Clackamas County Fair 2014

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Oh, the fair, the fair. How we love it! Don't get me wrong — it has its share of knock-off sunglasses, hot tubs, monster trucks, greasy food, scary-looking ride operators (is there any other kind?), and it's usually hot-hot-hot. But where else can you see cows being hugged by girls? Dozens of bunnies lounging with their back legs stretched out? Roosters eyeing you as if they want to peck you in the face (I know they do)? Teenagers in barns playing cards? Sheep just generally looking hilarious at every moment? A pioneer village where you can learn to dip a candle? Pioneer dudes in calico smocks making horseshoes over a forge? Yards and yards and yards of calico sewn into big, giant lady-skirts? Zero entries in the Men's Chocolate Cake competition (wha???!!! With a trophy like that, and everything?)? Little baby goats you just want to kiss on the nose and take home and tuck into bed? Kids looking so proud you just want to hug every single one of them? Bright pink peppermint ice-cream cones so big they melt all over your hand before you can eat them? Themed table displays? Elephant ears tempting you every ten yards? Teeny-tiny gentlemanly horses and enormous, snorting fat pigs being devoured (apparently) by their offspring? A dairy princess with a smile that lights up the whole fairground? Young people and old people and country people and city people, all happy to be together in a place on a beautiful late-summer day? So many things for a little baby girl to do and see and exclaim over that she can hardly believe her eyes (until she just has to close them in exhaustion)? Nowhere, really, just nowhere at all except the Clackamas County Fair. I just think it's a magical place.

Here are our other trips to the fair. I really love it there.



Fabulous! I especially enjoyed those proud faces and just all the kids and cattle. I wish I could go there. I have a question though: what are elephant ears?

Kids and fairs just go together, don't they? And I mean kids of all ages, young, not young and middle young;)

I love your posts on the fair every year All the fun without the crowds, the noise, or the smells! And seen uniquely through the eye of your camera makes it always so fun, beautiful, and inspiring!

I had a bit of deja vu when I saw Amelia next to the moccasin man. I knew I had seen it before! Thanks for the links at the bottom so I would know I wasn't crazy!

You are so blessed to have a vibrant county fair! So many of them are dwindling. It really is about the kids and raising them up with animals, real food, real work - and not many parents these days are up for the challenge. I was one of those kids and loved every minute of it. Thanks for sharing!

I always love your county fair pictures. My husband and I were traveling by rail on the Coast Starlight this weekend and I do believe I caught a glimpse of the action from the train.

I LOVE the fair! I think my favorite picture is the duck...hahaha!
Your little girl sure has grown up since last year. I so enjoyed looking at your pictures and reliving the fair again. Our county fairs are always in July.

I wish there was a way to share your entire post to the Clackamas County Fair Facebook page.
Every year, I think I should get myself together and make something with the fair theme in mind. Every year I think I should actually read the fair booklet and make things based on the class:lot:entries.
Instead, in late july, I frantically look around my sewing room, collect up a few handmade items not already gifted and 'throw' them at the mercy of the 'lady' who classifies them to where she thinks they will earn ribbons. And they do.

Please post your photos to the Clackamas County Fair page on Facebook.

I really, really hope that Andy enters the men's chocolate cake competition next year.

I remember last years trip..x
I only just met you..2 yrs ago I think:)
Every photo a delight..
BEAUTIFUL faces abound..
That first shot is so cristal clear it is unbelievable.
May I ask what lens you use for portraits such as these?
Miss A asleep on so cute..
All the French braids bring back so many memories of my girls(who after the age of 10..said no way mom..)
So I occasionally wear one.
She's a doll.
Pure and simple.a doll.

Lovely photos as always Alicia. I especially enjoyed seeing the ones of all the country fair folk. And the alpacas, they always make me laugh. Can Andy whip up a chocolate cake..? It seems that trophy is his for the taking. Let me know if he needs a recipe. CJ xx

I always love your Fair photos. Did she ride a pony? You thought she might this year????? It might just start off the beginning of that 'if wishes were ponies' girly thing that's just wonderful - having been a pony-mad girl myself and producing a daughter who is happiest in the saddle! I just love little girls and ponies!

You've done it again!
No one can bring out the best of the fair, like you do, Alicia.
Now, I look forward to the fair, every year.

I loved the fair growing up. I was a runner up rodeo queen twice. True story. :) I was also a 4-H kid so I couldn't wait to show off my garden stuff, canned pepper sauce, and clothes I had made during the year. Nothing better than a good county fair.

It looks like so much fun. My husband was a 4-H country kid, showing chickens and sheep when he was younger. I have some great pictures of him in western clothes in the show pens. I would have loved to do some of that too. Thanks for sharing your day at the fair.

Thank you for these wonderful reminders of what a special thing a fair like this can be. Our little local fair up across the line in Rock Creek, BC in three weeks' time looks very small indeed compared to what you have at Clackamas, but the feeling and the critters and the wild variety of people are the same. I needed this boost: my dear husband is a stalwart competitor in the heavy horse competitions, but lately we've been feeling as if it's all a lot of work, getting the horses back in shape and in practice, hauling them to and from the fair, and so on. You've reminded me of what it's all really about: celebrating country life and doing our best to share what we love about it both with people who live it too and with people for whom it's all an exotic and foreign world. Glad you had a good time. Great photos, particularly your ability to capture a telling moment.


I am waiting for the fall fairs here in Southern Ontario! I love them. My husband always says if I'm out of sight, he'll find me with the cows. Very true.

I love fair season. And your photos are swoon-worthy. Am I the only one who wishes there were an adult version of 4-H? I think my crafting, cooking, and various skill-learning is an attempt to create my own little 4-H.

Yea fair-time!! Any place where I can eat my weight in cotton candy is where I want to be. I am always gravitated to the vo-ag building .. maybe because I am not much of a ride person. You are right about those roosters .. they do have this devilish looks about them. I looooove all the crafts .. the quilts, jars full of pickled goodies, pies, beautiful hand carved wonders (I can barely peel carrots much less whittle a stick)and dream of a day when I am not too scarred to put in an entry and win that elusive blue ribbon. It would sit next to my 6th grade blue ribbon for square dancing. We have our state fair for the month of October but with your wonderful pictures I think I might have to drive to other counties to get my fair-fix. Thank you for sharing.

Oh my what fun! The boy in the first picture looks like he can be related to Amelia. She is such a CUTIE!!

Awww....we haven't been to the fair basically since the kiddos became too old to be in 4-H (I was a 4-H Leader). What fun! I can actually smell the elephant ears!!!

Michael Payne says: August 20, 2014 at 04:29 PM

you put the spinning wheels in just for me didn't you. I saw the Lendrum and had to smile. I was spinning today too. Looks like I'll be giving knitting help to my neighbor tomorrow but it was so much fun to look through your pics this morning. Last Fair I went to was Tillamook.
Oregon Flock n Fiber in a few weeks. Maybe it won't rain this year. See ya then. me

I also love your fair posts each year. We are heading to the State Fair on Friday - we seem to always miss the Clackamas County Fair as we're usually on our camping vacation at the same time. Mimi seems to have caught the fair-loving fever from you both! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

Amazing photos, thanks for always sharing a little bit from where you live! I love County Fairs and I miss them, Australia has 'royal shows' which are similar but different. I thought I recognized the white-bearded gentleman in the photo from last year. I love those, you should do one every year.

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at