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For Many, A Lifetime Romance For The Oregon Country Fair

Vendors, staff, and volunteers get things moving at the Oregon Country Fair ahead of opening day.
Brian Bull
/
KLCC
Vendors, staff, and volunteers get things moving at the Oregon Country Fair ahead of opening day.

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.

Vendors, staff, and volunteers get things moving at the Oregon Country Fair ahead of opening day.
Credit Brian Bull / KLCC
/
KLCC
Vendors, staff, and volunteers get things moving at the Oregon Country Fair ahead of opening day.

Next year will mark the event’s golden anniversary. Organizers are mum on just how they’ll celebrate. But many participants – including vendor Paul Crabtree – have been coming here for decades.

Vendor Paul Crabtree has been a regular at the OCF since 1977.
Credit Brian Bull / KLCC
/
KLCC
Vendor Paul Crabtree has been a regular at the OCF since 1977.

“Since 1977," says Crabtree.

Bull: "41 years!"

"That’s right."

Bull: "What’s your favorite part about the fair?"

Crabtree: "Everything (LAUGHS). Food, people, vibes, education, community.”

Many organizers call the hundreds of volunteers and crew “family”.  For Joe Schattler, who’s been coming here for more than 30 years, it’s an event that’s been a big part of his life.

“I bring my family here," says Schattler. "Since my kids were very young and we all have a great time.  Lots of good music, lots of good entertainment, lot of good food, lot of good art.”

The increased traffic means the Lane County Sheriff’s Office will hold high visibility patrols around Veneta during the Fair, with deputies focusing on DUIs, speeding, seat belt use, and cell phone violations.

Copyright 2018, KLCC.

Copyright 2018 KLCC

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. He is a 20-year reporter who has worked at NPR, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including three Edward R. Murrow Awards and the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award in 2012.