"Fun Makes A Comeback!"
That's the Jackman-Long Building reader-board theme greeting visitors at the 2021 Oregon State Fair.
The fair kicked off Friday, Aug. 7, and runs through Labor Day, offering a tad fewer attractions than past events, but there is still a good day's worth of activities and attractions to take in. Organizers are happy to see it to fruition following last year's pandemic-related hiatus.
"We are elated to welcome our guests back to the Fairgrounds this year," Oregon State Fair CEO Kim Grewe-Powell said. "It's been a long time coming, and I can tell you, everyone on our team has been working really hard, going above and beyond during a very tight timeframe so we can safely celebrate fun with everyone."
While the pandemic didn't KO the event like it did last year, there was still an element of caution in the wind. Masks are required for entry into the buildings, which house a variety of attractions ranging from art displays to animals.
A sign at the entry advises visitors to be safe and abide by the state guidelines for COVID-19 protocols, and fair officials stress that anyone feeling or exhibiting any symptoms should stay home.
While fair food, exhibits and rides are still the staple attractions of the event, this year, the fair also added an unusual offering: a COVID-19 vaccination station in Cascade Hall.
OSF officials announced ahead of the event that they partnered with Salem Health and Oregon Health Authority to provide vaccinations at the event, a prime opportunity since the fair typically draws hundreds of thousands to its 185-acre site of the 11-day running.
"We are pleased to be back at the fairgrounds where Salem Health opened the state's first mass vaccination clinic in January," said Cheryl Wolfe, president and CEO of Salem Health. "Our mission from the start has been to vaccinate Oregon, to protect our communities and bring an end to the pandemic. What better way than to bring the vaccine clinic to the Oregon State Fair to help Oregonians get one step closer to the finish line."
Fair guests ages 12 and older who have not been vaccinated have an opportunity to do so at the fair. All three vaccines — Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson, are available daily at Cascade Hall. Medical interpreters are on-site to assist.
Moreover, guests who choose to receive their vaccinations during their visit to the Oregon State Fair will receive a free entry ticket to return for an additional day at the Fair in 2021 or 2022.
Vaccinations take place in Cascade Hall near Brickside Lounge: Monday through Friday, 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
If you go
What: The 157th Oregon State Fair
Where: Oregon State Fair and Exposition Center, 2330 17th St. NE, Salem.
When: Gates open at 10 a.m., carnival attractions begin at 11 a.m., through Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 6. Fair closes at 10 p.m. on weekdays and 11 p.m. on the weekends.
Cost: Adults and kids $5 pre-sale; $8 and $6 respectively at the gate. Seniors age 65 and older $1.
Web: visit oregonstatefair.org
Photos: View Oregon State Fair first-day photos on the Woodburn Independent Facebook page.