Clatsop County Fair Welcomes Back the Community Like Old Friends
Reminders of the difficulties of the past year are everywhere. We see it in our bank accounts, on the empty shelves at the grocery store, and hear about it on the news, but there is one place that feels “normal,” where you can almost forget about the pandemic, and that is the Clatsop County Fair. Perhaps it’s because it mostly happens outdoors, or maybe because it represents decades of tradition, but for a few hours on a Friday night, I felt like I did when I visited the fair as a child. I felt unencumbered and joyful.
Observing the faces of those around me, I could tell the joy was infectious. From the kids getting off the rides to the adults choosing their spot of grass for the Josh Turner concert, everyone was focused on the present moment, and that felt so wonderful! By the time I left, I was exhausted in a good way, the kind that comes from a day of too much sunshine and exhilaration. I had a skip in my step and a sparkle in my eyes.
Rides Aren’t Just For Kids
Admission to the fair was FREE, which meant that my friend and I had even more money to spend on rides and whatever else our hearts desired. Nearly as many adults were on the rides as there were children. We paid $50 for 120 ride tickets, valued at .50 each. The most thrilling rides cost 12 rickets or $6 for about four minutes of fun. It was worth every penny! Our favorite ride was the Vortex. At first, it looks just a bit like a kiddy ride, but then it swings you high then low again while going round and round in a small capsule at full speed. We screamed liked school girls. We also enjoyed the Ali Baba, and the view of the fairgrounds at the top took our breath away!
Indulging in Fair Food
There’s something about the decedent choices of fair food that makes kids of all ages release all inhibitions and act as if it’s their last meal. Sink your teeth into a funnel cake or curly fries smothered in nacho cheese or feast on a barbeque turkey leg with a deep-fried snicket chaser. The choices are as endless as the gastrointestinal consequences, but for many fair guests, it’s worth it, especially after a year of being cooped up with mom’s cooking!
Say Hello to the Animals
Wandering through the animal barn watching the antics of the animals is always fun. I enjoyed a pleasant encounter with a shiny brown goat bleating his little heart out, begging for attention, or maybe he wanted to go home. My goat speak is a bit rusty these days. The cows were massive and very serious, while the geese and turkeys carried on as only fair fowl can. Trying to get in a late afternoon nap, the pigs didn’t want anything to do with all the commotion.
Big Name Concerts
Musical performance and headliner concerts are always a big draw to the fair. The attire for the Friday night Josh Turner concert was clearly urban county as concert guests flaunted their best cowboy boots and colorful cowboy hats. As they settled onto their spots on the lawn, anticipation filled the air for a night of LIVE music. Remember LIVE music? Oh yeah baby! It’s back.
County fairs offer the best in family entertainment because there is something for everyone. From games where you can win a stuffed animal that later becomes a garage sale freebie to vendors hawking the latest fads, it’s good times and beautiful memories for all. So, get out there and enjoy your summer!