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Set up continues for Douglas County Fair

August 6, 2018 GMT

The sound of hammers and drills could be heard throughout the Douglas County Fairgrounds on Saturday morning. A caravan of trucks poured through the entrance as workers unpacked and set up various amusement park rides, all in preparation for this year’s county fair.

The smell of fresh wood chips and sawdust filled the air as people shoveled and spread it onto the ground where cattle, pigs and other livestock will be put on display. People installed signs, fans and other aesthetic scenery into the stalls. One of them was Josh Hulse, 14, of Oakland, who is making his fifth appearance at the fair. A member of the Blue Ribbon Beef 4-H Club, he plans to bring two of his four cows to the fair this year.


“I like showing cattle. To me it’s really fun,” he said. “I learn a lot from it. It’s taught me a lot. I just have a lot of fun.”

Inside Douglas Hall, one of the buildings at the fairgrounds, students hauled bark chips and displays full of plants and other outdoor scenery for a landscape competition.

One of the groups was the Douglas High School FFA Chapter. One of its members, Kelsen Stoffel, 16, will be making his first appearance participating in the fair. He said the group had been preparing for the competition the whole summer.

“It’s been a ride, but it’s been fun,” Stoffel said.

In the same building, members of the Umpqua Valley Model Railroad Club were setting up their trains and tracks. Their appearance at this year’s fair will be a return for the club after an 11-year absence.

The club had been present at the fair every year since the ’60s, but an incident in 2007 changed all that, said club president Keith Van Atta. That year the club was asked last minute to move to another building after they had already set up their display.

“We salvaged all we could, Van Atta said. “It wasn’t designed to be moved, so we had to destroy it.”

Fed up, they vowed never to appear at the fair again. But now the club has decided to make a return, but have made sure their tracks are easily taken apart as to avoid the tragedy of what happened more than a decade before. People will get the chance to talk to the club’s members at the fair about their passion for model trains.

“Some guys, their favorite part is doing scenery, other guys, their favorite part is actually putting down the trackage,” Van Atta said. “My favorite part is operating.”

The Douglas County Fair, located at 2110 Frear St., will be open from Tuesday to Saturday from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. For full hours, visit www.co.douglas.or.us/dcfair/fair/.