It’s where the Creative Living Department puts its best foot forward.

There are several wonderful stages throughout the Oregon State Fair, each with its own special brand of entertainment. But the Explore Oregon Stage is unique.

After all, the scheduled presentations and demonstrations blanket a broad spectrum of topics and entertainments. Further, each day of the Fair brings a new theme to the stage.

Yummy tailgating food concepts with Suzie Barhyte of Suzie’s Organics and Saucy Mama.

Friday, August 24th, from 1:00 to 2:00 pm.

Learn from the master! That’s the driving idea behind this tasty presentation on the topic of making tailgate foods using Suzie’s Organics condiments. Suzy’s success is the pride of Pendleton, where her firm is based. And she may become famous among your tailgating friends once you taste what she creates. What a great way to kick off football season!

Celebrating Oregon counties with Grant McOmie, host of Grant’s Getaways.

Saturday, August 25th from 2:00 to 3:00 pm.

Grant McOmie is a journalist, author and teacher who writes and produces stories and special programs about the people, places, outdoor activities and environmental issues of the Pacific Northwest. He is the reporter and producer of the popular “Grant’s Getaways” segments and programs that air each week on KGW. Certainly there’s nobody better to tell the stories surrounding some of Oregon’s most fascinating counties.

Kim Banick lifts the curtain on sneaky vegetables.

Thursday, August 30 from 2:00 to 3:00 pm.

This home cook brings winning food to the table. Salem local resident, Kim Banick is a wife and busy mom of all grown children as well as a  grandma. She loves to celebrate with family gatherings which all center around the kids childhood favorites. Having competed at the World Food Championships for four years in a row alone shows great achievement. Better yet, she won 1st place in Seafood this last November. She now carries the title as the 2017 World Seafood Champion.

The stage once again belongs to Kim Banick with a focus on afterschool snacks.

Saturday, September 1st from 1:00 to 2:00 pm.

When those hungry kids come through the door after a day at school, nothing can be more important than having a good snack ready to go. Kim Banick knows this fact all too well. And she’ll be ready for your audience at the Explore Oregon Showcase—eager to share her latest afterschool snack concepts. This is gonna be good!

Local seasonal produce stars in the salad creations by Salem’s own Amy Church.

Monday, August 27th from 1:00 to 2:00 pm.

Amy Church is the owner and chef at Willamette Valley Kitchen Company in Salem—the place to go for top quality and hard to find kitchen equipment. Amy and her talents as a chef are part of a 30-year culinary legacy serving the Valley’s cooks. That tradition continues on the Explore Oregon Showcase as she guides the audience through the intricacies of salads made with local seasonal produce. Delicious!

Amy Church returns to present homemade ricotta, and appetizers.

Friday, August 28th from 1:00 to 2:00 pm.

The truth shall be revealed when it comes to making homemade ricotta. And who better than Amy Church of Willamette Valley Kitchen Company, whose experience and expertise in the kitchen is known far and wide in the Salem area. Come join Amy to learn a few ricotta tricks. And for good measure, she’ll also cover the creation of some mighty awesome appetizers.

Let quilt historian Rachel Greco tell you the story of strong women in early Oregon.

Tuesday, August 28th from 2:00 to 3:00 pm.

Rachel Greco has built her career around the history of quilting, particularly in this beautiful state of ours. She’s also the owner of Grandma’s Attic in Polk County’s Dallas. Drop by and listen to Rachel as she unpacks the history of the needle arts factored into the history of Oregon. This, above all else, is the story of the many strong women who as much the pioneer as any man.

What the heck is gourmet glamping? Let Chef Zachary Hoffman explain.

Wednesday, August 29th from 4:00 to 5:00 pm.

McMinnville’s Michelbrook Country Club is the base of operations for Chef Zachary Hoffman, whose presentation on the Explore Oregon Showcase will zero in on the odd concept of gourmet glamping. That is to say, gourmet cooking while on a campout. This promises to be as fun as it is surprising. Let the chef show you the hows and whys of making something incredible out in the beauty of nature. The results can totally change your perception of camping.

To learn how to evolve your blog into a business, heed the words of Karlee Flores.

Wednesday, August 29th from 5:00 to 6:00 pm.

Karlee Flores loves decorating cakes, going to Oregon farmers markets, recipes that are whimsical, rain in the fall, browned butter, and living a life of joy. Central to Karlee’s joy is blogging, and the challenges of building a business out of her blog. That’s her topic when she takes to the Explore Oregon Showcase. Think of her talk as an insider’s point of view. And if that’s not enough, Karlee will through in a few hints and tricks related to photography—a full meal deal!

The role of chalk and milk paint in the creation of DIY furniture, as told by Darci Haney.

Friday, August 31st from 1:00 to 2:00 pm.

Darci Haney is a stylist and brick + mortar shop owner who helps people tap into their creative side. Before opening her retail shop in McMinnville, Darci worked with her husband at their design/build business. After a successful stretch of years helping her husband with the design side of the business, she decided to grow the creative and retail side of things and help inspire people in their own creativity. She sells Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and teaches various painting and creative classes.