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News Release
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05-17-24_DC_Fairgrounds_-_More_than_Just_a_Fair.png
05-17-24 Douglas County Fairgrounds More Than Just a Fair (Photo) - 05/17/24

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

May 17, 2024

Douglas County Fairgrounds More Than Just a Fair! 

 

(Douglas County, Ore.) Douglas County Commissioners Chris Boice, Tim Freeman, and Tom Kress are excited to celebrate National Fairgrounds Appreciation Month with a nod to our own Douglas County Fairgrounds Complex.  While most people think of the fairgrounds as a place where the annual fair is held, our fairgrounds complex offers so much more than just a place to go every August for funnel cakes, Ferris wheel rides and rock concerts. So, much, more.  It’s where our community comes together with friends and family to have a good time, share stories, celebrate, grieve, train, learn, support youth, and serve our community in crisis.

 

The County Commissioners are proud to support the hard work our fairgrounds staff does in putting on not only one of the best fairs around, but also for the work they do year-round for all the events they host.  As I have said before, our Douglas County Fairgrounds Complex is one of our most valuable and underappreciated County assets.  County residents are missing out if they don’t take advantage of the plethora of events and opportunities they offer,” stated Douglas County Commissioner and Fairgrounds Liaison, Tom Kress. 

 

Annually the Douglas County Fairgrounds is host to hundreds of events that host thousands of visitors, including the annual Christmas Craft Fair, Challenge of Champions Bull Riding Series, Father Daughter Dance, Home Show, Umpqua Fishery Enhancement Derby, Spring Craft Fair, Quilt Show, Lamb Show, Goat Show, Respect for Law Banquet, Master Gardeners Plant and Garden Expo, Gem Show, Circus on Ice, Retriever Club Shows, 4-H and FFA Shows, Graffiti Show and Shine, Dog Show, 4th of July Fireworks, Gun & Knife Show, First Citizens Banquet, Fall Craft Fair, Roseburg Outlaw Kart Races, Monster Trucks, Jackpot Youth Shows, Sportsman’s and Outdoor Show, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Dirt Track Races, K9s Unleashed, Barrel Races, Swap Meet & Fall Fling Car Show, Umpqua Valley Junior Livestock Classic, Umpqua Valley Gymnastics Riverside Classic, Poker Craze – Texas Holdem’ Tournament, Wedding Expo, Southern Oregon Rod & Custom Show, Horse Shows, Dance Competitions, Proms and School Dances, Benefit Car Shows, Annual Meetings, Roseburg Chamber Luncheons, DC Mounted Posse Events, Pro Wrestling Events, Dahlia Show, Conventions, Board Meetings, Seminars, Trade Shows, Weddings, Memorials, Class and Family Reunions, Birthday Parties, Retirement Parties, Celebrations of Life, RV Shows, Oregon Equestrian Team Events, and Fundraisers.  In addition to these annual events, the Douglas County Commissioners have made sure that the Douglas County Fairgrounds has been there when our community needed them by hosting Animal Rescue and Shelter Operations; Red Cross Emergency Shelters; Wildfire Base Camp and Command Centers; Vaccination, Flu and COVID Testing Clinics; Law Enforcement and Fire Department Trainings; Emergency and First Aid Training; Motorcycle Riding Classes and the special reverse Douglas County Veterans Day Parade in 2020.

 

The 74-acre Douglas County Fairgrounds Complex is home to six community buildings (Douglas Hall, Exhibit Building, Floral Building, Community Building, Pavilion Arena and River Arena); three animal boarding barns (horse, cow and rabbit/poultry); a dirt track speedway and grandstands; amphitheater; two covered outdoor pavilions (Food Court and Douglas Timber Operators); an outdoor livestock arena; two parks (Umpqua Park and the Playground); Roseburg Playschool Co-op (Preschool for ages 2-pre-K); Year-Round RV Park with 50 RV spots; six parking lots; several maintenance buildings and three concession stands/kitchens.  Unlike most other fairground complexes in the Pacific Northwest, the Douglas County Fairgrounds Complex is open year-round for event rentals.  It boasts some of the largest indoor spaces in the state, offers convenient professional onsite catering services, and unique river and fishing access. 

 

The first recorded fair in Douglas County occurred in 1860 when an agricultural fair was held in Oakland. During the 1880s Roseburg was the site of the Southern Oregon District Fair, encompassing Jackson, Josephine, Coos, Curry, and Douglas Counties. People came from all over the state by train, buggy and horseback to explore the fair.  Most of the activity back then was around the Harness Races that were run on the Frank Alley Ranch located on East Douglas Avenue. Residents brought flowers, handiwork, baked goods, and crafts to display and sell at the event.  In 1920 there was finally enough support generated for a County Fair, which was held in Reedsport for about $750. However, during the Great Depression fair activity died out and for nearly twenty years no events were held.  In 1937, Earl Britton, who was head of the local 4H Clubs, worked to revive interest in a local County Fair and began hosting 4-H displays in the Roseburg Armory. In 1944, the County Court signed an order for the purchase of land where the present Fairgrounds Complex is located. Voters approved a $30,000 tax levy to buy the property. An advisory board was appointed, followed by the first Fair Board. In 1945 the first Douglas County Fair was held with one display building where 4-H and FFA activities were held. In addition to our County Commissioners over the years, many local businesses, service groups, and organizations including the Douglas County Sheriff's Posse, 4H, and Douglas Timber Operators have been actively involved in making the fairgrounds complex what it is today. 

 

The Douglas County Fairground’s roots really do run deep in our community, and they are absolutely grounds for everyone.  To find out more about what the Douglas County Fairgrounds has to offer, log onto our website at https://douglasfairgrounds.com/

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Media Contact: Tamara Howell, Douglas County Emergency Communications & Community Engagement Specialist, Douglas County Public Affairs Office | Office: (541) 957-4896 | Cell: (541) 670-2804 | Email: tamara.howell@douglascountyor.gov

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