Children’s Fair draws more than 1,000 families


Noemí Ochoa
Assistant Director, Child Care Partners, (541) 506-6134

June 8, 2022

Twenty-one organizations and more than 1,000 families from across the Columbia River Gorge came together last month as Child Care Partners, a service of Columbia Gorge Community College, hosted Wasco County Children’s Fair in The Dalles City Park on May 21.

“Children's Fair is an annual community event that serves as a venue for families and local organizations to connect, while encouraging parent-child interactions through family-friendly activities,” said Noemi Ochoa of Child Care Partners. “Our main goal for this event is to provide a day where families can enjoy fun activities outside with their children without the pressure of spending money.”

All activities were free, ranging from a fishing game and face painting to soccer, photo booth, bookmark making, chalk art, and even a (fully enclosed) beehive with information about bee-keeping. Some organizations offered prizes and additional activities for children to take home.

Participating organizations represented early learning, science and math education, human services, healthcare, libraries, preschools, churches and sports.

Well over 1,100 families participated. There were 27 donated prizes, offered by 10 participating businesses including ice cream, coffee shops, restaurants, bakeries and pizza as well as non-profit organizations and public agencies.

North Wasco Parks and Recreation allowed the use of City Park free of charge, with trash disposal also provided free by The Dalles Disposal. The Dalles Area Chamber of Commerce donated use of a sound system. Rosauer’s provided boxes of apples, string cheese and cookies, and Wasco County Library handed out free books for children and families.

There was no dedicated budget for the event. Child Care Partners, a resource and referral program at Columbia Gorge Community College responsible for training child care providers, started the Children’s Fair in 1995.

“We love to see all the connections happening at the Children’s Fair, and we thank all those who made this event a successful one,” Ochoa said.