A grand old time
Centennial-themed Old Time Fair did not disappoint
Ask Arlan Sumpter what he loves so much about the West Linn Old Time Fair, why he has returned again and again for the last 25 years, and hell provide a simple answer.
Memories of watching his children on the rides; of eating the famous food prepared by the West Linn Lions Club; of soaking in all of the family fun the fair offers each year. At one particular moment, late Saturday afternoon, Sumpter looked on as his three children pulled on old time garb for a portrait at the Willamette Living History Tour booth.
We havent done this before, Sumpter said. Its actually a really good idea, especially because its free.
As he spoke, the band Richie & the Catillacs played at the main stage not far away. The fair rides tilted and spun, and dozens of dinner options beckoned with their unmistakable scents. Where else could you find all of this?
Sumpter and his family were joined by scores of others over the fairs three days this past weekend, as West Linn celebrated its centennial anniversary with one of its most revered annual traditions.
There were a number of new additions to the festivities, including a centennial museum and simulated radio broadcast titled West Linn Radio Players Present Radio 1956, both playing on the 2013 fairs historical overtones.
And then, of course, there were events that remained comfortably familiar: A new fair queen, Celia Lawrence, was crowned early Friday evening, and the annual fair parade coasted through Willamette Falls Drive on Saturday morning.
Operating under the 100 Years - Out of the Past and Into the Future theme, the parade set a new record with more than 60 entrants, according to coordinator Angela Pernisco. The West Linn Public Library took home top honors with the Best Overall ribbon.
Sunday brought more fun and games, with a lumberjack exhibition courtesy of the West Linn Paper Company and a pie-eating contest at the main stage.
West Linn resident Shannon Larsen had been coming to the fair for a number of years, but never took part in the pie-eating contest until this year.
My kids and my dad have (done the contest), Larsen said. It was pressure at the stand we were buying tickets and they were pressuring us into it. So we did.
Before returning for the contest on Sunday, Larsen and her family spent their Saturday taking old time photos, waiting for rides and entering the raffle. As always, the experience did not disappoint.
Family got us involved, and wed been coming here two or three years before we moved to West Linn, Larsen said. Its just a good time.