DAYTON -- Enough people to fill the Seneca Activity Center gave up an afternoon of sunshine to attend the Columbia County Fair's kick-off event Sunday.
They were rewarded with a selection of desserts and the satisfaction of being the first to learn the 2010 fair theme, meet the new hostesses, and hear details of entertainment and special events already booked.
Representing the fair at regional fairs and other events will be hostesses Cheyenne Bell, Taylor DeRuwe, Courtney McHaffie and Samura Miller.
Theme of the Sept. 10-12 fair is "120 Years of Denim and Dust."
Outfits the hostesses wore when introduced reflected the theme, with denim shirts topping brown suede riding skirts.
The theme will be echoed in the Saturday night "Denim or Dust Bull Bash," featuring 30 of the top bull riders in the Northwest.
The Bull Bash features bullfighters Rowdy Barry and Ryan Wilson and bulls provided by B Bar D Stock of Culver, Ore.
Producers Buster Barton and JJ Harrison of Walla Walla exuded excitement as they described the event.
"The goal is to bring not only top entertainment but a premier event to Dayton. Something people will be talking about for years to come, Harrison said.
Other entertainment announced includes a street dance on the midway following the Bull Bash. Countryside Ride, a band that plays a mix of rockabilly, country and bluegrass will provide the live music.
New this year will be a special Kidzone, designated just for kids. Activities include Pioneer for a Day, Mad Science Laboratory, and a craft activity provided by Home Depot. There will also be pedal tractor races, money scrambles and games.
Friday night will feature a Tribute to the Legends concert, featuring Brandon Cash performing songs based on the early years of Johnny Cash's career, and Jeanne Coady, performing a living tribute to Patsy Cline.
Sunday events include motocross in the main arena and a nondenominational church service.
After a lackluster fair in 2009, with attendance down, and lack of volunteers to keep things running smoothly, the fair board decided to reorganize themselves, and produce a fair that would bring back crowds.
The first step was reducing the board from 21 members to nine.
Executive board members for 2010 are Raymond DeRuwe, president, Neil Stephens, vice president, Barbara Fullerton, treasurer and Christine Boughton, secretary.
Other board members are Debbie Bailey, Don Howard, Roland Schirman, Bob McCauley and Miranda Bowen.
Carrie Chicken can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 522-5289.