This article appears in the June 2018 edition of the Salem Business Journal.
The Marion County Fair is full STEAM ahead July 12 to 15, 2018, at the Oregon State Fairgrounds.
Marion County Fair is a celebration of all things Marion County, including the 175th birthday of Marion County! We're giving a nod to the milestone of 175 years of service – a pretty incredible fact considering the state was just a territory back then.
The number one attraction at the fair is still the animals. The barns will be bursting with youth animal projects from rabbits and chickens to swine, goats, sheep, beef, and dairy – and everything in between.
In addition to the 700 youth that enter their creations, livestock projects, and more, the public competitions continue to grow. You don't have to be in 4-H or FFA to show your stuff at the fair. The coloring contest is still a popular way to put your artwork on display and earn a free entry to the fair. It's not the same old jar of jam that wins the blue ribbon! Marionberry Cheesecake? What recipe are you famous for? Earn bragging rights and show your ribbon – enter it in the fair! The full list of classes and departments is available on the fair website at www.marioncountyfair.net.
Heidi DeCoster, Fair Board member and superintendent of the hobbies department, is bringing back the Lego LIVE tournament on Sunday this year. The tournament features different age groups in a live timed contest with judges and great prizes. Lego builds can also be entered and displayed at the fair, which is a great way for kids to show off creations made at home.
The Marion County Fair Board is always seeking new attractions and fun things for fairgoers to do at the fair. One goal is to make the fair not only fun, but also the county's biggest classroom. Attendees can learn all about animals and agriculture with displays and presentations by members of Marion County 4-H and FFA. All the traditional farm critters will be there with miniature cattle, llamas, and pygmy goats with their own competitions. The petting zoo is popular for kids of all ages to get their hands on adorable critters. Barnyard Adventures provides hands on exploration into digging potatoes, milking cows, and more.
STEAM returns to the fair thanks to sponsors like the Marion County Farm Bureau and Country Financial. The STEAM Lab is a live build where kids and adults can get their hands on and experiment. Five amazing labs are offered on Friday and Saturday of the fair including: dirt babies, DIY 3D glasses with Google Cardboard, ferris wheel challenge, fireworks salt painting, and back by popular request the water balloon launch!
In addition to the STEAM labs and hands on activities, you can join in the learning fun and win prizes too! The STEAM Game is treasure hunt, trivia, and drawings for prizes all wrapped into one. Grab a game card and find six answers to questions located all over the fair. Completed game cards can be entered for a chance at dozens of great prizes.
Art Jam returns with booths full of amazing creations and activities such as Raku ware. You'll find STEAM answers there too.
Racing fans will love the All Alaskan Racing Pigs that are returning for another lap around the track! Fly ball dogs' competition features hundreds of amped up super racers in action packed fun. Plus, you can see race cars and more at the car show on Sunday.
The fair offers something for everyone!
Thursday is Honor Day, starting the day with great deals for veterans, active duty service personnel, and seniors. A tribute to veterans takes main stage and makes for a great first day at the fair. Stop by the Real Heroes area to learn about fire, police, and military services. We're also hosting a Pioneer Party to celebrate Marion County's founding 175 years ago.
Friday is an AWESOME day. Any kiddos wearing Awesome 3000 shirts from the Salem-Keizer Education Foundation Awesome 3000 race get in free! Carnival rides, inflatables, and more will keep you busy all day and ready to hear Steve Augeri former lead singer from Journey LIVE on stage.
Agriculture Day is every day at the fair but especially Saturday! Rodeo fans – Wild West Events is back – with their action packed rough stock challenge on Saturday night, followed by Easton Corbin live on the main stage.
Family Fun Day is Sunday – Star Wars, superheroes and Disney princesses. Free books and the Home Depot kids build are all FREE Sunday activities. Marion County Teen Idol and Talent Show takes center stage with specials and discounts to make it a great day for the family.
Funtastic Shows carnival offers presale discount wristbands online now and Madjek Inflatables Kid Zone is always popular, as are the amazing food booths and great shopping throughout the commercial exhibit areas.
The Marion County Fair is July 12 –15 in Salem at the Oregon State Fairgrounds. Check out the website for details at www.marioncountyfair.net and follow us on Facebook (@MarionCountyFair) for updates and fun contests.