The summer Coos County fair is always a lot of fun! This year’s fair featured five days packed with entertainment, food, and a new exhibit barn! The fair had a wealth of activities for young and old including exhibitions, competitions, classic car show, Country music, a parade, square dancers, roller derby, rodeo, rids, food and more! [1,2]
One highlight was the almost finished barn (fantastic!) packed full of livestock exhibits (horses, swine, sheep, and goats) with poultry and rabbits nearby. Visitors could browse well-cared for varieties of animals, participate in nearby animal auctions, sales, and fund raisers. Exhibitors seemed more able to maneuver around the space to take care of the animals during the heat of the afternoon greatly tempered by the metal roof shade. The barn construction will wrap up on August 5th with the Water Suppression system according to Debbie James, Fair Office Manager. 
Last year the 4H auction earned more than $500,000 which contributes to the local economy along with other monies earned during the Fair. Researchers have identified five ways that the economy is supported including bringing attention to natural resource activities, providing products and services that help retain money locally longer, attracting local residents and visitors to an area, and connecting a very diverse audience. The economic multiplier is $10:1 for State Funding. 
Not all of the benefits are easily measured. What is the value of building a community, teaching leadership and business skills, and helping to strengthen community networks? The Fair and the Fair community contribute more than what people might guess. What is the value of winning your first 'Best of Show" ribbon? A memory for a lifetime.
The Coos County Fair Alliance is always looking for ways to attract more participants and they saw success this year. This year’s fair agenda included a very wide array of events and activities (parade, demonstrations music, contests, food, and more), and several new twists (such as car show, music festival, increased seating around the food areas, and more discounts). 
Fair attendance was up every day, Ms. Debbie James, Fair Office Manager said. “Overall we did really, really well.” 
Next year, there could be a new Food Pavillion. The Coos County Fair Alliance is busy raising funds to complete phase 1 of the project construction. The new Pavilion will feature six food stations, covered seating, a patio and courtyard, a grape arbor, a tongue and groove wood ceiling, and evening lighting all protected under a roof featuring four gables and a cupola. The Pavilion will be available for year-round use and for special events and dance venues. Phase 2 could include a solar photovoltaic system. 
Oregon has 36 county fairs and one State Fair with more than 1.5 million Oregonians attending a County fair in 2017! This more than 100-year-old tradition offers something for everyone right in your own backyard. Did you miss it? Too bad—it was A LOT of fun! 
To find out when county fairs are scheduled go to: oregonfairs.org/information_about_fairs_in_Oregon 
Mark your calendars for Douglas County Fair, August 7-11 in Roseburg, and Oregon State Fair for August 24- September 3 in Salem. Curry and Lane Fairs just finished in late July.
1 Coos County Fair Features New Event This Year (https://theworldlink.com/news/local/coos-county-fair-features-new-events-this-year/article_5fa73679-9287-5938-804c-dcf7cbbb7992.html)
2 Coos County Fair & Rodeo (www.cooscountyfair.com)
3 Phone conversation with Debbie James, Fair Office Manager on 7/29/2019
4 Coos County Fair Contributes to local and student funds (https://kcby.com/news/local/coos-county-fair-contributes-to-local-and-student-funds)
5 Special Report, 1076 May 2007 Oregon County Fairs: An Economic Impact Analysis, OSU Extension report (https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/downloads/bg257g14n)
6 Coos County Fair Alliance (https://cooscountyfairalliance.org/food-pavilion)
7 About Us, .Oregon Fairs Association (https://oregonfairs.org/about.php)
The South Coast Development Council focuses on activities that involve business retention/ recruitment, and expansion. Outdoor recreation activities, such as biking, can help diversify and support businesses all along the coast. Let's get out and ride!