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Aug-01-2009 02:00printcomments

Opening Day for the BIG 2009 Oregon State Fair is Almost Here

Between August 28th and September 7th: the State Fairgrounds in Salem will become Oregon’s second largest city.

Oregon State Fair
Photo by Kevin Hays
Salem- News.com

(SALEM, Ore.) - Between August 28th and September 7th: the State Fairgrounds in Salem will become Oregon’s second largest city. Oregon’s biggest event of the year is getting set to open its gates at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, August 28th.

This year its guests – expected to exceed 380,000 in number – will experience a fair that’s BIGGER than ever, with new events and activities, plus all of the traditional favorites.

Fair Welcomes Back Iconic Tower, Holds Naming Contest

A 20th century Oregon State Fair icon is returning, with 21st century sustainability at the forefront. In the early 1960s, a 75-foot tower stood proudly at the center of the Oregon State Fairgrounds. Erected by NW Natural Gas in celebration of the Fair’s 100th birthday, it featured a natural gas flame shooting out from it. The 2009 version of this tower is an exact replica but with a sustainable twist: all the metal used to create it is donated, recycled steel, and the natural gas flame will be replaced with solar-powered laser prisms after the Fair. The structure of the solar-powered prisms can be seen during the 2009 Fair. The tower is being constructed in Donald, Oregon by GK Machine and will be permanently installed on the fairgrounds in the beginning of August. It is expected to become the meeting place at the Oregon State Fair, much like the clock tower is in New York City’s Grand Central Station.

The Oregon State Fair is holding a contest to name the tower. From July 15th to August 17th, participants can submit their ideas by e-mailing the Oregon State Fair: Dani.Gerber@state.or.us. On opening day, the top ten names will be unveiled at the tower and Fairgoers can vote on their favorite by completing entry forms available at the tower. The applicant whose name idea is selected will receive a Pendleton Woolen Mills blanket and recognition on the Oregon State Fair’s website.

Opening Day Events

10:00 a.m.- 2009 Fair opens

Happy Birthday Oregon!

In celebration of Oregon's 150th birthday, the Oregon State Fair will be passing out free party hats and noisemakers to the first 1,000 people through the gates on opening day.

Join party-goers and Governor Ted Kulongoski at 3:30 p.m. as they all sing Happy Birthday to Oregon at the yet-to-be-named iconic tower.

Veterans’ Appreciation Days

August 28th and 29th are Veterans’ Appreciation Days at Oregon State Fair. Veterans will be admitted into the Fair free of charge with a voucher available in Vets News.

Active military will also have free admittance when they show their military IDs. Traditional veteran displays will be showcased throughout the duration of the Fair. In addition, the Oregon State Fair will provide special activities during opening weekend including a fly-over on by the Oregon Air National Guard at noon on Saturday, August 29th and a display of military vehicles.

Also on Saturday, fair-goers can attend a parade through the grounds beginning at 12:15 p.m. and a USO-Style Show beginning at 1:30 p.m. on the Center Stage.

“Celebration Oregon!”

Attendees can enjoy local food and wine at “Celebration Oregon” from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on opening night of the Fair. The award winners of the only all-Oregon Wine Competition will be presented, plus attendees can taste wines from 50 wineries and food prepared by a dozen Oregon chefs. The first 500 to purchase tickets to this culinary event will also receive complimentary tickets to Pink Martini’s “Oregon! Oregon! 2009” show at 8:00 p.m. that evening. Tickets are $45 and available at TicketsWest (1-800-992-8499 or www.TicketsWest.com) and all participating Safeway TicketsWest outlets in Oregon. The event includes a silent auction to benefit Make-a-Wish Foundation of Oregon.

Blues, Brews & BBQ

On opening night and continuing each evening of opening weekend (August 28th to 30th), Fair-goers can taste Oregon craft beers and professional BBQ music for just $10.

Enjoy all the great Oregon blues acts, including Ty Curtis and Curtis Salgado, for FREE with Fair admission. Blues, Brews & BBQ take place from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. in the Picnic Grove and on the Spirit of Oregon Stage.

Bike Parade

The Fair’s first official bike parade will be fun for cyclists of all ages and abilities!

The parade route will be a four-mile loop from the State Fairgrounds in Salem to the Capitol building and back. Bike decorations and costumes are encouraged and Blue Ribbons will be awarded.

Riders should meet at the State Fairgrounds in front of the Pavilion off of Sunnyview Rd. at 5:30 p.m. Parade entrance is free, and participants will receive discounted Fair entry.

“Oregon! Oregon! 2009”

Hold onto your myrtlewood! In celebration of Oregon’s sesquicentennial: Oregon State Fair presents the debut of “Oregon! Oregon! 2009” – a rollicking Stan Freberg/Thomas Lauderdale musical with an all-star Oregonian cast.

