Knights among headliners at Fair

The Linn County Fair will take on a new look this year for its main event Sunday afternoon, July 22.

Gone are the monster trucks, which have been a staple of the final day’s entertainment. Instead, fairgoers will see horses, ridden by knights in full armor who will fight it out in the Calapooia Arena in the Quest for the Ultimate Knight.

“We decided this year to do things a little differently,” said Tim McQueary of Sweet Home, who is chairing the Fair Board this year.

The Fair starts Thursday, July 19, and runs through Sunday, July 22. Hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Admission is free all day Thursday, with $2 parking. Regular admission on other days is $7 for adults and children 12 and over, $5 for seniors over 60 and children ages 6-11, and free for children 5 and under.

Season passes are available for $19 for adults, and $13 for seniors and children 6-11. Season parking passes are available for $6.

Evening musical entertainment will feature Eddie Money on Thursday, Phil Vassar on Friday, Josh Gracin on Saturday. All shows start at 8:30 p.m.

Bull riding will once again wind up the Fair, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Sunday in the Calapooia Arena. The Sunday evening show will also include mutton bustin’, a wild horse race, barrel racing and mini bulls. Mutton bustin’ contestants will need to be at the Fair at 5 p.m. and need to weigh under 50 pounds. Contestants will ride a sheep as long as they can. Applications are available at the Linn County Fair & Expo Center, 3700 Knox Butte Road, or by visiting or calling the Fair & Expo Center at (541) 926-4314.

The Fair also offers OMSI interactive education, regional entertainment and a concert by Grupo AntiFaz on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. Davis Shows Northwest will provide a carnival.

The annual Linn County 4-H and FFA Market Livestock Auction will be held Saturday, July 21, with a buyers barbecue and registration at 3:30 p.m. and the auction beginning at 5 p.m.

The 2007 Linn County Car Show will be held from 1 to 6 p.m. Saturday, July 21. The 2007 Linn County Antique Tractor/Farm Equipment Show will be July 19-20.

McQueary said the jousting idea came up after Dave Curran, who had expertise in the area of monster trucks, resigned from the board and that forced board members to consider other options.

He said promoter Wayne White was sitting at the end of the table while the board was discussing those options.

“He said, ‘Jeez, I’ve got something,'” McQueary said. “Everybody was interested in the jousting.”

McQueary said that fairs everywhere are having to adapt to the increased urbanization of America.

“They’re looking to see what people are interested in because the traditional fair, which is agriculture-based, is losing its appeal.”

The jousting event is actually a tournament, based in Las Vegas, that features participants from “all over the Northwest,” he said. The competition proceeds from venue to venue and will culminate in a finals tournament.

In addition to the entertainment, the Fair is accepting entries for several special contests, including:

– Friday, July 20 – Family Fun Decorated Cupcakes – Contestants ages 2-18 should make cupcakes and bring them to the Baked Goods Department. The contest runs from 11 to 11:30 a.m.

– Saturday, July 21 – Down Home Favorites Recipe Contest for ages 16 and up. Those entering this special contest on July 21 will have free fair entry. The contest runs from 11 to 11:30 a.m

– Saturday, July 21 – Delicious, Nutritious – Summer Recipe Challenge, sponsored by the Dairy Farmers of Oregon. The contest runs from 11 to 11:30 a.m

– Sunday, July 22 – Mom Newman’s Apple Pie Contest, open to men, women and children. Bring your apple pie to the Baked Goods Department. The contest runs from noon to 1 p.m

– 4-H/FFA Best Decorations Award. The Linn County Fair Board will pick the best decorations using the Fair theme “Linn County Fair, Another Decade of Family Fun” and will present the winning 4-H club or FFA chapter with a $100 award.

For more information, visit the Web site at or call the Linn County Fair office at 926-4314.