The first Clatsop County Fair was held with the annual Astoria Regatta in 1905 at the Hedrick Theater at 12th and Duane streets in downtown Astoria. In 1911, the county granges brought the fair to Gearhart Park. By 1920, the fair had returned to downtown Astoria. The fair was held at the Port of Astoria from 1921 until 1941, when the fairground opened at 20th Street and Marine Drive at the east end of Astoria. This site was used through the 1994 season.
In 1994, Clatsop County turned over the old John Jacob Astor Experiment Station (more recently used as the Clatsop Community College farm) to the Fair Board for the new home. County voters approved a $1.995 million bond measure and, with revenue from the sale of the old site, for improvements. However, the county used accrued timber revenues to pay off bonds, and taxpayers never had to pay the bond measure.
Since opening in August 1995 at our present location, the fairground has been in constant use. Events have included concerts by Willie Nelson and Tracy Lawrence, monster trucks, mud bogs, car shows, swap meets, circus,
go-kart races, wedding receptions, bazaars, banquets, meeting, indoor rodeos and many large RV rallies.
About the Fairgrounds...
The Clatsop County Fair & Expo is located on 109 verdant acres overlooking the Walluski River, just three miles from Astoria. The facilities include the 15,000-square-foot exhibit hall, a 40,000-square-foot indoor arena that seats 1,800 spectators; hard-surface parking for 1,000 cars; ample close-in parking for exhibitors; horse barns for 100; spacious outdoor entertainment and carnival areas; and other facilities.
We pride ourselves on being a vital part of the local community. The Clatsop County Fair Board donates the use of the exhibit hall for the annual Christmas Food and Gift Basket program each year. Volunteers collect donations of food, gifts and money to brighten the holiday for low-income individuals and families in the Astoria area, including the rural areas of Knappa, Lewis and Clark, Youngs River, Olney and Clatsop Plains. In partnership with Clatsop County OSU Extension Service, we provide our facilities rent-free several times per year to support ongoing county programs such as Master Gardeners and 4-H. When the the original 1955 Fort Clatsop replica was destroyed by fire in October 2005, the Clatsop County Fair Board provided space in the indoor arena to house the reconstruction of the Lewis and Clark Expedition's winter encampment.