With a theme of “Strong Roots & Cowboy Boots!,” the Umatilla County Fair Board is already cultivating people and plans for the Aug. 6-10, 2019 event.
Dan and Terri Dorran of Hermiston were introduced as the 2019 grand marshals during Saturday night’s Fair Appreciation Dinner at Eastern Oregon Trade and Event Center. After serving for two decades, Dan stepped down from the fair board at the end of 2017.
A Hermiston native, Dan said his family have been longtime supporters of the fair. His grandfather first put him to work cleaning up stalls at the fairgrounds when he was 7 years old.
Serving on the fair board isn’t an honorary or ceremonial title, Dan said, it’s hands on and a lot of hard work. And, he’s quick to point out that it’s the sponsors, partnerships and people that contribute to the success of the Umatilla County Fair.
While Terri downplayed her role, Don Miller, who introduced the Dorrans, said over the years she has taken care of many last minute details and sometimes interesting requests.
“As a couple, they are more than deserving,” Miller said. “Dan and Terri are valued members of our team.”
Tears were plentiful as the 2018 fair court — Laiklyn Fields, Rebekah Miller, Bobbie Sharp and Olivia Warner — said their final farewells. A video with candid and posed shots provided a glimpse of their role as ambassadors for the fair and county.
“The girls do a lot of traveling and have a lot of fun,” said Alice Newman, fair court chaperone. “It’s also a lot of hard work.”
Newman invited the 2019 court to the stage and each of the young ladies introduced themselves and their families. They are, Nive Hamilton, 15, and Kyleigh Sepulveda, 16, both of Hermiston, and Madison Pryor, 15, of Pendleton.
Others recognized during the event included Terrie Dennis, who was selected as female volunteer of the year for her on-going work in the sheep barn. David Fesler received male volunteer of the year for everything from his support of the fair court to helping on the grounds.
The business partner of the year went to Velasco Used Car Sales. Fair board chairman Lucas Wagner said for the past handful of years, Miguel Velasco’s family-owned business has been instrumental in supporting Latino Night.
And, Steve Wallace of Western Ag Improvement received special recognition for countless hours provided to abate dust at the EOTEC site, as well as other volunteer activities. In addition, he was introduced as one of the new fair board members along with Doug Bennett. The two are replacing outgoing board members Gay Newman and Don Miller.
Wagner could barely contain his excitement about this year’s main stage entertainers. Since several have yet to sign contracts, he could only reveal two of the acts — Tuesday, Aug. 6 brings Tracy Byrd to the stage. While his self-titled debut album reached “gold” status, people likely will recognize his chart-topping hit, “Watermelon Crawl,” which appeared on “No Ordinary Man.”
And, Wednesday, Aug. 7 features Jackson Michelson, an up-and-coming country musician from Corvallis. He has opened shows for Lee Brice, Blake Shelton and Zac Brown Band. General admission to the concerts is free with fair tickets. The sale of reserved and premium seats will be announced.