While 4-H and FFA youths take center stage during the Morrow County Fair — there’s much more cooking.
With a theme of “We’re Having Bushels of Fun,” the event runs Wednesday through Sunday at the fairgrounds, 74473 Highway 74, Heppner. Daily admission is $4 for ages 8 and up ($10 season pass) and free for ages 7 and under.
Ann Jones, Morrow County Fair secretary, said Ray DeLoe of Heppner, a new fair board member, suggested having a chili cook-off. Those who think they have the best chili in the county are invited to enter.
To show off your culinary skills, register Friday at 9 a.m. and be ready to begin cooking at 11 a.m. The chili must be ready by 3 p.m. for sampling and judging. First- through third-place winners will be announced at 5:30 p.m.
Other new faces on the fair board include Jeromy Wilson of Heppner and Buck Elliott of Boardman. They join Pat Tolar of Irrigon, Cody High of Heppner, and Rex Nielson and Casey Zellars, both of Boardman. Jones said having representatives from different communities helps with planning the fair.
“They’ve really jumped in and thrown out some ideas in working towards having fun and new things happening at the fair,” she said.
Also new this year is an arcade room. In addition to the regular bounce houses and face painting in the Kids Fun Zone, people can play their favorite arcade games. Daily wristbands are $10 or $30 for the whole week.
Back for a second year is the greased pig contest (Friday, 6 p.m.). Rather than taking home the bacon, the winner will receive a $50 cash prize.
“It was a lot of fun for the kids and the people watching,” Jones said.
Another popular activity is the RDO Equipment Pedal Power Tractor Pull (Wednesday, 5 p.m.). Kids up to age 10 will vie for prizes and everyone receives a ribbon.
Wednesday evening (7-10 p.m.) features the Paradise Rose Chuckwagon Dinner. A meal with tri-tip or chicken costs $15 for ages 14 and older or $7.50 for the younger crowd. Music is by Trevor Tagle, who performs country and southern rock.
Thursday evening (6-10 p.m.) Murray’s Beer & Wine Tasting includes live music with Joe Lindsay & Friends and Nate Botsford. Wine tasting starter packs are $10, which include two drink tickets. The event, which encourages Hawaiian dress, includes hula hoop and limbo contests. The Heppner Chamber of Commerce will serve a chicken teriyaki dinner prepared by Alvin Liu. The cost is $10 for adults and $5 for kids 11 and under.
A pair of Oregon Trail Pro Rodeo performances are Friday and Saturday nights at 7 p.m. Get there 30 minutes early for Mutton Busters, which features kids attempting woolly rides on sheep. Rodeo tickets are $10 for ages 13 and up, $6 for ages 7-12 and free for ages 6 and under. For ticket information, call 541-989-8351 or visit www.oregontrailprorodeo.com. Music after the rodeo in the Spur ’Em Barn is presented by Dan Burns 3D Productions. People without rodeo tickets are welcome to attend.
Activities close out Sunday with a track and cross country team fundraising breakfast at 6 a.m. and the Morrow County Rodeo at 1:15 p.m., which features Morrow County residents and alumni. For more information, call 541-571-6959 or search Facebook.
For a full fair schedule, visit www.co.morrow.or.us/fair. For questions, call 541-676-9474.
Contact Community Editor Tammy Malgesini at firstname.lastname@example.org or 541-564-4539