Hood River County Fair begins July 24

The fair opens Wednesday, July 24, offering open class, 4-H, FFA and commercial exhibits of all kinds.

The fair features more free kids games this year, including money toss, dummy roping and others, along with traditional carnival rides and midway fun, and special entertainment every evening — including country music star Darryl Worley on July 27.

Also note that the July 26 FFA-4H Livestock Auction starts at an earlier time, 4:30 p.m.

For the Worley concert, all fire, police and emergency workers and volunteers are encouraged to attend as it will include a tribute to men and women in emergency services.

As of Friday, every building at the fair is now fully accessible, with completion of a ramp to the fair office.

Fair manager Clara Rice said fair board members and other volunteers will drive a regular circuit from the shelter next to the Community Service to the west side of the fair, for those who need some help getting around.

While there will be no 4-H Horse Show this year, plenty of horse events are planned in the renovated Frank Herman Arena, including barrel racing, team penning and ranch sorting.

Regular general admission prices to the fair are $7 per adult Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and $10 on Saturday. Admission for children aged 6-12 is $2, and children under age 6 are admitted free. Season tickets are available. Parking is free.

The fair opens each day at noon, carnival rides begin at 1 p.m. Check the schedule, as 4-H and FFA events may begin earlier.

Every day is “Bracelet Day” on Cascade Amusements carnival rides. Save money on rides by purchasing a $22 ride bracelet ticket for just $17 in advance of the fair’s opening. They’re available at the fair office, Pine Grove Store, Mid Valley Market and Clem’s Market in Odell, at McIsaac’s in Parkdale, at Juanita’s Market in The Dalles, and at Juanita’s Market, E.T.C. and Columbia State Bank in Hood River, and must be purchased by 5 p.m. Wednesday, July 24.

On-stage entertainment begins Wednesday evening on the Park stage with Hardshell Harmony Bluegrass. Thursday, Johnny Cash impersonator Brandon Cash performs “Tribute to Johnny Cash” on the Park Stage at 7:30 p.m. The same evening, popular Zac Grooms & Brewer’s Grade appears on stage at Open Barns at 8:30 p.m. The 13-piece supergroup Banda Rebelde de Pacifica performs on the main stage from 8-10 p.m. on Friday.

Fair headliner Darryl Worley takes to the main stage at 8 p.m. July 27, presented by Griffith Motors. His outstanding career has made him a mainstay of modern country music. He’s had nearly 20 hit singles, including three that reached No. 1 on the charts.

His chart-topping albums have resulted in sales in the millions. He’s received nominations for five major ACM and CMA awards, and has also written songs for other artists, including George Jones.

Also free with admission are many other great attractions:

n The “Walk on the Wild Side” exotic animal show displays a wide range of exotic animals and reptiles in a jungle atmosphere — all ages love it!

n The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry brings its OMSI Science Program to the fair. It’s fascinating, and will keep the kids enthralled.

n Professor Bamboozle’s Road Show brings laughs and fun — and balloons — to the Park and fairgrounds each day during the fair.

n Godfrey the Magician brings his award-winning style of comedy magic to this year’s fair, and brand-new levitation tricks, too. He’ll perform in the Park each day.

The fair offers all kinds of things for the younger set. The “Kiddie Tractor Pull” will be held near the barns each day at 2 p.m. Using toy John Deere tractors, the competition is divided into age groups, and is fun for kids and spectators.

“Wool Busting!” is back, too. Kids up to 55 pounds can try their hand at riding sheep. It’s a start for the next generation of rodeo stars. Shows daily! And for bigger kids, Barrel Busting Sheep is new this year. It’s exciting rodeo action for kids over 55 pounds, and younger than age 12.

Popular Team Penning returns to the Frank Herman Arena, along with Ranch Sorting, and demonstrations of Cattle Cutting and Barrel Racing. There’s even a Cattle Dog Sorting demonstration. Check the schedule for all of these popular rodeo activities.

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Each bracelet ticket purchased may be used on any one day of the fair, and is good for rides all day long. Carnival rides begin at 1 p.m. each day, and continue until 11:30 p.m. or 12:30 a.m. depending on the day. The fair gates open at noon each day.

Friday evening, beginning at 4:30 p.m., is the 4-H/FFA Livestock Auction in the livestock arena. It’s the all-important culmination of a year’s work for the 4-H and FFA livestock exhibitors. Check the schedule for all the 4-H and FFA competitions and activities during the fair.

To reach the 2013 Hood River County Fair, travel I-84 to Hood River exit 64, then south on State Highway 35 to the Odell junction. Follow the signs to the fairgrounds at 3020 Wy’east Road.

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