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The rides are twirling, the barns are filled with animals, the curly fries are hot. All kinds of fun awaits at the Evergreen State Fair in Monroe.

“We showcase the best pies, cakes, sheep, quilts, robots, wood carvings, cows, horses and rabbits in the Northwest,” says fairgrounds manager Hal Gausman. “We’re expecting baby pigs to be born during the fair, and there’ll be roving music, lots of food on sticks and a huge carnival.”

A petting zoo, lumberjack shows and other entertainment are among daily activities. Goats, rabbits, poultry, sheep and cattle fill the barns and daily equestrian events include riding competitions of all kinds and demonstrations by Clydesdales and draft horses.

Brave souls can hop on the new Freak Out to take a spin on a 70-foot tower, one of many carnival thrill rides, along with carousels, tea cups, Ferris wheel and more for all ages and kiddie rides for the youngest fairgoers. All rides have height requirements, some have weight restrictions and some require closed-toed shoes. Wristbands for unlimited rides are available, $25 on weekdays and $30 per day Saturdays and Sundays.

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Friday is Agriculture Day and featuresthe Fair Cares Food Drive with free admission until 1 p.m. with donation of three cans of food per person. It’s one of several admission specials throughout the fair. Ages 62 and older get in free Monday, ages 15 and younger are admitted free Thursday, Aug. 28 and military and first responders get in free on Armed Forces Day Aug. 29. Admission is free for ages five and younger and ages 90 and older daily.

Saturday is Race Day, highlighting Evergreen Speedway weekend events, and Fiesta Sunday includes Mexican music and dance performances. Saturday also features the Monroe Fair Days Parade with equestrians, Seafair Pirates and Evergreen Speedway race cars at 11 a.m., with pre-parade vendors, food and street dancing starting at 9 a.m. in front of Wagner Center at 639 West Main Street, Monroe.

Special fair events with extra admission include The Charlie Daniels Band and Marshall Tucker Band Tuesday, Aug. 26; Bill Cosby Thursday, Aug. 28, the Newsboys Aug. 29 and rodeos Aug 29, 30 and 31.

Community Transit offers easy access to the fairgrounds Mondays through Saturdays with free parking at Everett Station and Gold Bar, Snohomish and Sultan park-and-ride lots.

The fair continues daily through Labor Day, Sept. 1.

Madeline Mckenzie:

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