Old Time Fair Court Works to Keep Skydiver Tradition

WEST LINN –The arrival of skydivers in Willamette Park has been a popular commencement to the three-day Old Time Fair festival for many years. Experienced and committed jumpers come from Creswell Oregon carrying the carefully guarded name of the new Queen to the awaiting audience at the main stage. This tradition, while captivating for all, comes at a steep price. Several years ago when it looked like the tradition would have to be discontinued due to the increasing cost, the princesses, all recent 8th grade graduates, eagerly offered to help. They conceived a new fair tradition, a raffle of sorts. Fair goers would have the opportunity to purchase plates and with each plate a chance to win $500 in cash. Once the skydiver reaches the ground, he selects a plate from the landing field and later announces the name at the main stage during the opening ceremony. If the winner is in attendance, they will be presented with $500 in cash. A phone call will be made to the winner if not present and they will receive a prize of $300, at a later date. The plates sell for $5 per plate or five for $20. All money collected is used to cover the winning payout and remaining proceeds go to offset the cost of the skydive show. Plates may be purchased at City Hall through the Parks and Recreation Department until July 19, or the evening of the Street Dance, Saturday, July 14 in the Historic Willamette Area. Additionally, at the Street Dance a discount coupon will be given with each plate purchase for beverages valid with selected merchants. A final brief opportunity is available from 5:00 p.m. to just prior to the skydiver jump on Friday, July 20.