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Saturday, December 9, 2023
Dec. 9, 2023

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Clark County Fair stays true to roots with rides, food, farm-themed activities

By , Columbian Features Editor
4 Photos
Dock Dogs, along with other doggy fun, will coalesce in DogTown near the east gate at the Clark County Fairgrounds with events from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.
Dock Dogs, along with other doggy fun, will coalesce in DogTown near the east gate at the Clark County Fairgrounds with events from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. (Amanda Cowan/The Columbian files) Photo Gallery

Prices are up and free pancakes are out, but the slogan for this year’s Clark County Fair promises that it’s still “where farm meets fun.”

“It’s a great entertainment opportunity for anyone who wants a family-oriented day with a wide variety of things to do,” said John Morrison, Clark County Fair manager.

The fair’s return last year after a two-year pandemic pause met an appreciative audience. Attendance in 2022 reached 285,500, about 14 percent higher than the last fair before COVID-19.

This year’s fair, which begins Friday and continues through Aug. 13, brings a few tweaks.

Adult admission is up from $11.25 last year to an even $12 this year. Morrison said that’s to cover rising costs and eliminate the need for coins at the ticket booths.

Clark County Fair

  • When: Aug. 4-13
  • Where: 17402 N.E. Delfel Road, Ridgefield.
  • Admission: $12 for adults; $10 for seniors 62 and older; $9 for children ages 7-12; free for children 6 and younger. (Tickets are discounted by $2 through today when purchased online at the fair’s website, www.clarkcofair.com, although a $1.50-per-ticket service charge applies.)

Discount days

  • Opening Day, Friday, Aug. 4: Free admission 10 a.m. to noon. (Valid only with coupon from participating Fred Meyer locations.)
  • Monday, Aug. 7: Family Day. Admission is $7 for kids ages 7-12; kids 6 and younger are free.
  • Tuesday, Aug. 8: Military Appreciation Day. Admission is $8 per person for current and past military, with military I.D.
  • Wednesday, Aug. 9: Prime of Your Life Day. Senior admission is $8 for those 62 and older.
  • Thursday, Aug. 10: Kids’ Day. Admission is $7 for ages 7-12, 6 and younger free.


  • Friday and Saturday, Aug. 4-5: 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Sunday, Aug. 6 through Thursday, Aug. 10: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Friday, Aug. 11 to Saturday, Aug. 12: 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Sunday, Aug. 13: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Rides open at noon daily.

Getting there

  • Parking: $8 per vehicle, cash or card.
  • C-Tran: Free shuttle service to the fair from Fisher’s Landing, Vancouver Mall, Hazel Dell, Battle Ground, Ridgefield and La Center. For details, visit www.c-tran.com/fair.


  • • $1 per ride credit. Rides require 3-5 credits per person.
  • • $37 for wristbands.

Grandstand event schedule

  • Friday, Aug. 4: Trace Adkins at 7 p.m. Free seating available.
  • Saturday, Aug. 5: George Thorogood and The Destroyers at 7 p.m. Free seating available.
  • Sunday, Aug. 6: Blue Oyster Cult at 7 p.m. Free seating available.
  • Monday, Aug. 7: LOCASH at 7 p.m. Free seating available.
  • Tuesday, Aug. 8: Mutton Bustin’ at 2 p.m.; Roughstock Rodeo at 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Aug. 9: Demolition Derby at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
  • Thursday, Aug. 10: Side by Side Racing at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
  • Friday, Aug. 11 and Saturday, Aug. 12: Tuff Trucks at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
  • Sunday, Aug. 13: Monster Trucks at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

And gone is the free pancake breakfast that has been a tradition on opening day of the Clark County Fair since at least 1989. (That year, Safeway ran an advertisement in The Columbian bragging that it served pancakes to 16,000 fairgoers.)

Fred Meyer, which later took over sponsorship of the opening-day breakfast, decided earlier this year to forgo the free flapjacks in favor of writing a check for $10,000 to the Clark County Food Bank. The supermarket chain is still sponsoring free admission on opening day, however. Today is the last day to snag a coupon at participating Fred Meyer stores that’s redeemable for free entry to the fair between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Friday.

The popular diving-dogs competition is back complemented by other doggy-related fun in the same corner of the fairgrounds, near the blue gate on the east end. Dubbed DogTown, visitors can watch various dog competitions from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

“That change was made so there would be activity all day long,” Morrison said.

Visitors will notice changes in the food court, as well. The proprietor of Patrick’s Hawaiian Cafe retired, Morrison said, so that booth won’t be back this year. A new booth will serve banh mi. Daddy D’s Southern Style BBQ is also joining the offerings.

In the buildings next to the food court, visitors will find the Wizard’s Challenge.

“The best way to describe it is science with a medieval theme,” Morrison said.

The nearby Fun Zone features bounce houses and inflatable-ax throwing — all for no extra cost.

“When you come to this fair, unless you eat it or ride it, I want it to be free,” Morrison said.

Butterfly Adventures is back, near the green gate at the west end of the fairgrounds. Visitors can feed and interact with the butterflies. Curly the Camel & Friends (which include a mini zebu, a sort of humped cow) are stationed nearby. Never seen this kind of animal? That’s the idea.

“I don’t want people to say I went to the fair and it was the same as it always is,” Morrison said. “I want them to go the fair and say I saw something I never saw before.”

At the same time, he said the Clark County Fair aims to stay true to its agriculture roots.

For example, he invites kids ages 2 to 12 to pick up a Passport to Fun. It’s a little cardboard fan with activities to complete, like visiting animal barns, to earn stamps that can be redeemed for a prize.

“A fair ought to be fun,” Morrison said, “and it ought be about the farm.”

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