VENETA, Ore. — On Friday, the small town of Veneta will overnight grow into a city the size of Albany, but only for a few days.
Forty-five thousand visitors are expected for the 45th annual Oregon Country Fair.
The gates at the fair open in just three days and crews are working to finalize some last minute construction before the fair begins.
Oregon Country Fair organizers are getting ready to open the 446-acre forest just outside of Veneta to thousands of people from all around the world at the end of this week.
But before opening the gates, they’ve spent months preparing the land for visitors.
The February ice storm pushed back construction on a new area called The Bubble, but a section of the six-acre expansion will open this week, featuring artwork, aerial yoga and hula hooping.
Organizers say although this construction got pushed back, they’re excited by how the new area turned out.
“It’s been a fascinating year for us. It’s been a challenging year, but we’ve really risen to the occasion. It’s amazing the amount of response from our volunteers coming together in tough times to really just make truly wonderful lemonade out of the lemons that we got dealt,” said Charlie Ruff, Oregon County Fair manager.
This year the fair will also feature a new dragon at the front entrance, after the old one was destroyed in a fire at the beginning of this year. Artists say they’ve spent countless hours the last 10 days sanding and welding the new fire dragon.
The fair opens on Friday and runs through the weekend.