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La Grande Observer Paper 07/23/14

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Home arrow News arrow Local News arrow PEOPLE OF ALL AGES ENJOY...FAIR DAYS


HANGIN' OUT: Hannah Hall, 15, of Imbler enjoys the Union County Fair Friday evening. Not a big fan of carnival rides, she enjoyed the diversity and socialization at the fair. (The Obsrver/KELLY WARD).
HANGIN' OUT: Hannah Hall, 15, of Imbler enjoys the Union County Fair Friday evening. Not a big fan of carnival rides, she enjoyed the diversity and socialization at the fair. (The Obsrver/KELLY WARD).

By T.L. Petersen

Observer staff writer

Each year, the Union County Fair rolls around and brings ribbons and corndogs, early days of cleaning livestock pens and late nights of music and carnival rides.

And then its gone for another year.

But the memories remain.

Was this the year of the championship, finally? Or the most embarrassing moment? Was this the year of that first kiss on a Ferris wheel? Or will the weird, spotted, neon leopard live on the dresser for the next year as a memory of a crazy evening of laughter?

What was your favorite moment or part of the fair?

I think I like the booths and the diversity of all the areas, said 15-year-old Hannah Hall of Imbler, pausing outside a carnival ride in jeans, a sleeveless shirt and cowboy hat.

The rides are OK, but I get sick. I like to walk around and talk to the people I know, she says, seeming almost wistful to see another fair winding down.

Hall admits shell probably challenge her stomach to at least the little, speedy, zipper carnival ride prior to checking her hogs before the evening is over.

For Hall, the best part of the fair is just being here with the people shes met during the past few days. I met a lot of new friends.

Ethan Black, 4, of Union had his best moment when I saw the Army stuff.

Ethan crawled under the camouflaged Jeep, checked the communications system and left the world behind for a few minutes to disappear into the gloom of a faraway jungle.

Ethan even agreed to take his brother, Jesse, 8, along. I liked the Army, too, Jesse said. I liked driving the Jeep.

Melissa and Robert Widel of Pendleton visited the Union County Fair with family they were visiting.

It was the first fair visit ever for Katelynn Widel, their 7-month-old daughter, people-watching with wide eyes from her stroller.

Her parents reached an easy agreement that Katelynns favorite part of the fair were the animals, the same as her dads favorite.

But Melissa Widel was sure about her favorite part. I like the different give-aways, she said.

Among her favorites: the little plastic phones from US Cellular and the key chains and cups from different organizations and businesses.

Jeramy Boothman, 12, of La Grande has been showing sheep at the county fair for three years and finished this fair with a reserve championship, but with the days of showing winding down, he was ready for the lights and sounds of the midway.

Boothman had his eye on the Bonzai Bomber ride, and was estimating hed ride it a few times before the night was over.

Ted Metteer of Hermiston was starting his visit to the Union County Fair with the food at Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church food stand.

I just got here, he said, but he was clear about what was important for him to see.

I like the livestock, the long-time stockman said, and what the kids do.

Metteer was, after all, at the fair to see his great-granddaughters reserve championship biscuits shes a good cook! and other crafts entries entered by his great-granddaughters and great-grandsons.

Clay Moose Hudson, 17, of Summerville has a theory about the fair: If you do something that involves pain, the rest just feels better.

Hudson agreed two nights in a row to start his evening at the fair riding, with more or less success, a mechanical bull.

All smiles, Moose is ready to pick himself up off the mat and continue to seek out whatever the fair still has to offer.

None of his friends, a cheering crowd they might be, were ready to jump on and take his place, though.

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