This year’s Curry County Fair had to be canceled because of concerns related to the pandemic, but the fairgrounds and the Event Center on the Beach staff remain busy serving the community.
“We are looking forward to hosting the Curry County Junior Livestock Auction in just one week to support our local 4-H program and the kids, and their families, who have made all the sacrifices to complete their projects and raise their animals within the stringent safety requirements for this season,” said CEO Kaitlyn Coleman.
But Coleman is concerned about the fair’s financial future, and hopes supporters can help convince the state legislature to reconsider a potential cut of $1 million in lottery fund allocations for county fairs.
“Aside from our partnership with 4-H and OSU extension, we also hold many other roles and partnerships,” Coleman said. “We provide rentals for horses and storage for boats and RVs, we provide seasonal housing for wildland firefighters, and serve as a stand-by for the impending possibility of wildfire base camps. In the past several years we have been the base for the biggest wildfires in the state, lasting for months at a time.”
She said the Curry County Fair, like others throughout Oregon, depend on lottery funds for financial support.
“The possibility of losing these funds is devastating,” she said. “Outside of the lottery funds, our other sources of income include rental of facilities on the grounds, sponsorships, and income associated with fair and other events. Due to COVID we have had to essentially close down. Without the ability to rent facilities or host events our income has been almost eliminated.”
Without the lottery funding, Coleman said the Curry County Fair and others face the real possibility of not being able to recover. She’s encouraging citizens to write to legislators, asking for funding to be continued.
“We do not want to become a burden on the community we serve, but without continued funding the time we have left to be able to serve our community will be limited,” she said.
Coleman suggests supporters write to legislators representing Curry County: State Representative David Brock-Smith, 900 Court St NE H-379, Salem, OR 97301; and Senator Dallas Heard, 900 Court St NE S-316, Salem, OR 97301.