Dinosaurs, Ag Fest Coming to Fairgrounds in April

While it remains to be seen exactly how many of Canby’s traditional events will be able to return in the summer of 2021 and beyond, to paraphrase the great Jeff Goldblum, “Fun, uh, finds a way.”

That’s evident in two exciting new drive-thru events that will be coming to the Clackamas County Fairgrounds in April: Jurassic Empire and the Oregon Ag Fest.

Billed as “the largest most realistic dinosaur drive-thru event ever seen on the West Coast, Jurassic Empire features 60 life-size, ultra-realistic animatronic dinosaurs in their natural habitats. The entertaining and educational attraction comes to Canby April 15-18.

“Jurassic Empire reached out to us, because they have a tour that is starting in Reno, Nev., in March and then going to Portland and Medford,” explained fairgrounds Events and Marketing Coordinator Tyler Nizer. “They wanted Canby to be one of their stops, and we didn’t want to pass that up because it seemed like such a cool attraction.”

Photo courtesy Jurassic Empire.

The venue tested the water with drive-thru events last year, including the Halloween-themed Scare Fair and the just-in-time-for-Christmas Winter Fair, finding they could be a successful use of the fairgrounds — particularly with Covid-19 safety protocols in place.

Nizer said the Jurassic Empire will use a different route than either of those two events that were organized by the fairgrounds. According to Jurassic Empire’s website, the experience lasts 20 minutes to an hour, depending on traffic.

“Our mission is to educate children and adults alike about the amazing prehistoric creatures of our planet,” the attraction says on its website. “We strive to make learning about dinosaurs as fun and interactive as possible. Our team arrives at each new city and has a part to do with everything from creating scenes and decorating each era as it were millions of years ago to helping put a smile on your child’s face.”

Photo courtesy Jurassic Empire.

Users are required to remain in their vehicles and may circle through the attraction only one time.

“It’s unlike anything we’ve done out here before — even outside of Covid — so it’s kind of cool,” Nizer told The Canby Current.

Tickets are $59 for vehicles with seven or fewer passengers on weekdays and $69 on weekends. For more information or to purchase passes, visit Jurassic Empire’s website.

The following weekend, April 23-25, Oregon Ag Fest will come to Canby for the first time in its 34-year history. Typically staged at the Oregon State Fairgrounds in Salem, the annual showcase of all things Oregon agriculture aims to help families better understand where their food, fiber and flora come from.

This unique learning experience features numerous drive-by exhibits designed to make learning about Oregon’s agricultural industry educational and entertaining — including opportunities to see farm animals, equipment and a variety of things grown across the state, all from the comforts of your car.

All guests will also go home with an “ag-venture” kit filled with activities, seedlings and more to continue the fun at home.

“We strive to bridge the gap between urban and rural life, and to share the wonder and abundance of Oregon’s bountiful and diverse harvest,” the Ag Fest says on its website. “Most importantly, this year we are doing this in a safe drive-thru manner.”

Courtesy Oregon Ag Fest.

The three-day event will be open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are $22 and may be purchased online at oragfest.com or at the gate. Discounted passes are also available in advance at participating Wilco stores.

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