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E AST O REGONIAN
WEEKEND, August 10, 2019
Umatilla County Fair brings individuals with different backgrounds together
By JADE MCDOWELL
the umatilla County Fair brought people of
all ages and backgrounds together this week
with “strong roots and cowboy boots.”
Staff photos by Ben Lonergan
Delaney Wieseler, 12, of Stanfield, was tending to
her black calf Mosey all week at the fair. She got
Mosey from her grandfather, a rancher who
taught her all about proper care of cattle.
“I have to make sure I’m feeding
him enough so he actually gains
weight, because even at 1,300
pounds he’s light,” she said.
She is also raising two friends
for Mosey, named Rusty and
French Fry, who served as
backup in case something
happened to her prize steer
before she was ready to show
at the fair.
Delaney showed a steer at
the fair through 4-H last year,
too, because she likes the chal-
lenge of a larger animal who needs
walked, fed, watered, washed and
“It’s like lugging around 1,500
pounds of dead weight,” she said.
Delaney Wieseler, 12, of Stanfield, poses for a portrait with
her cow Mosey outside of the livestock barn at the Umatilla
County Fair on Wednesday afternoon.
Addison Kate McClure poses with her rab-
bit Snowflake in the small animal barn at the
Umatilla County Fair Wednesday afternoon.
Addison Kate McClure of Hermiston, “turning 11
soon,” is no stranger to spending time in the barns during
fair week. This is already her sixth year there.
She, her brother and her sister are all showing hogs for
4-H this year, but she said they don’t let sibling rivalry pit
them against each other.
“They help me to get my pig to make weight,” she said.
It was close for this year’s hog, Spot.
“They have to weigh 240 pounds and he weighed 240
pounds,” she said.
Addison was also showing Snowflake, a pure white Hol-
land Lop rabbit with rare blue eyes.
Cate Doherty poses in the small animal barn with her
rabbit Persephone and turkey Giblets for which she
won the best showman award at the Umatilla County
Cate Doherty, 11, is an old hand at the fair — the
East Oregonian featured photos of her with her chicken
and rabbit four years ago.
She’s still at it, with a Mini Rex rabbit she named
Persephone and turkey named Sir Giblets the First.
“They just come to me,” she said, shrugging, when
asked where she comes up with names for her animals.
Most of the animals in the barns at the Umatilla
County Fair will go up for auction on Saturday, but
Cate said she decided to keep Persephone as a pet
Everyone was eager to pet the super-soft black and
white rabbit in her arms, but she said fairgoers are less
interested in touching Sir Giblets the First.
“Turkeys are very nice,” Cate said. “Don’t be afraid
Jason Collyer was checking out the small animal
barn on Wednesday afternoon, but it was gaming that
brought him to the fairgrounds.
He said he was spending plenty of time on the
full-immersion virtual reality gaming sets at the
Tech Tech Goose gaming booth, as well as play-
ing Magic the Gathering with other fairgoers.
The complex trading card game, in which
players pit their decks against each other in a
simulated battle between wizards, is a favorite
“I started out playing Yu-Gi-Oh!, but once
I learned that Magic had an unlimited field size I
started playing that more,” he said.
Jason Collyer strolls through the small animal barn at
the Umatilla County Fair Wednesday afternoon at the
Eastern Oregon Trade and Event Center in Hermiston.
Ryne Jones, of the Tri-Cities, was keeping cool in tri-
ple-digit heat at the fair this week.
He and his family sat in the shade by a wide, shal-
low pool as they ran the “water bobbles” ride.
Riders are zipped inside a large plastic ball
which, after being inflated, allows them to run
around on top of the water.
“It’s hands down the most fun you can
have at the fair,” he said.
There’s no age limit, so Jones sees riders
from young children to “itty bitty grand-
mas” trying to help their grandchildren
build up the courage to try it out.
During most of the year he manages a
pizza parlor, but in the summer Jones and his
family hit the road to run the water bobble ride
at fairs around the Pacific Northwest.
“It’s pretty demanding for us as we work 60-70
hours a week, but it’s really rewarding to see the smiles on
kids’ faces and on parents’ faces watching their kids have fun,”
poses for a
portrait as his
son Maison Jones,
10, rolls in a ball on the
water behind him.
Chuck Peck served up “monstrously huge”
foods at the appropriately named Monster
Foods during the fair. The booth includes
pizza-sized elephant ears, extra-long
corn dogs and giant blocks of curly fries.
“We’ve got the biggest food you’ll
find anywhere,” he said.
His favorite is making the corn
“Corn dogs are my gig,” he said.
He tours with the booth each
May through November.
“It’s a great opportunity to get
to work with friends and family,” he
said. “We’ve got a really good team
going on and we have the opportu-
nity to affect a lot of people and make
a lot of people happy with our food.”
Chuck Peck, second from the left, and the rest
of the Monster Foods crew pose for a portrait on
day two of the Umatilla County Fair at the Eastern Or-
egon Trade and Event Center in Hermiston.
hibit at the Umatilla Coun-
ty Fair Wednesday afternoon
at the Eastern Oregon Trade
and Event Center in Hermis-
Nancy and Jerry Evans are big rodeo fans, and had plans to attend every night of the Farm-City Pro Rodeo
this week, but they also spent time checking out the fair exhibits.
Nancy was in 4-H herself as a child, walking 2 miles home from meetings each week in Colorado.
“To brag a little, I was grand champion in cooking and grand champion in home furnishing my last year,” she said.
“That was in 1954.”
She rode her first train all by herself at age 12 to go to a 4-H function.
“She used to ride on what they called the milk train, and it stopped at every little town and dropped off mail and milk and cream and
eggs,” Jerry said.
“We picked up bodies too,” Nancy added. “They unloaded a coffin.”
The couple said they were pleased to see today’s children still taking the opportunity to learn practical skills through 4-H.