Oregon Country Fair

B E S T   F A I R   E V E R !

KLCC Radio Adventures at Oregon Country Fair 1992-2018

By Tripp Sommer, June 2018
[Editing and photos by Gayle Chisholm]

  On Thursday, July 7, 2017, my wife Sandune and I headed to the Oregon Coast.  Highway 126 takes us west, through Veneta.  This is the day before the Oregon Country Fair opens to the public.  In previous years, we would have been heading to the Fair instead of the coast.  But I just retired from KLCC and this is the beginning of things being different.

Walking the dusty paths at the Oregon Country Fair is guaranteed to get you more than a little dirty. Thankfully there's a place to wash off all that grime.

There are two childcare locations at the Oregon Country Fair, with volunteer staff of about 150 people, serving more than 2,000 kids during the fair.

Brian Bull / KLCC

With Lane County's mosquito population more than double than average this year, visitors at the Oregon Country Fair may expect to get nibbled by these voracious bugs. But not everyone is comfortable with using over-the-counter sprays and repellents.  That's where one vendor, Soule Ahlenbach, comes in.  She's helping keep fairgoers bite-free by pitting Mother Nature against Mother Nature.  KLCC's Brian Bull checked in with her on the OCF's opening day.

Brian Bull / KLCC

As the Oregon Country Fair commences, organizers are urging visitors to keep hydrated, stay cool, and pace themselves. While many temps are going to be in the upper 90s,  that heat wave means cold cash for those selling wares that can keep fairgoers cool and refreshed.  KLCC's Brian Bull checked in with one such vendor, Orange You Glad I Didn't Say 'Banana'?, right as the admission gates were opening this morning.

Brian Bull / KLCC

The Oregon Country Fair turns 50 next year.  Organizers are mum about what they’ll do to celebrate the event’s golden anniversary. Meanwhile, another local fixture also marks half a century in 2019, as KLCC’s Brian Bull reports.

Brian Bull / KLCC

Supporting local growers, and demonstrating sustainability permeate much of the Oregon Country Fair. There’s a heavy emphasis on not producing or leaving much waste on the grounds. KLCC’s Brian Bull talked to a fair official about how well they’ve managed to reduce environmental impacts.

Oregon Country Fair

Fun fact about the Oregon Country Fair – through a good part of the year, the site is underwater.  Often, things are pretty dry by the time the first fairgoer walks through the entrance.  KLCC’s Brian Bull asked one of the fair officials about how the event handles this recurring natural disaster, including those unusual fences.

Johan J. Ingles Le-Nobel / Flickr.com

Visitors to the Oregon Country Fair might want to bring along bug spray as well as sunscreen.  Lane County’s mosquito population has more than doubled due to recent, mild weather…and the bloodthirsty skeeters have no qualms about crashing the event. KLCC’s Brian Bull reports.

Brian Bull / KLCC

The Oregon Country Fair tries to cover all the bases when it comes to visitor comfort and safety. The White Bird Clinic has two sites that address the physical and mental well-being of fairgoers.  KLCC’s Brian Bull met with Wren Arrington, Rock Medicine Event Coordinator for the White Bird Clinic. Bull began by asking Arrington what help the clinic can provide, and where.

Brian Bull / KLCC

Beginning Friday, an estimated 45,000 people will gather in Veneta for the annual Oregon Country Fair. As KLCC’s Brian Bull reports, it’s a long-standing tradition for many.

KLCC 89.7 FM will broadcast from the Oregon Country Fair throughout the weekend of July 13, 14 & 15, 2018.   Beginning Friday at 2:00 pm and continuing all weekend, KLCC will bring the music, fun and ambience of the Fair to everyone with a radio, computer or smart device!

One reason the Oregon Country Fair is so popular is people can feel free to be themselves. But what if you’re still not sure who you are – or you want to connect with others like you? Rainbow Village is the base camp for all things L-G-B-T-Q-I-A at the fair.

Angela Kellner/KLCC

With tens of thousands of people gathered together in one place, there’s bound to be a few medical issues.
The Oregon Country Fair has health care covered this weekend, thanks to Eugene’s White Bird Clinic.


