland Spirit Cinnamon Bear Stage. All free with admission.

New for teens: Live 95.5 Club Energy Teen Zone, featuring a surreal party experience with Headphone Disco, weekend performances by Little Rascalz, Live 95.5 DJs, daily karaoke, glow parties and prizes. This is free from 3-6:30 p.m.; $5 admission after 6:30 p.m. Ages 12-18.

2012 America’s Got Talent winners the Olate Dogs perform unbelievable and adorable stunts, plus returning favorites NW K-9 Challenge will host their X-Treme Air Dogs dock diving championships. Free performances daily on the Pavilion Lawn. More animal exhibits are in Les Schwab Tires Familyville: New: Extreme Raptors, plus returning favorites Great American Petting Zoo and Walk on the Wild Side.

Animal contests include the Pygmy Goat Agility Fun Course (Sept. 1), and an opportunity to meet rodeo royalty from throughout the state, including Miss NPRA Sara Marcus and Miss Rodeo Oregon Nicole Schrock (Aug. 31).

Every day is an opportunity to see different breeds of cattle, sheep, pigs and other large livestock, plus baby animals and poultry. Many Oregon livestock ranchers are at the top of their craft and recognized nationally for excellence.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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