Linn County Fair returns, with record crowds

A record crowd of 34,330 people attended the Linn County Fair that ended Saturday, July 17.

And making the number even more amazing is that the fair ran for three days, not the usual four as in past years, according to Linn County Expo Center manager Randy Porter.

The previous attendance record was 33,707, set in 2018.

“It was an absolute home run,” Porter said. “People were tired of being cooped up for the past 18 months. They wanted to get out of the house, spend a little money and have some fun. They did just that.”

Temperate daytime temperatures from the mid-70 to mid-80 degree range, and cool nights, were an added bonus for fairgoers.

Attendance by day was 8,445 on Thursday, 8,392 on Friday and 11,893 on Saturday.

Porter said food vendors had outstanding sales, up more than 55%, beer sales were up 85% and the Davis Northwest Carnival saw a whopping 177% increase in business.

“I want to thank all of the staff and volunteers who worked hard to make this happen,” said fair board president Kris Latimer. “We were constantly adjusting things right up until a couple weeks ago.”

The community came out in such a huge way, Latimer said.

“Families wanted to celebrate with good wholesome fun,” she said. “The turnout and support for the Youth Livestock Auction was over the moon. You never know what will happen when you open up something like this after a year off. I was truly blown away by how well everything went, how folks came out to just have a good time. I couldn’t be more proud of everyone.”

The Linn County Youth Livestock Auction smashed previous records, with 249 lots bringing a total $1.15 million. The top selling animal was a lamb raised by Weston Tenbusch, of rural Brownsville, who has cerebral palsy. It brought $200 per pound for a grand total of $27,400 from two bidders.

Nightly main stage entertainment included Blue Oyster Cult, Matt Stell and Tyler Farr.

“This was truly a community celebration,” Linn County Commissioner and fair board member Roger Nyquist said. “It was heartwarming to see anything kid-related get such positive response. Participation was through the roof.”

Nyquist said the fair board will likely continue with the three-day fair format.

“We need to work with the Albany Parks Department to be able to use Timber Linn Park for more parking due to the huge attendance numbers,” Nyquist said. “The numbers across the board are record breaking and if that continues, we will need that extra parking space.”

In addition to Latimer and Nyquist, fair board members are Ed Perlenfein, Steve Mote, Damon Martin, Michael Huber and Kerry Johnson.

– Alex Paul, Linn County Communications Officer