This article appears in the July 2019 edition of the Salem Business Journal.
By Jill Ingalls, Marion County Fair Coordinator
The annual Marion County Fair is just around the corner and kicks off an extended weekend of family fun from July 11-14 at the Oregon State Fairgrounds. Friday and Saturday nights will feature two big nights of entertainment featuring national country performers Restless Heart and Jerrod Niemann.
Each day of the fair offers family-friendly activities with something for everyone!
Thursday, July 11, is Honor Day. Seniors, veterans, and military service members enjoy free admission all day. A special tribute to veterans takes place on the main stage at 5:30 p.m. Stop by the Real Heroes area to learn about fire, police, and military services.
Friday, July 12, is an Awesome Day. The first 3,000 fairgoers wearing an Awesome 3000 t-shirt will get in for free! Carnival rides, inflatables, and more will keep you busy all day and ready to hear country legends Restless Heart on the main stage at 8:30 p.m.
Restless Heart, with 25 top 40 country hits and six number one hits over the past three decades, will headline Friday night on the main stage. Restless Heart has enjoyed one of the most successful careers in country music history, delighting fans with blockbuster songs that are now considered country classics.
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 Jerrod Neimann live on the main stage.
Niemann's 2018 hit "Old Glory" will fit right in with the Real Heroes area at the fair. He describes the ballad as, "One-hundred percent heart, zero percent politics." A veteran of multiple USO Tours, Niemann said he knew how much those heroes were willing to sacrifice in the name of duty – from missing their children's first steps and soccer games to holidays, anniversaries, and so much more.
Family Day is Sunday, July 14. Bring the kids to see all the costumed characters and critters, hands on activities through STEM projects, Home Depot kids build, MakeyMakey, and more. See your friends and neighbors performing on the main stage, catch a puppet show, watch a Lego LIVE build contest, and don't miss the all new Trashion Show featuring recycled/reused garments created from items that would otherwise have been thrown in the trash.
This year we're excited to add the Salem Ukulele Orchestra to our entertainment line-up. They'll hit the main stage throughout the day on Sunday and will present two ukulele classes on Sunday afternoon. No ukulele, no problem – there will be free ukuleles to use during each class.
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. The petting zoo is popular for kids of all ages to get their hands on adorable critters. Save time for attractions such as Pirates Parrot Show, featuring a Pirate Ship stage; Barnyard Adventures for the little ones; and Puzzlemania with its traditional, custom, and giant puzzles and games.
Funtastic Shows carnival offers presale discount wristbands online now. Inflatables and human water balls are always popular, as are the amazing food booths and great shopping throughout the commercial exhibit areas.
Plan to stay for the day – you'll need hours to see and do all there is at the fair.
Tickets are on sale now at www.marioncountyfair.net and entertainment and parking are complimentary with paid fair admission. For up to date information on activities and entertainment follow us on Facebook at (https://www.facebook.com/MarionCountyFair/).
We can't wait to see you at the Marion County Fair!