Catch lumberjacks and buckin’ broncos at the Oregon State Fair

By April Ehrlich (OPB)
Aug. 27, 2022 7:02 p.m.

The fair brings back events to its Pavilion arena, including monster trucks and a demolition derby, after a two-year hiatus

The 156th Oregon State Fair in Salem kicked off Friday with a full schedule of magic shows, acrobats and fried treats, running up to Labor Day.

This year’s lineup includes some familiar faces for people who were teenagers in the early aughts: Shaggy, TLC and Nelly are scheduled to perform, as well as a couple of country favorites: Scotty McCreery and Gary LeVox, the lead singer of Rascal Flatts. Concert tickets are available on the fair’s website.


This year, fairgoers can also celebrate Latin American culture through Dia de la Familia, a series of bilingual activities and performances. On Sundays during the fair, families can play lotería, a game from Mexico that’s similar to bingo, or they can learn the art of tortilla painting.

There will, of course, be plenty of explosive monster-truck fun through Motor Mania and a demolition derby in the Pavilion, an arena that’s open again after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You’ll want to get to these scheduled events early, since admission is available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Other performances include the Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Show, which features “only quality lumberjack competitors,” as its website puts it. These quality lumberjacks will perform log-rolling and various chopping techniques.

A man rides the back of a bull that is kicking up its hind legs as another man nearby holds a lasso.

A bull rider with the Oregon State Fair's Jaripeo Espectacular performance.

Oregon State Fair

There’s also a magic show, bungee-jumping stunts, acrobats, a comedic hypnotist show, bull riding and other “buckin’ broncos” in the grand finale rodeo.

The Oregon State Fair runs until Sept. 5. Tickets cost $12 for adults, $3 for seniors age 65 and older, $10 for children between 6 and 12. Admission for children 5 and younger is free. It’s open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and it stays open an hour later on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.