A big change is in store for this summer’s Douglas County Fair.
Rather than running for five days as in years past, the 2013 fair will go for four days. The fair will begin on Wednesday, Aug. 7, one day later than in the past, and last through Saturday, Aug. 10.
“We’ll still have just as much to offer,” Fairgrounds Director Harold Phillips said. “It just won’t span as many days.”
While the move is expected to cut expenses, Phillips believes overall attendance and the amount of money spent on fair souvenirs, food and beverages and carnival rides will remain the same.
“Some other Oregon fairs have cut their days in recent years and they have not experienced a drop in sales or the number of people attending those fairs,” Phillips said.
Dan Despotopulos, director of the Deschutes County Fair, said there were concerns about drops in revenue and attendance when his fair shed a day a decade ago. It turned out the fair wasn’t hurt at all, he said.
Teresa Middleton, coordinator of Douglas County’s 4-H program, said she believes the move will be positive. Animals won’t get as stressed out in the heat and teenage 4-H and FFA members won’t have to stick around the fairgrounds an extra day.
The rock band Whitesnake heads the week’s entertainment on the PremierWest Amphitheater stage. The British band gained fame in the United States in the 1980s with the hits “Here I Go Again” and “Is This Love.” They’re one of four headline acts that will perform at the fair.
Country singer Dwight Yoakam, Mississippi rock band 3 Doors Down and country singer Clay Walker, a repeat performer from 2001, round out the main stage entertainers. Each show begins at 8 p.m. and is free of charge with paid fair admission. A limited number of reserved seats for each show are available for $25 each.
Fair admission is $9 for adults ($7 if bought by July 26), $7 for seniors and $4 for children ages 6 to 12. A season pass is $25 if bought by July 26. Both reserved concert tickets and fair admission tickets can be bought online at www.douglasfairgrounds.com.
The theme for this year’s fair is “Fair Time is Fun Time.”
Olate Dogs, a troupe of 22 dogs of different varieties and sizes that won the 2012 America’s Got Talent competition — the only non-human winners in the television show’s seven years — will perform each day at the fair. Their human handlers are Richard and Rebecca Olate and their son Nicholas. The dogs run and jump and are basically silent canine comedians.
“People are really going to enjoy seeing these dogs,” Phillips said. “They’re very entertaining.”
The Northwest X-Treme Air Dogs will return in what was a fan favorite last year.
The fair has also booked Alan Sands, a comedy hypnotist. The last time a hypnotist performed at the fair, the shows proved to be very popular, Phillips said, and he expects Sands will prove to be a hit as well.
Tangled Threads, a Portland duo, will also perform. They sing, dance, walk on stilts, carry out juggling routines and other entertaining routines.
The fair will also present the popular local talent show, Fair’s Got Talent.
“We look forward to a good fair. We think people will enjoy it,” Phillips said.
You can reach reporter John Sowell at 541-957-4209 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.