VENETA, Ore. — The Oregon Country Fair will open its gates to the public this weekend.
Even though visitors aren’t allowed in yet, the fair property is still bustling with activity.
For all but a week of the year, the booths at the Oregon Country Fair sit unused, folding right back into the forest just outside Veneta.
But for this one week, the paths that wind around all these giant trees are a flurry of activity.
“It’s pretty hectic usually,” said fair vendor Peter Bush.
There’s dusting to be done, decorations to put up, crafts to display–a process that’s second nature to fairgoers like Kolieha Bush.
“We get here on Wednesday and everybody sherpas everything in. It works pretty well since we’ve been doing it for a long time,” Bush said.
She shares her booth with her brother Peter.
“It’s become my home since 1982. This is my 31st fair in a row,” Peter Bush said.
He makes and sells marimbas. But he doesn’t make the trip to the fair every year just to make a few extra bucks.
“This is about the greatest assembly of people that I’ve ever had anything to do with and I just love it,” Peter Bush said.
That assembly of people includes fair veteran grandparents, first-timers and every age in between.
“I make bracelets that I’ve made for, basically, most of my life and I sell them,” said Isaiah Lightdancer.
He isn’t kidding. He’s been a vendor at the country fair for seven of the 12 years he’s been alive.
“I do really well every year, and I have fun doing it,” Lightdancer said.
That is what brings these vendors here: fun.
“I just love all the people and all the costumes, all the beautiful energy. I’ve never been in a place where there’s more great energy all concentrated at once,” Peter Bush said.
In a few days time, that energy will fade just as the crowds do, and the booths will become a part of nature again.