By Barbara B. Covell
For the TODAY
Lincoln County has got a groove on. This year’s Lincoln County Fair brings a whole new level of entertainment with a jam-packed schedule of music, thrills, food, art, vendors, mud and exhibitions.
Fair Director Todd Williver, music and entertainment director Steve Mason, and the all-volunteer Fair Board are the energy behind the reinvented Lincoln County Fair. By celebrating this amazing coastal region and its riches of agriculture, art, fishing, education, businesses, and non-profits, the fair showcases the best of Lincoln County.
So what’s different about this year’s fair?
“A lot of things,” Mason said, “Having it on July 4th weekend will bring out the families and children of all ages. We have something unique for everyone.”
“And this is a free fair,” Mason added. “No admission charge at all. It’s a wonderful thing. We have a lot going on and there are plans to keep the fair going.”
The real difference in this year’s fair is the lineup of music, all on the main stage.
“We have 15 bands playing over the course of three days,” Mason said. “With the exception of Saturday night’s headliner, Brianna Renea, everyone who is playing is local. There is such a wealth of musical talent in Lincoln County.”
Music begins on Friday, July 6, at 11 am with acoustic classic rocker Bruce Moore. At 12:15 pm, Riptyde takes the stage, a new young high school band with dynamic licks and a strong following. Local favorites June and Joren Rushing follow at 2:15 pm. Looper Saundra Perrin will perform her unique multitrack music live at 4:15 pm, guaranteed to delight her audience with her spirit and energy. At 6:15 pm, Bucket List presents their Tom Petty tribute, Heartbroken. They are best known for their heavy chops and pristine renditions of 40 years of classic rock. Friday night rounds out with hard rock and heavy metal headliner Against the Raging Tide at 8 pm.
Saturday’s music begins at 11 am with the Newport Drum Circle, who perform world rhythms as Thunder & Lightness. Unplugged takes the stage at 1 pm. Donnie MacFarlane masters contemporary music favorites Pearl Jam and Stone Temple Pilots at 2 pm. Classic rock cover band Lisha Rose & the Outlaws play their solid sound at 4 pm. Country music favorites Green Achers Band are the opening act at 6 pm for headliner Brianna Renea, whose powerhouse vocals and stellar backup band hit the stage at 8 pm.
Renea comes by her country roots naturally, growing up on a rural farm in Canby. She has become a staple at fairs, festivals and casinos throughout the Northwest with her prolific writing and energetic performances. She recently received the Country Female Artist of the Year and her album, “Chasin’ Trouble,” was nominated for Country Album of the Year by the International Music and Entertainment Association for 2018.
So, what else can be found at this year’s Lincoln County Fair?
“The bouncy houses are back, as well as the tethered hot air balloon,” Mason said. “Plus, we have helicopter rides offering sightseeing tours, a climbing wall, a 30-foot stunt fall tower and a 300-foot zip line which runs overhead of the fair.”
For the less adventurous, the entire exhibition hall is sold out for vendor space. There you can find cotton candy, baked goods, ice cream, barbecue, handmade jewelry, chainsaw sculptures, crafts, face painting, collectibles, fine arts and Oregon-made clothing and woven goods.
The main exhibition hall is also the place for special events, such as the Senior Health Fair, bingo and free senior BBQ on Friday, July 6. OMSI activities and demonstrations will be held on Saturday and Sunday, July 7 and 8. And OSU Lincoln County Extension will celebrate 100 years of service under the big tent on Sunday, where free tuna BBQ and other goodies will be provided.
The rodeo area will feature monster trucks, mud bog and local tuff truck competitions. While there is no rodeo this year, pony rides are available for children.
The Lincoln County Fair runs from 10 am to 9 pm on Friday and Saturday, July 6 and 7; and 10 am to 5 pm on Sunday, July 8, at the Lincoln County Commons, 633 NE 3rd Street, Newport.
For more information, schedule, vendor list, sponsorship opportunities and more, go to www.thelincolncountyfair.com.