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Oregon Country Fair breaks attendance records

As of 4 P.M. Sunday the weekend attendance totaled 58,330, their largest attendance since the 1980's.

Posted: Jul 14, 2019 6:05 PM
Updated: Jul 15, 2019 10:57 AM

VENETA, Ore. -- The Oregon Country Fair celebrated its 50th birthday and this year it looked to break records.

RELATED: OREGON COUNTRY FAIR TO ATTRACT RECORD CROWDS

Charlie Ruff works for the fair and he said that Friday was the biggest Friday he can remember in the last 20 years. He said Saturday sold out as well.

As of 4 p.m. Sunday the weekend attendance totaled 58,330 -- their largest attendance since the 1980s. On Friday, there were 20,047 people and on Saturday, 21,539.

He said they have an attendance cap every day of 21,500 tickets.

He said if you bring that many people together -- there will inevitably be incidents.

"Most of the issues are more traffic related," Ruff said. "The stuff that happens inside we deal with. We can call the sheriff and ask for some support. We've done that a couple of times with certain situations over the weekend, but that's really just support and that is part of that relationship we have with them."

An employee at a restaurant downtown said that Veneta is a dead zone every day during the fair, but when it lets out every night she said there are more people downtown than she sees all year.

She said there is never really any increased amount of disturbances or disorderly behavior from any of the fairgoers -- something Ruff said they pretty much have down by now.

"We've been doing this for 50 years and you can't do anything for 50 years and not hopefully get pretty good at it," said Ruff.

Even with the numbers, Ruff said to maintain the integrity and experience of the fair they have no plans to expand.

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