110th Morrow County Fair Takes Place Aug. 16-19 in Heppner

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Spectators watch as goats are shown Aug. 20, 2021, at the Morrow County Fair. The 2023 event runs Aug. 16-19 in Heppner. (Hermiston Herald file photo)

The Morrow County Fair returns for its 110th year Wednesday through Saturday, Aug. 16-19, at the Morrow County Fairgrounds, 74473 Highway 74.

Gates open at 9 a.m. Aug. 16 and at 11 a.m. Thursday through Saturday. Admission is free, thanks to sponsorship from Lamb Weston and Watt Construction.

“We’re hoping for a great time,” first-year fair manager Sue Gibbs said. “We have record livestock coming in this year.”

This may be her first time manning the event, but Gibbs is no stranger to the area. She recently retired from the Morrow County School District after a 25-year teaching career. And she’s excited about the recent transformation of the livestock area for sheep, goats and pigs.

“The pens were old when I came here,” she said. “It’s pretty cool to have the new facility. They are just gorgeous new pens.”

In addition to 4-H and FFA projects, open-class exhibits showcase the talents of area residents. New this year is a children’s carnival, including a photo booth and a variety of activities, 1-4 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

“It’s designated for the little ones and it’s very inexpensive to play,” Gibbs said. “For the older kids, we have a dunk tank and a mini zip line. And there’s a mechanical bull and ax throwing.”

Also, Eastern Oregon University is bringing its Mobile Maker Lab trailer with STEM-related activities. In addition to the educational component, participants can create something to take home.

A pair of popular events are returning this year, including the RDO Equipment Pedal Tractor Pull at 5 p.m. Wednesday and the Tillamook Ice Cream Social at 3 p.m. Thursday. The parade begins at 10 a.m. Saturday.

Live music features Deep Roots Revival (2:30 p.m. Thursday), Jacob Westfall (1 p.m. Friday), Cory Peterson (noon Saturday) and Brass Fire (5:30 p.m. Saturday).

Gibbs said fairgoers with appetites won’t be disappointed. Offerings include everything from burgers, tacos and Polynesian food to funnel cakes, frozen yogurt and a variety of shortcakes.

Also, she encourages people to support the hard work of area youths by attending the FFA awards program at 1:15 p.m. Saturday in Wilkinson Arena. The Youth Livestock Auction follows at 2.

The Oregon Trail Pro Rodeo begins at 7 p.m. Aug. 18-19. Tickets are $10 for adults/teens, $6 for ages 7-12 and free for 6 and under. Dan Burns 3D Productions will crank up the music afterward in the Spur ’em Barn.

The MOCO Jackpot Rodeo, featuring local residents and alumni, runs Sunday, Aug. 20. Arena action kicks off at 1 p.m. with events for all ages. Admission is $6 for adults/teens, $3 for ages 7-12 and free for younger kids.

For more information about the fair and rodeo, visit www.co.morrow.or.us/fair and www.oregontrailprorodeo.com.

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