EVENTS: Friendly snakes, a free concert and the Marion County Fair

Here’s what’s happening in Salem the weekend of July 7-9.

Live music and theater

Don Edwards, a local guitarist and singer, will be performing the First Friday concert at the Gerry Frank | Salem Rotary Amphitheater in Riverfront Park. His music “ranges from edgy hard rock to energetic acoustics,” according to his website.

The show will begin at 8 p.m. Friday, July 7, and is free and open to all. 

Local thespians have been learning to sing, act and dance from Broadway professionals in preparation for a showcase on Sunday.

Since 2015, Salem theater company Enlightened Theatrics has partnered with Broadway Dreams to bring professional performers to Salem. This year’s teachers are director and choreographer Spencer Liff and actor Jason Goldston.

The showcase on Sunday, July 9, will feature a unique show tailored to the student performers. It will start at 6 p.m. at the Historic Grand Theatre, 187 High St. N.E.

Tickets range from $12 to $20. For more information and for tickets, see the Enlightened Theatrics website.

Santiam Brewing’s “Rock the Caskbar” music festival runs all day Saturday, with performances from 12 p.m. to 11 p.m. 

The event has two music stages, guest cask ales, beer, wine, cider and mixed drinks. Tickets start at $21.69 for general admission with no beer tokens. The brewery is located at 2544 19th St. S.E. Learn more and buy tickets on the event page.

Marion County Fair

The Marion County Fair is back at the Oregon State Fair and Expo Center, boasting over 2,000 pigs, goats, sheep and homegrown flowers, crafts and vegetables.

There will also be rides, music and food. Events include pie baking, costume wearing and lego-building contests.

Friday is Fun at the Fair Day, with 4-H and FFA sheep, goat, and small animal showmanship and headliner Bohemian Queen, a Queen cover band.

Saturday is Ag Day, which will be kick off with an opening ceremony, followed by auctions and performers. Aaron Watson an American country music singer and songwriter, headlines the day. 

Sunday is Family Fun Day where there are a lot of local groups, arts and crafts, and special guests such as Disney princesses, Marvel superheroes and more. Sunday is free for all kids under 12. 

The fair runs Thursday 10 a.m. – 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. – 11 p.m., and Sunday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Tickets can be bought at a discounted price of $7 for general admission online, or $9 at the gate. Tickets are $5 for youth ages 6-11 and seniors ages 62 and over. Children 5 and under are free every day. 

Here’s our preview of the fair:

Library reptiles and painting 

The Salem Public Library plans to roll out the red carpet on Saturday for some critters.

Richard Ritchey, known as “The Reptile Man,” will give an up-close, informative look at his array of reptiles and amphibians. The guests slated to appear include a king cobra, rattlesnake and giant python.

Doors will open 15 minutes before the show is scheduled to start at 11 a.m. in the library’s Loucks Auditorium, 585 Liberty St. S.E.

Seating is first come, first served. The show is recommended for ages 5 and older, according to an event listing.

Right after that show, at 1 p.m., local artist Susan Nimersheim is scheduled to give a cultural presentation and demonstration of pysanky, a Ukrainian egg painting tradition.

The art form involves drawing on an egg shell with beeswax, dipping the egg in dye and repeating until the shell shows a complex, vibrant pattern. Here’s a story we did back in January about the technique.

The free event at the library will be first-come, first-seated.

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