by The Oregonian

Thursday August 27, 2009, 5:52 AM

From thrills to food to exhibits, the Oregon State Fair has something for every member of the family.

School may be looming, but that doesn’t have to mean the end of summer fun. The Oregon State Fair opens in Salem this weekend (can you say “corn dog”?).

Or stop by Portland International Raceway to see some of the top drag racers compete in the National Hot Rod Association Open Series.

Friday (Aug. 28) would be a great day to use your zoo membership: It’s Tillamook Cheese Day, with cheese samples, mascot visits, cow art and games with prizes.

And moms can pick a designated driver and head to the Green Dragon Indie Beer Fest.

Have a blast!


Baby Sign Language 101 Parent Workshop: 10:30 a.m.-noon Thu, Aug. 27. Andaluz Waterbirth Center, 3323 S.W. Naito Parkway; $35; or 503-754-8776

Library sampler

Get Ready to Read: 10:30 a.m. Thu, Aug. 27. Program for ages 2-6 promoting literacy and language skills through songs, movement and sign language. Parent participation required. Beaverton City Library, 12375 S.W. Fifth St., Beaverton; free; or 503-644-2197

Mother Goose on the Loose: 1-1:45 p.m. Thu, Aug. 27. Sing, play and re-enact Mother Goose nursery rhymes. St. Johns Library, 7510 N. Charleston Ave.; or 503-988-5397

“The Liar”: 6:30-8 p.m. Fri-Sun, Aug. 28-30. Masque Alfresco presents the slapstick comedy outdoors on the library lawn. Families, picnics and chairs welcome. Beaverton City Library, 12375 S.W. Fifth St., Beaverton; free;

Zany-alphanimalbet for Kids: 2-4 p.m. Sat, Aug. 29. Use animal figures to create a zany initial or monogram using markers, watercolors and gold paint. Albina Library, 3605 N.E. 15th Ave.; 503-988-5362

Family fun

Festa Italiana: 4-11 p.m. Thu, Aug. 27; noon-11 p.m. Fri, Aug. 28; 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Sat, Aug. 29. The main part of the festival is the three-day gathering of entertainers, food vendors, wine and the grape-stomp competition. Children can see puppet shows and have their faces painted (Fri-Sat only). Pioneer Courthouse Square, 715 S.W. Morrison St.;

National Hot Rod Association Open Series: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Fri-Sun, Aug. 28-30. More than 350 of the region’s top drag racers meet in Portland for cash awards and trophies and open series points. Portland International Raceway, 1940 N. Victory Blvd.; $10 general, $5 ages 6-12, free for ages 6 and younger with a paying adult; or 503-823-7223

Tillamook Cheese Day: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Fri, Aug. 28. This year Tillamook Cheese celebrates 100 years and the zoo parties with cheese samples, mascot visits, cow art and games with prizes. Learn about the importance of farming to Oregon’s economy. Free with regular zoo admission. Oregon Zoo, 4001 S.W. Canyon Road; free with zoo admission ($6.75-$9.75); or 503-226-1561

Oregon State Fair: 10 a.m.-10 p.m. daily (until 11:30 p.m. Fri-Sat ); fair runs Aug. 28-Sept. 7. It’s the big one: the annual state fair in Salem. For 11 days, the fairgrounds are filled with livestock exhibitions, carnival rides, talent shows, barbecue, live music, rodeo and monster truck competitions and plenty of other family activities. Oregon State Fairgrounds, 2330 17th St. N.E., Salem; $5-$10 general (reduced price advance admission available); TicketsWest, 503-224-8499; or 503-947-3247

Oregon International Air Show: Gates open 5 p.m., show starts 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 28; gates open 9 a.m., show starts 10:30 a.m. Sat-Sun, Aug. 29-30. Enjoy air shows, stunt fliers, aerobatics and more. Hillsboro Airport, 3355 N.E. Cornell Road, Hillsboro; $13-$85, free general admission for ages 5 and younger; or 503-629-0706

Things that make you go ewww? Bug Fest at Tualatin Hills Nature Park will introduce you to the beauty of multilegged critters.

Bug Fest: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat, Aug. 29. Explore the world of insects with games, displays, crafts, live bugs and discovery stations. The I.D. stations can help you identify a bug brought from home (must be taken back home and not left at the park). Tualatin Hills Nature Park, 15655 S.W. Millikan Way, Beaverton; $2; or 503-629-6350

Proper Festival: Noon-4 p.m. Sat, Aug. 29. The annual festival features live music by E.D. Mondaine & Belief and Michael Allen Harrison, live art, multicultural entertainment, prizes, children’s games and more. Kenton Park, 8417 N. Brandon Ave.; free; or

Oregon City Open Air Antique Fair: 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Sun, Aug. 30. The family-friendly event features more than 100 vendor booths selling antique and collectible items ranging from china to furniture to toys, antique appraisals, live music from the 1950s and 1960s, a food court and more. Tenth and Main streets, off Highway 99E, Oregon City; free; 503-656-1619

Salsa en la Calle: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sun, Aug. 30. Features salsa bands, dancing, Latin American crafts, children’s activities and food. Eastbank Esplanade, Southeast Water Avenue and Hawthorne Boulevard; $12 before 2 p.m., $15 after 2 p.m.;

Family Picnic: 1-4 p.m. Sun, Aug. 30. Beaverton Christian Church will hold its annual family picnic featuring summer activities and children’s games. Participants can bring their own picnic lunch or purchase a meal of a hot dog, chips, drink and ice cream for $3.50 for adults and $2.50 for children ages 12 and younger. Schiffler Park, 5600 S.W. Erickson Avenue, Beaverton; 503-646-2151

Hip-hop in the Park: 5-7 p.m. Sun, Aug. 30. Bring the family for live performances by Odd Thomas, Propaganda and Theory Hazit with special appearances by Da’rel Jr. and Ragen Fykes. Fernhill Park, Northeast 37th Avenue and Ainsworth Street; 971-219-7879

Moms’ night out

Green Dragon Indie Beer Fest: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sat, Aug. 29. More than 30 independent Oregon-based breweries offer hard-to-find brews for tasting. Also a dog wash, pinball, shuffleboard and more. Event is held outside between Belmont and Yamhill on Ninth Avenue. The Green Dragon, 938 S.E. Ninth Ave.; $10; 503-517-0606

The Oregonian

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