Randy Robbins

Fairgoers who love critters are in luck as animals are back at the Curry County Fair that opens its gates today (July 26).

The annual fair is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily through Saturday, July 29, at the Event Center on the Beach on Highway 101 in Gold Beach.

Highlighting the events is the return of 4-H livestock events.

After scheduling conflicts with Cape Blanco Music Festival the past two years, the board scheduled the fair later in August. Unfortunately, the move created problems for 4-H activities, which had to be held some two to three weeks before the fair.

“We lost the 4-H animals and the wonderful auction that the kids work so hard for,” said Mureen Walker, fair spokesperson. By the time the fair happened, 4-H livestock had already gone to market. “The floral department also took a particularly hard hit — flower production suffered.”

That is all in the past, and fair weather is in the forecast. Bringing the fair back to its regular time slot has made Walker and Curry County Fair Manager Ron Crook happy.

Walker said 4-H is important to the fair. She and Crook got their start as children by bringing their horses from their Pistol River homes.

Margie House is in her fifth year as the outreach program director for the Oregon State University Extension Service and heads the 4-H Youth Program. She is ecstatic about the fair returning to its normal schedule.

“We are very happy to be back together with the fair. It’s been a tough two years apart,” House said. “We’ve had a petting zoo and some other venues to keep a toe in the water — so to speak — but, yeah, it’s really great news for the kids, and they are excited to be able to show their animals to the public.”

The 4-H program has been with the Curry County Fair from its inception and this year, House said, the club has 98 young people participating.

“We have many opportunities available for our youth to be able to work together to learn how to care for animals thanks to our fantastic community support and partners that make your 4-H a success,” House said.

In addition to the live auction at the fair — scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday — 4-H is involved in the Port Orford Jubilee, The Lobster Creek Camp, Ocean Life and KASPER Program.

For more about 4-H, contact House at 541-247-6672 or visit extension.oregonstate.edu/curry.