How to donate

Eastern Oregon Livestock Show President Darren Hansen said he has been encouraged by the more than 30 volunteers who have assisted with preparing the grounds for the construction projects. Anyone who would like to also assist or make donations to help with the building projects should go to the EOLS website at

Darren Hansen’s heart sank on July 24 when he received a phone call informing him of a fire that had caused extensive damage to the northwest portion of the Eastern Oregon Livestock Show Grounds in Union.

Yet, Hansen, president of the EOLS, remained undaunted.

“I knew the day of the fire that we would have a show next year,” Hansen said.

The confidence Hansen felt, a reflection of his belief in the volunteers who are the lifeblood of the EOLS — considered to be the “oldest show in the Northwest” — is proving to be well founded. The process of preparing to restore the EOLS Grounds is going so well it appears reconstruction will be completed about two months before the 2018 show opens on June 4.

“April 1 is our deadline, and we should have everything built by then,” Hansen said.

The three race horse barns lost in the fire are set to be replaced in the next four months. Rather than replace the goat barn that was also destroyed in the fire, goats will be moved to another area of the grounds, Hansen said.

Also on the construction docket are plans for a 100-by-80-foot sale and show barn, which will replace the current smaller barn. Hansen said he hopes the sale and show barn will also be completed by April 1.

Ground has been leveled for all four of the new EOLS buildings. The materials for the horse barns have been purchased and have arrived.

The materials for the race horse barns were purchased from Noble Panels and Gates of Milton-Freewater through D&B Supply of Island City. Both businesses gave the EOLS large discounts, Hansen said.

The necessary materials for the race horse barns were purchased with the help of a $15,000 grant from the Wildhorse Foundation and a $2,500 Farm Credit Services grant. In addition, EOLS received insurance money and there have been donations to help pay for the new structures.

For the complete story, see the Dec. 22 edition of The Observer.