Make a Day of it: Oregon State Fair (August 25 – September 4, 2017)

Run Oregon loves running – that’s no surprise. But we also love the Pacific Northwest and all that it has to offer. Running is a part of us, but it does not fully define us. In our new “Make a Day of It” feature, we aim to showcase some great local non-running events and highlight where to run and how to make the most of your experience!

The next installment of this series is the Oregon State Fair!

First the running:

Salem has a ton of races throughout the year, so we recommend checking out our race calendar for all your scheduling needs. Here are some of Salem’s biggest events:

There are a small number of races that run through the fairgrounds each year – most of which are color-themed. The Fairgrounds is pretty centrally located in the Salem/Keizer metro center and is smack dab in the middle of residential neighborhoods on all sides, making runs in and around the property pretty scarce as a whole.

Now to the details to the experience itself:

If you have lived in Oregon, my guess is that most of you have attended the Oregon State Fair at least once. Even with my resistance to crowds, I always check out the fair with my kids. From the competitions, to the animals, to the carnival, it always signals to me, the close of summer and the start of our time to get back into “real world” mode. It’s nice to have an escape for a day or two and just go back to the wonder and awe of being a kid.

The State Fair and LB Day Amphitheater always has some “typical” concert line-ups – from some up-and-coming artists to some “they are still around?!” musicians as well. There is usually a pretty diverse line-up and this year is no different:

  • Dwight Yoakam
  • Joan Jett
  • Eddie Money
  • Josh Turner
  • for King and Country
  • Kenny Loggins
  • Third Eye Blind
  • Vince Neil (singer for Motley Crue)
  • Trace Adkins

I always appreciate that the shows are free with fair admission (at least to the first 6,000 who show up). However, they do have VIP options available for $35, which allow for reserved seating, preferred access to concessions, and a chance to meet-and-greet with the band.

Also this year, there will be Cirque Ma’Ceo, an equestrian and acrobatic performance that will play multiple times per day and is sure to wow people. This will take place in the Pavilion and separate tickets will need to be purchased separately for $10-$20.

As you are wandering around, filling up on fair food and drinks (make sure you get a run in ahead of time), consider checking out the always popular Dog Town, STREAM venue, and a variety of other family entertainers. And you know you just have to get on that Fair Lift and check out the Nightly Fun Fire Finale before calling it a day.

Follow them State Fair on Facebook for deals and updates throughout the week!

You know that Run Oregon will be there again this year. Will you?


  • Friday, Aug. 25:  10:00 am to 11:00 pm
  • Saturday, Aug. 26: 10:00 am to 11:00 pm
  • Sunday, Aug. 27: 10:00 am to 10:00 pm
  • Monday, Aug. 28 thru Thursday, Aug. 31: 10:00 am to 10:00 pm
  • Friday, Sept. 1: 10:00 am to 11:00 pm
  • Saturday, Sept. 2: 10:00 am to 11:00 pm
  • Sunday, Sept. 3: 10:00 am to 11:00 pm
  • Labor Day, Sept. 4: 10:00 am to 10:00 pm
  • Carnival opens daily at 11:00 am

Cost: Purchase tickets here. There are also deals and discounts each day as well. :

  • $6 Adults
  • $5 Children
  • $1 Seniors
  • $5 Parking
  • $50 Ride & Game Tickets 120 for 50.00
  • $37.50 Advance Discount Unlimited Ride Wristband


About Author

Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching hockey, going to as many breweries (618) and wineries (152) as he can, and all things Canada (he was born there). Matt was raised as a baseball player and officially transitioned over to running in 2010.

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