First brought to stage in 1959 for Oregon’s 100th anniversary, this special Sesquicentennial edition includes a new Act IV, complete with brand new songs and plot. It was written by a team of Oregon luminaries, including Thomas Lauderdale of Pink Martini, Metro Council President David Bragdon, ‘Chariots of Fire’ conductor Harry Rabinowitz (age 92), and PICA Flash Choir’s Sarah Dougher & Pat Janowski and the writers of Livewire! The show is at 8:00 p.m. and tickets cost $12, $35 and $45 and are available at TicketsWest (1-800-992-8499 or www.ticketswest.com) and all participating Safeway TicketsWest outlets in Oregon.

Demolition Derby

It’s time to smash ‘em up at the Oregon State Fair! Taking place at 8:00 p.m. at the Pavilion, the derby is free with admission.

If you haven't seen one of these events up close and in person, you are missing out. There are few shows like a demolition derby, especially when the competition is strong and the drivers are at their best.

Location: Pavilion

Pink Floyd Laser Spectacular

This one-hour spectacle starting at 10:00 p.m. on August 28th and 29th, and at 9:00 p.m. on August 30th will thrill audiences with a multi-media laser and light show set to the music of Pink Floyd's greatest hits.

Located in the Sports and Recreation area, the show is free with fair admission.

What’s New at the 2009 Oregon State Fair?

Two New Stages of Live Entertainment

The Fair has added the Spirit of Oregon stage which features Oregon artists, and the Car Toys stage in the expanded Sports and Recreation area. That brings the total to ten stages of free live programmed entertainment during the Fair.

11 Straight Nights of Top Performers

From country great Reba McEntire to American Idol winner David Cook to pop star Katy Perry…plus The Doobie Brothers, The Gaither Vocal Band, Disney Under the Stars, and Peter Cetera with the Oregon Symphony…the 2009 concert line-up is not to be missed. Tickets are available for purchase at TicketsWest (1-800-992-8499 or www.ticketswest.com) and all participating Safeway TicketsWest outlets in Oregon, and at the Oregon State Fair office (2330 17th Street NE Salem, OR; 8:00 a.m. -5:00 p.m. on weekdays). All advance concert ticket purchases include admission to the Fair.

Helicopter Rides

Taking off from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. every day of the Fair. For $20 and $30 sightseers and thrill-seekers can enjoy a bird’s eye view of the Fair and the Salem area.

NPRA Rodeo Finals and After-Party with Aaron Tippin

The Finals are from September 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., at 6:00 p.m. in the Pavilion. The four nights of free professional rodeo will be topped off by a “Down in the Dirt” after-party concert featuring country star Aaron Tippin on Friday, September 4th. After-party concert tickets are $10, but the Rodeo is free with Fair admission.

Sea Lion Encounter

Get up close and personal with these amazing creatures. Shows take place Monday-Friday, 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 12 PM, 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Free with Fair admission.

Gossamer Magic

One of the world's greatest illusionists viewed by millions on ABC and CBS, Peter Gossamer combines original concepts and a fresh approach to the art of magic. His grand illusion, comedic vignettes and a charismatic personality will truly amaze you. Catch this show before it disappears from August 28th to September 7th, 3:15 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. at the Familyville Stage.

Monster Truck/Tuff Truck Combo Show

See these modified monsters with oversized engines, huge tires, and suspensions crush small vehicles on August 29th at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. in the Pavilion. Tickets are $5 at door (not including Fair admission).

100 Years of Pendleton Weaving

See what 100 years of beautiful weaving looks like at the Pendleton Mills blanket and clothing display, which commemorates their 100th anniversary. The display is open throughout the fair in the AmeriCraft Center.

2009 Key Information

DATES: Friday, August 28th – Monday, September 7th, 2009 (Labor Day)

LOCATION: Oregon State Fairgrounds, Salem

HOURS: Sundays-Thursdays: 10:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m. (late night areas until 10:30 p.m.)
Fridays and Saturdays: 10:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m. (late night areas until 11:30 PM)
Late night areas: food court, carnival and commercial exhibits

GENERAL ADMISSION: Adults (ages 13 - 64): $8.00/advance, $10.00/gate
Seniors (ages 65 & over): $4.00/advance, $6.00/gate
Children (ages 6 - 12): $3.00/advance, $5.00/gate
Ages 5 and under: FREE

Parking: FREE

NEW! Multi-Day Admission Passes:
4-Day Pass: Adult $25, Senior $15, Kids $10
6-Day Pass: Adult $35, Senior $20, Kids $15
11-Day Pass: Adult $50, Senior $30, Kids $20

General admission tickets are available for advance purchase at the Fairgrounds (2330 17 th Street NE, Salem, OR) and at all participating Safeway TicketsWest outlets (ticketswest.com; 1-800-992-8499).

For more information about the 2009 Oregon State Fair, visit oregonstatefair.org or call the Fair Information Line Toll-free at 1-800-833-0011.

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