Arts & Ent.

State Fair brings fun for everyone

Colbie Calat
Elle King
Chris Janson


Of the Keizertimes

It’s the Pavillion’s busiest time of year. On Friday the Oregon State Fair begins.

Aug. 25–Sept. 4 is the Oregon State Fair. Oregonians will enjoy the usual fair rides, food, live music, vendors, and various activities.

Many people come to the fair for its thrilling rides. This year the carnival will open at 11 a.m. and go until the fair closes. Friday and Saturday hours are 11 a.m.-11 p.m., then Sunday through Thursday hours will be 11 a.m.-10 p.m. 

Those who attend the carnival during the weekdays will get ride wristbands for $10 off the original price that is sold on Saturday and Sunday.

A big attraction of the Oregon State Fair is the music artists who come to perform. This year there will be nine different concerts. 

To kick off opening night will be the modern rock band Bush. The next night,  Aug. 26, will be country artist Colbie Caillat. Another country artist, Justin Moore, will play on Monday, Aug. 28. The Beach Boys will play on Aug. 29 and rock band Skillet will play on Aug. 30. Sirius XM presents “I Love the 90s” on Aug. 31, featuring performers including Vanilla Ice, Rob Base, Color Me Badd, Tone Loc, and Young MC. 

On the first of September, the X Ambassadors will play joined by special guest Typhoon. Country music artist Ellie King will perform on the second. For the last day of the fair Sept. 4, Chris Janson will play. 

The doors will open for the shows at 6:30 p.m. and then start at 7:30 p.m. The only performance that will not have this time is Chris Janson, the doors for his concert will open at 3:30 p.m. and the show will start at 4:30 p.m.

The Oregon State Fair warns those wanting to buy tickets that official tickets for state fair concerts are only available through their website at or through the Oregon State Fair ticket provider: FunCard. There is also a ticket helpline for additional support at 971-701-6567.

The Pavillion will also be hosting other events throughout the fair, such as the Hell on Hooves Roughstock Rodeo. The Rodeo will take place on Aug. 26 at 2 p.m. This show will be the Hell on Hooves Summer Showdown Tour Finale. Cowboys and cowgirls will compete for the title of Hell on Hooves Summer Showdown Champion. Males will compete in saddle bronc and bull riding while females will compete in barrel racing.

Aug. 27 at 2 p.m., The Jaripeo Espectacular showcase will begin. Jaripeo Ranchero will present bull riding but without rules and Banda La imperiosa will be there for live Mexican Jaripeo music. The event will also show dancing horses and bulls from Rancho La Hacienda, a ranch in the Jefferson Oregon area.

Monster truck lovers will get a chance to see Motor Mania on Sept. 2 and 3 at 2 p.m. Monster trucks will do stunts, open and street tuff racing, as well as quad wars. Participating trucks include Playing for Keeps, Maniac, Wicked Strong, Enforcer, The Wolfs Pack Mega Trucks, and The Zombie Tracker Monster Ride Truck.

For those who love to see cars crashing into each other with no rules, the Demolition Derby will take place on Sept. 4 at 2 p.m.

The Oregon State Fair will exhibit several attractions with which guests can visit and interact. This year the fair has hit of record of 58 different Oregon authors coming to be a part of their authors table. 

Other attractions include barnyard races and petting zoos, Criterion School from Wasco County, 4-H and Future Farmers of America, iFLIP, Mark Yuzuik Hypnotist, STEM attractions, also natural resources activities from the Oregon Department of Forestry, and more.

To close off each night, Sacred Fire Dance Company will perform a fire finale. The fire dancers will be showcasing their luau fire finale. These performances will be dedicated to the families and survivors of those impacted by the fires in Lahaina on the island of Maui, Hawai’i.

Those looking for a challenge can have the chance to compete in one of the fair’s many competitions. Arts and crafts lovers can participate in creative living competitions, there’s also classic livestock competitions, and bakers can enter in the Gerry Frank Memorial Chocolate Cake Contest. 

The Gerry Frank chocolate cake competition was one of the many traditions of the Oregon State Fair, this will be the first year the fair returns since Frank’s passing in March of 2022. Frank was dedicated to this contest and tasted chocolate cake at the Oregon State Fair for 60 years, he passed at the age of 98. Sunday, September 3, the Gerry Frank Memorial Chocolate Cake Contest will take place, presented by the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce.

Future fair updates can be found at