Angela Kellner/KLCC

With tens of thousands of people gathered together in one place, there’s bound to be a few medical issues.
The Oregon Country Fair has health care covered this weekend, thanks to Eugene’s White Bird Clinic.


Rachael McDonald

When you’re wandering the paths at the Oregon Country Fair, you may come across Ark Park or Archeology Park. There you can learn about the fair’s educational, research and preservation efforts. Ann Rogers is an Oregon Country Fair archeologist.

Ritz Sauna & Showers Facebook page

The Oregon Country Fair doesn’t just want people to have a good time…they want to seal up and bury that good time for future fairgoers to enjoy.  KLCC’s Brian Bull explains, from the site of the Ritz Sauna and Showers. 

The Lane County Sheriff has extra patrols on duty in the Veneta area during the Oregon Country Fair through Monday.

Ritz Sauna and Showers Facebook photo.

After a recent surge of criticism, a Native American-style totem pole will not be installed at the Oregon Country Fair.  The Fair Board made its decision Monday night. KLCC’s Brian Bull reports.

Brian Bull

The Oregon Country Fair is a chance to relax and “let it all hang out,” so to speak.  But while most people are fine with the standard summer attire of shorts and a t-shirt, or a billowy dress with wide-brimmed hat, others are more comfortable with skimpy garments or even just a layer of paint.  KLCC’s Brian Bull visited with a young couple who mostly went au naturel to this annual event.

Brian Bull

A new art installation is complete and slated to debut soon at the Oregon Country Fair. But as KLCC’s Brian Bull reports, the “Story Pole” is still a year away from being erected.

Brian Bull

The sounds of the Oregon Country Fair are mostly invigorating.  There’s music to get your feet moving, spoken words to stir your soul, and vaudevillian comedy to jar your funny bone.  But one musician provides a special experience for those who want to be transported away from the revelry, if even for just a few minutes. 

Each year, Oregon County Fair honors loved ones who have passed on. This is the remembrance of one fair family member: Hershel Bloom. Hershel came to Eugene in the mid 70’s and was drawn to volunteer at Whitebird Clinic, then a fledgling crisis support network. Bobbie Dritz volunteered for Whitebird too and he became fast friends with Hersh.

beautyafterbreastcancer.com

Katelyn Carey is an Ashland nurse on a mission: to provide comfort and hope to people with breast cancer.

Construction Crews Prep For Start Of The Fair

Jul 8, 2016
Angela Kellner

People from all over the world flock to the Oregon Country Fair just outside of Eugene to enjoy a weekend of music, art and to reminisce about hippy-er times.

KLCC’s Kira Hoffelmeyer has some pre-fair details.

Kira Hoffelmeyer

This weekend the Oregon Country Fair marks its 47th year, a near-half century of music, body paint, and environmentally-friendly counterculture.  Roughly 50,000 people are expected to show during the three-day event, west of Eugene.  KLCC’s Brian Bull visited with a longtime coordinator of the fair, who’s just taken on a new role.

Royal Blue Organics

The founder of an organic, fair-trade coffee company in Eugene has died. dahinda Meda passed peacefully at home Sunday afternoon, surrounded by loved ones.

dahinda founded Café Mam in 1989, with organic coffee beans imported from Mayan farmers in Mexico.

He also operated Royal Blue Organics, a blueberry farm in west Eugene.

Angela Kellner/KLCC

The Oregon Country Fair is the proud new license holder of a low-power radio station. KOCF, Fern Ridge Radio, 92.5 FM, has been in the works for about two years. The community radio station celebrated a milestone July 3rd when it was finally time to install the antennae on the roof of the fire station in Veneta.

Angela Kellner/KLCC

The drought and recent high temperatures have dried out the fuels and forests, increasing the wildfire risk. The Oregon Country Fair has its own well-trained volunteer fire crew. Over the years, they’ve built a cooperative relationship with the fire departments in the surrounding area.

Angela Kellner/KLCC

Tom Gannon will soon take the reigns at the Oregon Country Fair. He's been getting on-the-job training this summer from OCF General Manager Charlie Ruff. KLCC's Tripp Sommer spoke with Ruff Sunday afternoon as he reflected on his legacy at the non-profit.

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