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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Latest video:

Lawnmower torches Arbor Vitae on Portland Drive

The riding lawn mower driven by Norma Cannon overheated and made contact with dry arbor vitae owned by Lee and Norma Curtis, sending more than a dozen of the tightly-packed trees up in flames. The mower, visible at far right, was totaled. No one was injured; neighbors first kept the fire at bay with garden hoses and Westside and Hood River Fire Departments responded and doused the fire before it reached any structures. Westside Fire chief Jim Trammell, in blue shirt, directs firefighters. The video was taken by Capt. Dave Smith of Hood River Fire Department. Enlarge

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