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Enjoy KLCC's reports from the 50th Anniversary of the Oregon Country Fair, July 2019!View KLCC's broadcast schedule and other details of the 2019 Fair.

Ahead Of OCF's Golden Anniversary, Work Crews Tackle Winter Storms' Aftermath

Unknown/Brian Bull

Heavy winter storms damaged structures at the Oregon Country Fair site in Veneta this year. And KLCC’s own booth is no exception.

On this sunny afternoon, Steve Gab of Rainbow Valley Design and Construction uses a chainsaw to trim a new roofing beam.  It’s part of a freshly-assembled framework that’ll cover the KLCC booth once complete.

“There was a lot of damage at the Fair this year, we were really pretty fortunate,” says Gab. “We had that one-story section taken out completely, but our two-story sections of the booth were left intact.”

Credit Brian Bull / KLCC
KLCC's Gayle Chisholm describes the repairs to the KLCC booth.

After a foot and a half of snow fell across the region in late February, many trees and branches collapsed, crushing structures across the fairgrounds.

“A huge branch from that tree right there just came down right in the middle of our booth,” says KLCC’s Marketing Director, Gayle Chisholm.

“This part where KLCC does the meet-and-greet just collapsed.”

With the fair’s golden anniversary this year, organizers expect a heavy turnout.  Crews are rushing to clean up the winter storm damage and make repairs ahead of the first visitor.

Craftmsan Mike Scarola says in all his years, he’s not seen anything like this storm damage.

“No, not from out here,” he tells KLCC. “On some construction around town, with those trees down and all, but not out here.”

Having put in some hours already, Scarola examines the work he and other builders have done so far, and figures he’s almost got his time in for the day.

“I’m going to try to get outta here sooner than the rest of them, but there’s several walls to put up and a few more rafters to put in.  And then, decorations.”

Crews typically arrive prepared to do some rebuilding at the Oregon Country Fair due to recurring floods every year.  But this time, lots of cut up branches and smashed panels are being piled up, too.

Copyright 2019, KLCC.

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.