Introduction from Secretary of State Dennis Richardson

Secretary of State Dennis Richardson photo
Secretary of State Dennis Richardson
Dennis Richardson died on February 26, 2019. Governor Brown appointed Bev Clarno to be Secretary of State until January 2021.

January 2019
Dear Oregonians,
We are very proud to present the 2019–2020 edition of the Oregon Blue Book, the state’s almanac, directory, and fact book. The Blue Book has been an Oregon tradition since 1911 and acts as the official record of Oregon’s history, data, and diverse economy with each edition being preserved forever in the State Archives. We are excited to share this latest Blue Book with all Oregonians and visitors to our beautiful state. 

One of the best things about living in Oregon is our rich and diverse history, and we are blessed to have many events that remind us of how our state was settled over 150 years ago. As such, this Blue Book’s theme centers on local celebrations and community festivals

Inside you will also read an Oregon Festival History Essay about exciting rodeos that blanket all four corners of our state – from Pendleton to St. Paul, Ontario to Myrtle Point, Philomath to Burns and so many other wonderful places in between. The Oregon Trail Wagon Encampment in Baker City and Farm Day on the Farm in Eagle Creek are two events that teach how Oregon pioneers lived, cooked, and settled. Oregon also enjoys an incredible Native American heritage with over 50 Native American tribes who share their culture, dance, and customs. Through events like the Mill-Luck Salmon Celebration in North Bend, where canoe races are highlighted and native drummers and dancers perform, Oregonians have the opportunity to observe and participate in these wonderful traditions. In addition, there are Pow-wows throughout the state where you can learn about local tribes’ unique backgrounds and rich cultures.

A photo of a knife thrower and assistant
As the caption reads, this knife thrower and his trusting assistant entertained thrill seekers in a sideshow at the 1908 Linn County Pioneer Picnic in Brownsville.  The image is one of many in a slideshow about Oregon's Colorful Festivals.  (Linn County Pioneer Picnic)
From our eastern mountains and high desert to our western coastal beaches, we enjoy events that celebrate what Oregonians have done and continue to do, what we offer, and what we produce. For example, we have corn and strawberry festivals that applaud two of Oregon’s most famous crops. We enjoy activities from various communities surrounding wine, cheese, potatoes, onions, livestock, and other agricultural endeavors. Oregon’s 36 counties all celebrate their diversity with scores of local fairs and fun. Salem, the state capitol, is home to the famous Oregon State Fair where all can delight in Oregon’s homegrown artistry, artisans, and farm products from every corner of the state.

We have many cultural festivals throughout Oregon that celebrate “who we are.” There is the Fiesta Mexicana in Woodburn that has been a popular event for over 50 years and was recently named an Oregon Heritage Tradition. There is the Oregon Asian Celebration in Eugene that has been encouraging diversity for over three decades. The McMinnville Scottish and Portland Greek jubilees, Astoria and Junction City’s Scandinavian Festivals, and many other local galas promote our varied and multifaceted neighborhoods. 

Oregon’s elementary, middle and high school students  submitted essays for inclusion in this Blue Book edition. I am sure many of you, like me, will be very interested to read each student’s story depicting their favorite celebration, festival, carnival, fiesta, or fair and why it is so important to them. 

I will close with special thanks to the countless volunteers who help make our many celebrations and services a success year after year. We are so grateful to each of them. In addition, we so appreciate our Archives Division Director Mary Beth Herkert and her incredible team of archivists who spend countless hours producing this incredible book. The amount of work that goes into writing, editing, collecting data, photos, and stories is significant, and I want to personally thank each of them for putting this book together.

I hope you will use and enjoy this valuable resource as much as I do.
Dennis Richardson signature
Dennis Richardson
Secretary of State
P.S. Don’t forget that you can also use this website to help us update the Blue Book and make it better and easier to use. Just click on the Contact Us link on the left side of each page.