Okanogan Fair ends popular four-day run

Deluge didn’t dampen fun

A young fan gets a dance lesson from Okanogan County Fair Queen Katie Keane. Mike Maltais/QCH

Event royalty attending the fair last Sunday included, from left, Tonasket Rodeo Queen Trinity Dejong, 2019 Okanogan County Fair Queen Katie Keane, 2020 Okanogan County Fair Queen Whitney Wilson, and Tonasket Rodeo Princess Alizae DeVan.

Northwest Express jockey Francis Marchand, center, mounts his horse on the run during a three-horse relay race last Sunday on the upgraded fairgrounds racetrack.

Derrick Stanton (dslogworks.com) produced this finely crafted bald eagle on display as his carving booth.

“Get it off me! Get it off me!” The next time you think Okanogan County has large insects, check out Omak resident Steve Goodmiller’s insect collection and display.

Davis Shows Northwest from Clackamas, Oregon, provided the carnival

OKANOGAN – Despite one of the year’s most severe lightning and rainstorms that passed over the premises late last Saturday night and early Sunday morning, the deluge didn’t dampen turnout for the principal events, displays, and entertainment at the 2019 Okanogan County Fair that ended its four-day run on  Sunday, Sept. 8
The two renovated fairgrounds facilities, the racetrack and rodeo arena were well received by competitors and spectators alike according to venue directors.
“The contestants loved the arena,” said rodeo director Sam Buchert. “The timed-event cowboys liked the roping set up and the barrel racers loved the ground.”
Buchert said it was cool getting high-fives from many of the barrel racers who traveled long distances to compete not knowing what to expect of the arena conditions.
“The rodeo itself was good,” said Buchert. “There are always a few little things to dial-in with a new facility like the sound system and that’s to be expected, but we will definitely work on making it better next year.”
Buchert said he overheard one National Finals Rodeo qualifying roper tell the Pro-West president, who was on hand to see the new arena: “This is the nicest facility there is and they (Pro-West) should have the Pro-West finals here.”
Future plans call for bleachers along the east side of the arena. In their absence fans backed pickups along the fence Saturday afternoon to have prime viewing spots for the Saturday evening rodeo.
“It was awesome to see the arena lined with people and vehicles for the show Saturday,” Buchert said.
Pro-West Results
Horse race coordinator Carol Sivak noticed a larger than usual turnout of spectators and racers, “especially the Junior Relay which we had 10 teams,” said Sivak. “it was great to see the youth getting involved more.”
Sivak said competitors came from Colville, Inchelium and Keller to fill the races.
The winner of the Senior Relay race on Sunday, Sept. 8, Omak Express, is qualified and paid into the World Championships at Walla Walla on Sept. 28-30.
During the races on Saturday, Sept. 10, Doug and Deance Ralston hosted the County Roping and Barrel Race for community members who are 18 years and older, Sivak said.
Between the Sunday races Marnee Cleveland hosted games for kids to play on their horses to entertain the spectators.
“There was a costume contest, Texas Trot, Boot Race, Bubble Gum Run, Gunny Sack Hop, Egg on the Spoon, Hurry Scurry (a speed/timed, low jumping game), and Horse and Rider Soccer,” Sivak said.
On the track two heats each of kids races and Walk, Trot and Run events were crowd pleasers.
Sivak said the new dirt overlay on the track held the water well from the Saturday night/Sunday morning deluge that fell.
“We are working hard to know how to work the new surface,” Sivak said of track maintenance.

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