REDMOND, OR -- The Deschutes County Fair opens today at 10 am, and visitors can expect animal and crafted exhibits, an amateur talent show, major concerts, vendors, a rodeo, and even a watermelon eating contest. With so many fun events on tap, the Redmond Police Department is preparing for the increased traffic and activity in the City between today and Sunday.
Lieutenant Curtis Chambers says it's a good idea to plan ahead, and know that as the day progresses, the crowds will grow. "Most people arrive at the Fair during the afternoon and into the early evening, and stay late, especially when it's so hot."
Chambers says traffic is always heavier during fair week, but he's expecting some extra challenges this year. "To complicate things even worse this year is the closure of a good portion of SW Canal Blvd, meaning everyone will be redirected onto the Highway." He adds, "Do not anticipate just a quick, 20 minute drive to the Fairgrounds." He says you'll keep your frustration level down, and have a better time at the Fair, if you expect to spend more time on the road than usual. "Plan ahead. Arrive early. Carpool if you can. Pack some water in your car. Take the time, enjoy the trip, and arrive in good spirits."
Dan Despotopolous, who has managed the Deschutes County Fair and Rodeo for 18 years, says transportation can be free, fun and easy. "Mom and Dad and the kids could take the bus from Sisters, Redmond, and Bend, drop off right out front, don't have to deal with all the traffic." The Fair Shuttle is free and a schedule can be found at the Deschutes County Fair
Despotopolous adds that Thursday, kids 12 and under get into the Fair for free, and if they bring a can of food for donation, they'll receive a ticket for a free carnival ride, which should be even more fun this year. "We have a whole new carnival area. We'll still have the main carnival, but one's going to be more focused on the younger kids, called Familyville, so we're going to have double the rides."