From the Blog

Multnomah County Fair: Bunnies

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Despite growing up in a rural Massachusetts town, I don’t remember going to a lot of county fairs. I don’t think I went to any, actually. They had some in New Hampshire. I didn’t really comprehended what a true county fair was until I dated someone from Iowa, who spoke of county fairs as epic events, with legendary cow sculptures made of cheese, and contests for giant swine testicles. I saw the photos. They were impressive.

I got a real, true County Fair Experience in Elko when we visited last year. It was super badass. The Multnomah County Fair seemed oddly scheduled, as the Rose Festival also started this weekend. But as we drove to Oaks Park, the traffic was out the door and lined up down the road. We were directed to park in a muddy field and we remarked that we had never seen the park so busy. Of course, I’ve only been to Oaks Park twice in my life for Oktoberfest (and here). Instead of wiener dogs, we here there this time to see BUNNIES. I won’t tell you how Dave lights up like it’s his birthday when you mention BUNNIES. It was the whole purpose of the trip to the Multnomah County Fair. To see BUNNIES.

As we were picking our way through the muddy field, I heard a song that let me know what we were in for. We Built This City. By whatever suck 80s band. What an awful asshat of a song. I involuntarily broke into a spasm of ironic rocking out in the middle of a crowd of people watching dogs jump into a pool. Until Dave said “You’re embarrassing me.” Sigh. I ought to be allowed to rock out once in a while.

The first rule of going to any kind of fair is to look at the vendors, but don’t look too closely or they will want to talk to you. And that would be awful. You can look around, but be sure to look vacant or absorbed elsewhere. Crossing your eyes sometimes works. It helps that we are not home owners, so we don’t need vinyl siding or screen doors or a septic system. I enjoy the quirky people selling homemade lamps made out of deer antlers. But this fair, like others, seems overrun by corporate outfits. We don’t have enough space to buy in bulk at Costco, we already have internet from Clear, and we don’t have a TV, so we don’t need Direct TV.

But after we watched some dogs jumping into a pool, and I was regretful I’ve never had a dog that liked the water, we found what we came for…BUNNIES!


Look at this guy! Look at the bunny! LOOK AT HIM! He was sort of red. I bet he was the softest bunny in the universe. But you know what? We’ll never know because he was in a cage and we couldn’t PET HIM. I think I stared into the gaping maw of insanity, wanting to PET THIS BUNNY, but not being able to. It’s total bullshit not to be able to pet the bunny. I lost a few of my marbles, not being able to pet the bunny. I hope you can get to sleep at night, Multnomah County.

These two are not on speaking terms.

There was a grand total of six bunnies, I think. Wait, no, four. Four bunnies in all of Multnomah County. But they also had a camel named Nigel. And Nigel is an awesome name for a camel.

I didn’t know these people, but it didn’t prevent me from making a mother-in-law joke. They laughed nervously.

They had a petting zoo also, but I didn’t want to pet any of these animals.

I would have loved to hear to these questions, but that would have meant getting too close. I think they probably entailed beef jerky.

There were a couple guys carving bear sculptures out of wood with chainsaws.

I can’t even count how many levels of awesome chainsaw sculptures are. I don’t know what I would do with a giant wooden salmon, but it doesn’t stop me from wanting one or two.

They had a tent of exotic animals that were mostly snakes and reptiles. They had one small wild cat pacing mindlessly in a cage, which made me feel bad.

Turtles are cute

Turtles are cute. But not as cute as bunnies.

Like the Elko County Fair, there were prizes for baking, agricultural and floral entries. And again, Elko kicked our ass. Ours was maybe a tenth of the size. But there were some lovely roses.

And other flowers.

And um, nuts.

I don’t think Elko had a nut category.

It was a nice day, and we walked around Oaks Park after seeing the fair.

Great Danes and Mini Zebras enjoy the park, too.

And fun mirrors never get old, either. We may use this photo as a wedding portrait. Our moms won’t mind.

In all, a pretty fun day at the fair.

Go read Dave’s post over here. It’s cute. Like a bunny.


  1. Camels and wildcats don’t belong in an agricultural fair. And, bunnies are evil which is why they are caged and inaccessible to humans. Don’t you people watch Monty Python?

  2. Meredith says

    Fun! I love fairs like that! No discussion over buying the camel?

  3. I would answer their two-question test if it meant free beef jerky. How hard could it be?

  4. ahem…the cows are made of butter…like 400 lbs of butter on a wire frame.
    My friend’s mom made them (along w/a Butter Elvis, a Butter Last Supper, and a Butter Obama). I have a picture of one of her beautiful butter cows, udders and all, hanging in my kitchen.
    That being said, you have not lived until you’ve attended the Otter Tail County Fair in Minnesota.

  5. heather, tsk, tsk… this post sounds unnaturally crabby =) it’s the crowds, i know. wee the pool-jumping-dogs competing to see who jumped farthest? i saw that competition once, it was quite enjoyable, surprisingly.

    the no-touching-bunnies is at the bunnies’ request, btw. would you want all those little kids with their cotton-candified hands grubbing up your lovely, soft fur? or the who-knows-what’s-on-them hands of adults? no sir! the image of all those hands coming at me (when i imagine being abunny) gives me the willies.

  6. I have seen a butter cow. Life-size. It’s an annual display at the Ohio State Fair.

  7. Heather-
    My name is also Heather. My partner and I also went to the Multnomah County Fair last Monday. We went to see the bunnies, but ended up watching dogs jump into the pool because it only took us 2 minutes to look at and not pet all four rabbits. Nigel, apparently, took Monday off as he wasn’t there. “Let them eat funnel cake,” I said. To add to the fun, we almost couldn’t get out of the parking lot because it had become such a muddy, sloppy mess in the 1.5 hours we spent there.

  8. Sorry about confusing the cow sculpture, BUTTER, not cheese. But cheese makes sense, doesn’t it? Does it make more sense than a salmon sculpture? Why didn’t we have a salmon carved out of, um, smaller fish? Or something?

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