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Free fair kicks off July 25

by: Photo by Holly M. Gill - Sandy Forman, Jefferson County Fair manager, and Andee Simmons, board member, were hard at work Monday at the fairgrounds, preparing for the fair, which runs from July 25-28. For the first time in 50 years, this year there is no charge for entry to the fair.


   Fairgrounds coordinator Sandy Forman was like a juggler with half a dozen balls in the air on Monday, as she and an army of volunteers made sure that everything is ready for the Jefferson County Fair, which runs from July 25-28.
   Forman, who had misplaced her four-wheeler when she got off to check something out, was running from the carnival area, where Davis Amusement Cascadia was setting up, to the Maccie Conroy Building, where volunteer judges were surveying food entries.
   The 79th annual fair will be the first free fair in decades, which has meant a substantial increase in vendors -- up from about 12 outdoors last year to 26 this year.
   "We even have them on the main entryway," said Forman, who isn't quite sure what to expect this year.
   "As a first year (for no entrance fee), it's really hard to predict," she said. "We've had more volunteers. It's our hometown fair -- run by volunteers. Without our volunteers, our fair would be very difficult to run."
   Forman, along with the three remaining board members, Andee Simmons, Bill Vollmer and Shelly Brown, has been putting in long hours in preparation. "As we get closer to the fair, it get to be earlier and longer days," she said.
   The fair will include special emphasis on particular patrons on three of the four days: Veterans Day (July 25), Kids Day (July 26), and Seniors Day (July 27). For a complete schedule, see the Jefferson County Fair publication in this week's Pioneer.
   An added feature will be a Buckaroo Breakfast on Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., at $5 a plate, sponsored by McDonald's. Parents and 4-H leaders will serve the breakfast, with proceeds supporting the fair. Paul Rodby, who owns the Madras, Redmond and Prineville McDonald's restaurants, will donate the food and beverages for the event.
   Although there is no charge for entrance to the fair, there will be a charge for the rodeo on Friday and Saturday evenings at 6 p.m. in the Corwin Arena. Presales for tickets through Thursday at 5 p.m. are $6 per person; there is no entry charge for children 5 and under. At the gate, tickets will be $7.