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Some Deschutes County Fair concert, rodeo attendees encounter opening-night parking issues

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – Viewer footage shared with NewsChannel 21 showed some parking troubles at the Deschutes County fairgrounds Wednesday night.

Deschutes county Fair attendee Kevin Carder said parking at the fair Wednesday night was messy.

“Good luck getting your car out,” Carter can be heard saying in the video he took, showing a parking lane where some cars were triple-parked.

Geoff Hinds, director of of the Deschutes County Fairgrounds and Expo Center, said parking issues like that can happen when no parking attendant is guiding visitors to spots.

“We allow guests to park themselves, assuming they’ll find an available parking spot and use it correctly,“ Hinds said Thursday.

Hinds added that can sometimes lead to parking mishaps.

“Sometimes, some of our guests who are in a hurry don’t tend to follow the directions, or tend to park in places that aren’t assigned,” Hinds said.

Hinds said new parking and traffic control plans are being implemented this year to help address parking and entrance concerns.

Coordination between several agencies have a created a traffic control plan that will help visitors safely enter and leave the fairgrounds.

“As we get busier and into the afternoons and evenings, we bring on a parking staff who will direct traffic as they arrive down specific lanes and into parking spots,” Hinds said.

Fair attendee Shauna Coverdale said she has been coming to the fair for years, and plans her visits carefully to avoid heavy traffic.

“We got here at 9 (a.m.) to watch our friend show her goats and it was smooth sailing in the parking lot,” Coverdale said.

Coverdale added she’s never experienced parking issues.

“I’ve never come for any of the concerts because I’ve heard that it’s just such a pain to park. So that’s the reason we don’t come in the evening,” Coverdale said.

Hinds wants to remind those attending the fair to mind where they park.

“Remember to follow the directions of the traffic crew both coming and going. Their designed to get you her and parked, and then back on the road and home,” Hinds said.

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Leslie Cano

Leslie Cano is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Leslie here.



  1. I was disappointed with how slow it was taking to purchase a ticket at the entrance. Only two ticket booths open and they were both on the slow train to nowhere. I could see that credit card use was taking extra time so I tried cash. They still had to use a computer which was very slow along with making simple change. I should have spent a few more dollars and purchased the tickets online. Also noticed that several of those that purchased tickets online were standing in the ticket purchase lanes rather then go directly to the gate. That could easily be resolved but it wasn’t happening.

  2. Having no parking attendants makes no sense. They had them at the Covid shot clinics, and things went smoothly, and that was a whole lot less traffic volume than the concert. Penny-wise, Pound-foolish

    1. Parking has been a challenge since the fairgrounds open in 1998(?).

      As the Covid shot clinics and Mt. Bachelor have shown it’s a standard fix: parking attendants direct traffic. Spend the bucks and hire them or train volunteers, this ain’t rocket science.

      1. I think I’ve gone to the 3 times when my kids had to be there for something. Heat, smoke, poorly designed parking, too expensive bad food and, what really scares me, too old women looking for something in their daisy dukes and cowboy boots.

  3. They “allow” people to park themselves because they can’t hire enough employees to do basic jobs at the fair. They’ve always had people guide the cars into organized parking spaces.

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