On the third weekend of August, a long-held tradition of Cottage Grove will bloom again. From Friday, Aug. 16 through Sunday, Aug. 18, The Western Oregon Exposition (WOE) will ride again. The mission of the fair is “…To be of service to the community [by] carrying on the American tradition of old-fashioned fun, entertainment and education in a safe, family-friendly environment.”
Ken Schwieger, WOE President, emphasized that last point of the mission, saying, “We are going to have lots of fun things for kids to do!”
Just a partial listing of the kid-friendly experiences to be had include: Dr. Delusion’s Comedy & Magic show, National Guard Climbing Wall, The Grand Prix Pine Car Races (build and race your own), The Swinging Rope Monkey Bridge and Open Mic — and are all free. New this year are the Mega Water Slide and the Zorb Ball Races. These activities require an additional fee, along with the entrance fee ($3 general and kids age 12 and under are admitted free), Bring a can of food to get $1 off admission.
Those activities are just the beginning at the fairgrounds, located just north of Cottage Grove at 2000 N. Douglas St. (next to the CG Speedway). There will be live music on three stages each day of the festival, as well as the Lumberjack Competitive Logging Show; food and craft vendors; exhibits of agricultural harvest; categories of art and handiwork; livestock and scrapbooking; demonstrations of handiwork; antique engines and farm implements; beer and wine garden for the adults; and all through the weekend will be activities focusing on the WOE Royal Court.
This is not a beauty pageant. The Royal Court selects youth who have a record for working to better their community and help develop their public speaking, etiquette skills and to grow their self-confidence.
These young women and men from four age groups are encouraged to continue their academic achievements and community involvement.
Throughout the year, youth selected to the court will serve as ambassadors of the Western Oregon Exposition.
This down-home family fair and hometown tradition is all about the exhibitors and showcasing all of the talent within the community.
Exhibitor categories include: Textiles, floral and forestry, culinary, food preservation, produce, art, craft and hobby, photography, scrapbooking and livestock.
After judging, ribbons are awarded among six divisions, from pre-school to senior. There are exhibiter forms available online at the WOE website, and entries can be brought in on Wednesday, Aug. 14, from noon to 8 p.m., or Thursday, Aug. 15, from 8 a.m. to noon.
Livestock can only be entered on Thursday, Aug. 15, from noon to 5 p.m. Many local youth participating in 4-H will be showing their project animals. This year, there will be some exciting new things joining the old favorites.
There are still opportunities for vendors to become a part of the fair and there is a need for volunteers.
For more information on either, contact Skye Hefner at 541-942-6150 or email her at [email protected]
Cottage Grove, which has a strong agricultural background going back to its founding, has had annual exhibitions of the bounty of the rich Willamette soil since early in the 1900s. The earliest fairs leaned heavily on grains. There was a time when the sweet pea was celebrated community-wide, then poultry.
The exhibits have been held in open air, at City Hall, The Armory, Jefferson School and in vacant buildings. After incorporating in 1952 and changing its name from South Lane Fair to WOE, it found a permanent home on land donated by Stanley Daugherty.
Join generations of Western Oregonians as they celebrate the heritage and talents of this region at the WOE Fair.
To learn more about the variety of activities, visit www.woeheritgefair.com or Facebook at WOE Fair and Logging Show.