A Columbia Gorge summer highlight arrives soon. Loaded with exhibits, family-friendly tradition, and fun for everyone, the Hood River County Fair, returns to the Hood River County Fairgrounds, Wednesday through Saturday, July 26-29. The fair has been named “best in the state.” It’s known for outstanding entertainment, fun activities for kids and adults, a wide variety of displays, and food to please every taste. The fairgrounds are at 3020 Wy’east Road, south of Hood River, Oregon, near the community of Odell. The Hood River County Fairboard organizes the fair, and a wonderful group of community sponsors and hard-working volunteers make it possible.
The fair serves up open class, 4-H, FFA, and commercial exhibits of all kinds, along with carnival rides and midway fun, exotic animals, livestock, daily appearances by dynamic performers, special entertainment every evening—including Country Music’s Sammy Kershaw on Saturday–great activities, and all kinds of delicious food.
Regular general admission prices to the fair are $8 per adult Wednesday and Thursday, $10 on Friday and Saturday. Admission for children aged 6-12 (inclusive) is $3. Children under 6 are admitted free. Season tickets are available ($30 adults, $10 ages 6-12 inclusive). The fair gates are open daily from 9am to 11pm. FFA and 4-H activities start early, with additional exhibits, displays, and attractions opening at noon, and carnival rides beginning at 1pm. Check the schedule, so as not to miss great events. Golf cart shuttles provided by Griffith Motors and Les Schwab are available to take those needing assistance around the grounds.
Musical entertainment begins Wednesday evening on the park stage at 7:30pm, with a tribute to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers featuring Frank Murray as Tom Petty in “Petty Fever.” On the same stage, Thursday, at 7:30pm, Randy Linder and his band present “Creedence Revelation” saluting John Fogerty and the Creedence Clearwater Revival.
Friday evening, it’s a full evening of Hispanic music on the main stage, with Los Patrones De La Tierra Brava at 7:30pm, and Raza Obrera beginning at 9:30pm. Sponsors of Friday evening’s entertainment are Hood River Supply, Juanita’s Fine Foods, and Hood River Taqueria.
A tribute to country artists Reba McEntire and George Strait, “So Good Together,” starring Kimberlie Hall and Bill White, opens Saturday evening’s entertainment on the main stage at 7pm, before fair headliner Sammy Kershaw takes the main stage at 8:15pm, presented by Griffith Motors. Known for his Pure Country sound, Kershaw is back with his newest album Better Than it Used to Be, which harkens back to earlier hits such as “Cadillac Style,” “She Don’t Know She’s Beautiful,” “National Working Woman’s Holiday,” and many more. His love of performing for live crowds is obvious. It’s easy to understand why his ten albums have resulted in more than 25 singles entering the Top 40 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts.
All musical performances are free with paid admission to the fair. Also free with fair admission are many other great attractions–many found in the park area, or around the fairgrounds.
New this year is The Pirate’s Parrot Show, sponsored by Little Shredders Dental. Pirate-themed, with a pirate ship and costumes, the stars of the show are the parrots! Interact with the colorful birds, learn about them, watch them flying. It’s a unique and fascinating experience. Shows at 12:30pm, 3pm, 5:30pm, and 7:30pm each day near the Floral Building.
Heather Pearl is a professional funny woman, and she brings a full complement of talents and skills, including stilt walking, clowning, juggling, magic, and acrobatics. She’ll be in the park, and around the fairgrounds.
Everyone will love the Exotic Animal Show, displaying a wide range of exotic animals and reptiles in a jungle atmosphere every day in the park area!
Godfrey the Magician brings award-winning comedy and levitation tricks to the park stage daily at 2pm and 5pm, as well as around the fairgrounds.
Little kids can even take a free pony ride in the park. Saddle up!
The Frank Herman Arena will be a busy place during the fair. Don’t miss the Hispanic Dancing Horses Show, Wednesday at 7pm—Las Misterosa Banda will perform.
Thursday through Saturday there will be popular Ranch Sorting practice and competition, Jackpot Ranch Sorting, Youth Roping and Games, Roping Exhibition, and more. Check the schedule for all of the popular arena activities.
Every day is “Bracelet Day” on Cascade Amusements carnival rides. Save money on rides by purchasing a $25 ride bracelet ticket for just $20 in by Wednesday, July 26, at 5pm. They’re available in Odell at the fair office, Mid Valley Market, and Hood River Supply; at McIsaac’s Store and Jim’s Market in Parkdale/Dee; at Juanita’s Market in The Dalles; and at Juanita’s Market, Hood River Supply, and Columbia State Bank in Hood River, and at Columbia State Bank in White Salmon. 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 1pm each day, and continue until closing. The fair gates open at noon each day.
Friday evening, beginning at 4:30pm, is the 4-H/FFA Livestock Auction in the Kirby Ring. 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, activities, and awards programs.
To reach the 2017 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, at the corner of Wy’east and Summit roads. Or drive Highway 26 to its intersection with Highway 35, then north on Highway 35 to the Odell junction. For additional information, call the fair office at 541/354-2865, or check the website at hoodriverfair.org.