VENETA, Ore. (KMTR) -- With the Oregon Country Fair just one day away, there's a big rush to set up campsites in the area and nearby businesses are once again getting a boost as a result.
The Oregon Country Fair typically attracts about 45,000 people over its three days of operation. That's about ten times the normal population of Veneta.
While the Fair officially begins on Friday, hundreds of people were already setting up camp sites on Thursday, July 12th
One of the businesses that benefits from the rush every year is the nearby Ray's Food Place. It's the largest grocery store close to the event.
Managers there told NewsSource 16 that the Thursday before the Oregon Country Fair is typically what you could call their "Black Thursday" since it's one of their largest sale days of the year.
The biggest sellers include drinks and ice, which the store prepares to sell months in advance. For the ice, the store rents out a semi truck sized freezer every year to fill with ice. Thursday, the store was already almost out of its first freezer full of ice and ready for a refill.
"Every year is new… but it's also the same," said manager Wilbur Quiring. "We anticipate it, we enjoy the year, our company allows us, as you can see, to dress down for the occasion so you know, everybody works hard but it’s just a good fun week."
Elmira's Cheerleading Team was also at Ray's Thursday helping bag and take out groceries to cars. The team hopes to earn donations from the Country Fair crowd so they can become more competitive in the year to come.
"We're trying to raise money to go to camp and competitions and we'd really like to compete in competitions this year. We have a few camps scheduled but we're hoping this gives us the boost we really need," said Elmira cheerleader Danni Finder.
The cheer squad told NewsSource 16 they also have donation jars set up at the food place that will stick around for a while.
Tickets for the fair are available online or at any "Ticketswest" outlet. Children 10 and under are free. Adult single day tickets at the stands are between $23 and $28 dollars.
As for transportation, fair organizers have teamed up with LTD to give people a direct route Friday, Saturday and on Sunday. Shuttles to and from the site begin Friday morning at 10. The busses leave from LTD's downtown Eugene station at bay one. There are also routes going from the Valley River Center. The busses will return at 7:30 PM to the same locations.
No bikes are allowed on the shuttles and must be locked at nearby designated racks. Bikes on benches, railings, signs and other objects will be removed.
The rides are free with a Country Fair ticket or a TicketsWest confirmation letter but proof of purchase must be shown per ride.
For more information on the fair, visit the following website: http://www.oregoncountryfair.org