The Washington State Fair takes place Sept. 1-24, 2017 in Puyallup.
It’s time for fun at the state’s biggest annual attraction, the Washington State Fair, opening Friday, Sept. 1, and continuing through Sept. 24 with rides, food, 4-H shows, entertainment, exhibits, vendors and more for all ages.
Midway rides are always a fair favorite, with an array of choices from the thrilling Extreme Scream to this year’s new Circus Jumbo flying-elephant ride for kids. The fair’s Antique Carousel celebrates its 100th birthday this year with events including a wedding hosted by a local radio station on Sept. 11.
A day at the fair isn’t complete without animals: admiring a litter of little piggies at the Piglet Palace; petting bunnies, llamas, goats and more at the Fair Farm; and checking out Percherons, Clydesdales and other workhorses at daily Draft Horse exhibits and demonstrations. Other animal shows and displays feature dogs and miniature horses, Sept. 1-4; Animals of the World, Sept. 7-13; pygmy goats, Sept. 21-24; and rabbits and cavies, Sept. 10-14.
Washington State Fair
Hours: 10:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Sept. 1; 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Sept. 2-3; 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Sept. 4; closed Sept. 5-6, then 10:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays; 10:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Fridays; 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Saturdays; 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Sundays through Sept. 24
Cost: $14/adults, $10.50/ages 6-18 and 62+; ages 5 and younger free; ages 18 and younger free Sept. 1-4; free admission for active, reserve and retired military and National Guard with ID and their dependents Mondays
Location: Washington State Fair Events Center, 110 Ninth Ave. S.W., Puyallup
More info: 253-841-5045 or thefair.com
The Home Arts exhibit’s quilts, food and crafts and the Hobby Hall’s display of eclectic personal collections are high on my fair must-do list. Grange Displays of agricultural art and daily Floral Displays are among other perennial fair favorites. The Northwest Outdoors exhibit encourages everyone to “Go Play Outside” with exhibits and information on conservation, ecology, state parks, Mount Rainier, archery, fishing and all things outdoors.
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Fuel your day at the fair with elephant ears, barbecued ribs, onion burgers, international foods, exotic choices such as alligator burgers, Nashville Hot Chicken and sweet treats of all kinds.
Hot scones with jam, a classic fair favorite, inspire two big debuts this year: Fisher Scone ice cream at nine locations at the fairgrounds and the Sept. 4 debut of Raspberry Scone Golden Ale beer, available exclusively at the fair. There’s a new Brew Park with 24 Washington craft beers on tap and live music daily, along with the End Zone Sports Bar with beer, food and sporting events on big-screen TVs, and the Village Rooftop Bar with beer, wine and spirits on top of the Village Food & Dessert Court.
New features at this year’s fair include the Giant Insect Adventure, bugs up to 120 times larger than life-size in realistic habitats, and Big Washington’s Imagination Workshop with tools, toys and activities for kids, both with admission fees.
Special events include fireworks at 10 p.m. Sept. 1 and 22; the Western Rodeo Parade and Cattle Drive through Puyallup to the fairgrounds, 10 a.m. Sept. 8; Asia Pacific Cultural Center Day, Sept. 16; Fiestas Patrias, Sept. 17; and two performances by the Seattle Sea Gals on Sept. 23, all free with fair admission. On Sept. 2, a 75th Remembrance of the Puyallup Assembly Center ceremony and procession honors the thousands of Japanese Americans sent to the fairgrounds when the U.S. government took it over for internment in 1942.
Headliner concerts feature Nickelback Sept. 1; Lady Antebellum Sept. 2; Stephen Tyler Sept. 3; Melissa Etheridge Sept. 11; Hank Williams Jr. Sept. 16; Marlon Wayans Sept. 23 and more; ticket prices vary. Rodeo events are Sept. 7-10 for $15-$40, including fair admission.
Admission specials include free admission for ages 18 and younger Friday through Monday, Sept. 1-4, and Military Mondays with free admission for active, reserve and retired military and National Guard with ID and their dependents throughout the fair.
Transportation options include Pierce County Transit’s Fair Express buses daily and Sounder trains on Sept. 16 and 23 from stations between Everett and Puyallup. The fair’s website has complete information on parking and public transportation.
The Washington State Fair continues through Sept. 24 and is closed Tuesdays and Sept. 6.