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Fair is something to roar about

Old Time Fair to be packed with food, games, a parade, skydivers and more
by: VERN UYETAKE  Last year, Jim Mulvaney and Preston Whitlock — with his arms up — had a blast riding the roller coaster.

Get ready for West Linn's biggest weekend of the year; the 55th annual Old Time Fair hits Willamette Park July 15 through 17.

The festivities will kick off on a high note when skydivers arrive at the park - located at 1100 12th St. off Willamette Falls Drive - carrying with them the name of this year's Old Time Fair queen.

The fair itself opens at 6 p.m. July 15, featuring a carnival of rides and games; arts and crafts vendors; a variety of food stands; and a beer garden.

Old Time Fair Court introductions and the crowning of this year's queen will take place at 6 p.m. at the fair's main stage, and at 6:45 p.m. visitors can catch a game of America's favorite pastime with some added retro flair at the fair's annual Olde Time Baseball Game, scheduled for the park's baseball field.

Get a bright and early start to the weekend with a pancake breakfast provided by the West Linn Lion's Club. Volunteers will be warming up the griddle at 6:30 a.m. both Saturday and Sunday.

And once you've fueled up, head over to Willamette Falls Drive, where, at 9:45 a.m. July 16, servers from some of West Linn's favorite eateries will test their tray-balancing prowess during the third annual waiters race.

Once the final waiter has crossed the race's finish line, fair attendees will be given 'Something to Roar About' by its annual parade.

The procession will make its way down Willamette Falls Drive at 10 a.m., featuring colorful costumes, floats and plenty of candy.

This year, longtime Lions Club volunteer Mike Watters will take a break from pancake flipping, hanging up his apron to act as grand marshal of this year's parade.

'Whether he's helping out at the McLean House or doing good work with the Lions Club, Mike Watters is a perennial volunteer for our community. He was a natural choice to honor in this year's parade because of the spirit and kindness that he brings to West Linn,' Assistant City Manager Kirsten Wyatt said.

After the parade's dust has settled, stick around for a day jam-packed with entertainment for all.

The custom to classic car show opens in Willamette Park's open field at 11 a.m. July 16. At noon, the Portland Water Spectacular Ski Show will thrill onlookers at the boat dock. Catch encore performances of the fast-paced water stunts at 4 p.m. and at noon and 3 p.m. the next day.

Also at noon July 16, the fair's annual horseshoe tournament begins with men's and women's singles competitions.

Throughout the weekend, the fair's two stages will feature demonstrations by United Studios of Self Defense and performances by Tilton gymnastics' crew, a barbershop quartet, the Maralee dancers and the Clackamas Community Band.

Plus, a lineup of some of the area's best musicians will be taking the stage.

'The West Linn Parks and Recreation Department is always working to find the best bands for the Old Time Fair,' Wyatt said. 'This year, local favorites like SleepLong (on the main stage) and regional performers like Tyler Stenson will perform on the beer garden stage, with the fair food, games, rides and booths in the background.'

Additional musical acts include Top Hat Confederacy, Return Flight, Richie and the Catillacs and Global FM - among others. At 8 p.m., a community dance presented by 789Jam will round out the July 16 celebrations.

The fun continues on Sunday with a second round of bingo; men's, women's and mixed doubles horseshoe competitions; a pie eating contest; a 'Brutes and Beauties' contest; a lumberjack competition; the second annual duck race; and the Mutt and Pet Show.

For more information about the 55th Annual West Linn Old Time Fair and a complete schedule of events, check out the special section in July 14's Tidings or visit http://westlinnoregon.gov/oldtimefair.