It’s fair time! And we have a new Flickr Commons set to celebrate the prizes, pies, smiles, and good times had by all at the Oregon State Fair. It has also been the place for county community members to show off their goods, so you’ll find 4-H projects, dog shows, fashion parades, and farm fresh produce.
Much has been written about the history of the fair, including a fabulous book by Steven Robert Heine, aptly named “The Oregon State Fair,” which uses some of our collections (including many images you’ll find here). He says that
Since the first Oregon State Fair was held on four acres along the Clackamas River in the Gladstone/Oregon City area in 1861, the fair has been the focal point of Oregon culture—a place to see and be seen and to compete against the best in the state. It has been a place of victory and a place of discovery for nearly 150 years. For many generations of Oregonians, the fair was a chance for families and friends to reunite and share the excitement of this grand, uniquely Oregon event. Today the fair’s popularity continues and, for 12 days each year, transforms the fairgrounds in Salem into the fifth largest city in the state.
If you want a quick read about the history, the Oregon State Fair site has a Fair History page. Wikipedia also has a short article, Oregon State Fair, which long on links to other pages related to fair history.
So grab a ticket, a horse, or a wand o’ cotton candy and enjoy!