Two long-standing events will delight thousands of visitors over the next two weekends. The Southern Oregon Kite Festival paints the sky this weekend at the Port of Brookings-Harbor, and the Curry County Fair opens its gates next weekend in Gold Beach.
More importantly, both events celebrate significant anniversaries this year, at a time when many things come and go too quickly.
The Kite Festival (today and tomorrow) is a homegrown, one-of-a-kind event. It started as a dream of Steve O'Brien, was made real by former residents Larry and Lynn Goodman, and has been stabilized as a community fixture when it was taken over by the Port of Brookings Harbor.
What makes it unique? It attracts the premier kite flyers and makers from around the world to come display their astounding skills and colorful wares. What qualifies as jaw-dropping? We have watched a flyer guide his kite in a complete circle, just a few feet off the ground, when there seems to be absolutely not a breath of wind. Best of all: It's free of charge.
The Curry County Fair is an award-winning, small county fair that has the ability to both remind us of the rural roots in our culture and to show us where our lifestyles might be headed in the future.
The Curry fair dates its centennial to the Coos and Curry County Fair held in Myrtle Point in 1912, which continued until 1934 when Curry residents decided they needed their own event. A few years later, the fair found a permanent home on what is now the Event Center on the Beach in Gold Beach. With the exception of the war years, the fair has been an annual summer attraction ever since.
The vast list of contests and events offered at the fair paints a portrait of life in our corner of the world. From fern bundles to jars of jelly, from fancy chickens to huge bulls, from barrel racing to tough trucks, from a parade to exotic animals, from ugly dogs to beautiful babies, from snow cones to a ferris wheel with a view of the ocean sunset, it is a uniquely American kaleidoscope where everyone can find something.
Everyone involved in both events, both this year and many years before, deserve hearty congratulations from the community and their patrons.