Oregon State Fair (OSF) is an annual event that takes place between late August and early September at the Oregon State Fairgrounds. The fairgrounds spread across 185-acres of land, and the event itself hosts a wide array of different and enticing attractions. OSF is an ideal opportunity for a family vacation, and people of all ages can easily find interesting activities. Carnival, concerts, animal competitions, crafts, visual arts, culinary arts, and many other activities held on multiple stages scattered throughout the event grounds.
Oregon State Fairgrounds can also accommodate RV campers, all the more reason for you to plan a camping trip during the annual state fair show. The show will last for at least 10 days, which gives you more than enough time to enjoy different activities, and have fun, family time while camping and explore north Salem. Animal lovers can look to enjoy Dog Town, Horse Shows, and baby animals.
The event dates back to the 19th century. The first fair was held in 1861, and it was organized by the OSAS (Oregon State Agricultural Society), which is an association or union of multiple county groups. However, it is during the second fair in 1862 that Salem became the fair’s official home, considering how the event remained there ever since.
Several ticket types can be purchased either online or at the festival. Considering just how many attractions there are at the Oregon State Fairgrounds, you may end up purchasing admission tickets for events separately. You may also encounter deals associated with programs that seek to help various community groups.
Tickets can be pre-purchased online, and their prices tend to be lower during early sales stages. Kids tickets are slightly cheaper than those for adults. To have a detailed overview of the available passes, attractions, shows, and entertainment opportunities visit the Oregon State Fair website.
The address of the Oregon State Fair is 2330 17th Street NE, Salem, OR 97301. Motorists can access this road via Silverton Road NE or Sunnyview Road NE. The fairgrounds sit about 45 minutes south of Portland and about two hours and 30 minutes from Bend, Oregon. Non-exhibition guests camping on site are encouraged to contact fair staff for directions to the correct campsite.
The fairgrounds does offer RV parking (dry camping); however, you can only make reservations online. It would be wise to make reservations the moment they begin to rent the RV parking spaces, which might be in mid-July. Day time parking is available on site with cash only payments.
If you are not camping at the festival grounds and wish to stay at one of the nearby RV resorts, then you can use public transport to get to the fairgrounds. There are regular buses around Salem that can drop you off near the fairground. Guests may also use a taxi to get to the event location.
Onsite camping is available, so long as you book your space in advance. You can expect to receive a confirmation for your reservation via email and will want to bring that document with you to verify your arrangement. Remember to fill your tanks before arrival for this dry camping location. A few amenities may be available, but should not be counted as guarantees during the annual Oregon State Fair.
Camping in the Salem, Oregon area is a treat in any location on or away from the fairgrounds. In case the onsite campgrounds are fully booked, there is no need to worry; there are multiple options within ten to twenty minutes driving from the fairgrounds. Here, you can also expect to have full hookups along with other amenities to make your stay convenient.
It would be wise to download the festival map in order to keep track of all the venues and where your points of interest are at the Oregon State Fair. Bicycles, skateboards, roller blades, scooters, and unauthorized vehicles are not permitted in the fairgrounds. Guest will need to move around on foot. Renting a wheelchair on the fairgrounds is also an option on site, usually near the Pink Parking Lot.
In the last days of summer, fair-goers can expect warm days, chilly nights, and perhaps some precipitation. Also, weather can vary during the 10 days, so check the weather forecast and plan your attire as desired for that day. Pack light for sunny days, bring an extra pair of shoes as well as your rain gear, shades, hat, and something a bit warmer for the evenings. Don't forget any attire needed for activities at your campsite or along the trail if you choose to add a visit to a nearby park or national forest.
Fairground rules do not allow anything that can be used as a weapon, explosive, or drone. Campground regulations are a bit more relaxed but still involve safety considerations for all campers and guests. Pack extra blankets in case it gets cold at night, foldable sitting chairs, and anything you want that is not on the prohibited items list. For a detailed overview of regulations, consult the official website.
Remember to stay hydrated, and look for shade in order to mitigate exposure to the sun. Keep sunscreen in use and wear a hat and shades. Smoking is prohibited apart from a few designated areas, and that includes e-cigarettes, vaporizers, and other vaping devices. If you have a condition that requires you to keep prescribed medication with you, be sure to retain the prescription information.
Generator use is allowed within specified parameters, and you can prepare food while you are at the fair campsite. Remember to fill your RV tanks before arriving since dry camping is to be expected. Bear in mind that if you wish to enjoy the event to its fullest, you may want to try some of the onsite culinary masterpieces. The fair features culinary competitions and a variety of onsite food vendors, so you won’t be short on food options. Depending on your route to the fair, you may wish to load up on food supplies to help enjoy your days before or after camping in Salem or refill while in the area.
In case you don’t find the available food options at the fair to your liking, or if you would like to eat at a local restaurant, you will be happy to hear that there are multiple options in the near the fairgrounds. You can find Chinese, Mexican, Thai, food restaurants, traditional American food, burger joints, sushi places, pizza places, breweries, and many other dining options.
Every year different vendors apply to have their booth present at the fair. So you may find different foods, brews, and wines available for purchase as you stroll through the fairgrounds. Curious travelers can check online as the Oregon State Fair approaches to see what delicious food options will be offered at the festival.
A security team will be at the gates and monitoring the fairgrounds for guest safety. Staff members are referred to as the Oregon State Fair & Exposition Center (OSFEC) agents, and they are in charge of enforcing the fairgrounds rules. In the event of a violation of the rules, an individual or a group may be removed from the event or an OSFEC agent may issue a warning in the event of minor accidents.
Oregon weather can vary in the late summer with several scenarios are possible. It might be warm with a soothing breeze, or it might be hot and moist. Rain is also a possibility, and it can get cold at night and in the early morning. Checking the local Salem weather forecast before you embark on your trip and along the way will help you stay prepared on the roads and while and at the fair.
The Oregon State Fair sits within 15 minutes of emergency services, so if you are not feeling well, help is available nearby in Salem. You can also ask an OSFEC agent to assist you at the fairgrounds. This animal-friendly fair brings a number of veterinarians. So, if your pet needs help, you can reach out to them. You can find these helpful services on a festival map.