Benton County Fair introduces a new story telling stage

A duck, goose, rabbit, pig, and horse show their tails while a little blond haired girl reads them tall tales.
Friday, July 19, 2019

This year’s Benton County Fair and Rodeo theme, Tall Tales & Animal Tails, inspired event planners to host a Story Telling Stage and invite authors and story tellers to tell their stories on stage.

Emily Whitman, winner of the 2019 Oregon Book Award for Children’s Literature, will be appearing on opening day, Kids’ Day, Wednesday, July 31 at 1:00 p.m. Whitman received the Eloise Jarvis McGraw Award for her book “The Turning.” Opening day will also feature a bilingual (English/Spanish) storyteller from the Corvallis-Benton County Library from 12:00 to 12:30 p.m., and Heart of the Valley Hula will tell stories through dance at 3:00 p.m.

Esther Stutzman, Turtle Island Storyteller, will present stories from the Coos and Kayapuya Tribes’ oral traditions on Thursday, August 1 at 3:00 p.m.

Tales from 4-H youth are scheduled to be read daily from 11:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Several readings from the works of Corvallis authors, Larry Daley, Cliff Feldman, and Yasmin Ramahi, as well as, local authors Barbara Heckert, Gretchen Brandenburg McLellan, and Stephanie Shaw will occur throughout the Fair schedule.

Recognizing that story telling can take more forms than the written word, nationally acclaimed Cowboy Poet Tom Swearingen will take the Story Telling Stage four times. The Corvallis Advocate finishes off the Fair with their local version of The Moth Story Telling. The Moth is a non-profit group based in New York City dedicated to the art and craft of storytelling. The Advocate’s curated theme for Story Telling at the Fair is “This Land Is Your Land.”

To view the entire story telling schedule visit:

The Story Telling Stage and Authors’ Table will be located inside the FUNPORIUM, the newly revamped Commercial Building. The FUNPORIUM has traditional sales and informational booths as well as Super Science Puzzlemania and First Force Robotics. The FUNPORIUM is open from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. each day of the Benton County Fair & Rodeo, July 31 to August 3.

To participate in the Story Telling Stage, interested authors can contact Nancy Swain in the Fair Office at 541-766-6088 or