Linn County Fair ropes in close to 30K attendees in ‘fantastic’ turnout

Nearly 30,000 people attended last week’s Linn County Fair over its three-day run, according to Linn County Fair & Expo Center Manager Randy Porter.

More than 13,709 people came to the fair Saturday, July 16, enjoying mid-70-degree weather during the day. They packed the house in reserved seating as well as general admission to watch popular country rock band Sawyer Brown on the Main Stage that evening. The award-winning group has traveled coast-to-coast for 38 years. Other headline shows were Sara Evans on Thursday, July 14, and Five For Fighting on Friday, July 5.

Attendance on opening day Thursday was more than 8,000 and almost 7,700 on Friday.

Rodeo action and Mutton Bustin’ drew big crowds into the Calapooia Arena as well.

“It was fantastic,” Porter said. “We blew 2019 out of the water.”

The fair was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2021 fair was up 70% as people were excited to get out and about once again.

“I was hesitant to compare this year’s fair to 2021 simply because it had been so wildly successful, but the truth is, this year’s fair held right up to it in many areas,” Porter said. “Our food numbers were up significantly. The carnival was down a little.”

Porter thanked fellow staff members Kris Barnes, Rachel Lytle, Joel Sannan, Rory Warren and Jordan Myers as well as many volunteers who made the fair happen. Porter, who will retire at the end of the year, said this was the first time in his 24 years with the Expo Center that he sat down and enjoyed an entire musical concert: Sawyer Brown.

Fair Board President Kris Latimer thanked Porter and his staff and the many volunteers who did everything from put out traffic signs to haul guests to and from parking lots.

“Linn County turned out in such a big way,” Latimer said. “They really supported the fair vendors and of course, the Youth Livestock Auction was amazing. It looks like another record at nearly $1.2 million.”

Latimer said temperatures in the 70s and 80s were welcomed.

Roger Nyquist, chairman of the Board of Commissioners, said he feels fortunate to live in a county where there is a “very strong sense of community that continues to celebrate and honor the role agriculture plays locally.”

“We would like to thank everyone who attended the fair, our staff and volunteers who made this happen,” he said.

In addition to Latimer and Nyquist, fair board members include Damon Martin, Ed Perlinfein, Steve Mote, Kerry Johnson and Dr. Mike Huber.

Although the tally isn’t complete it appears the annual Linn County Youth Livestock Auction had another record year. Add-on donations to projects were still being accepted Monday, July 18.

Photos of the champion livestock winners are available at http://www.lcyla.com/. See local winners in our online gallery.

(Information was provided by contestants and 4H leaders.)

The top 20 buyers were Advanced Mechanical, Relco Roof and Floor, George Van Dyke Trucking, RAM Trucking, Cascade Timber Consulting, Farmland Tractor, JZ Trucking LLC, Pratum Coop, Riverland Rentals, Nutrien Ag Solutions, Weyerhaeuser Santiam Lumber, Mid Valley Farms Inc., Pimm Farms, Elite Equipment Rental, Barenbrug USA, Coastal Farm, Cox Farm, Dr. Ben Braat, Radiator Supply House and Faithful Friends Animal Clinic.

– Alex Paul, Linn County Communications Officer