If you go
What: Washington State Fair
When: Sept. 1-24. Hours vary. Closed Tuesdays.
Where: Washington State Fair, 110th Ninth Ave. SW, Puyallup
More online: thefair.com
Whether you’re old school and still call it the Puyallup Fair or simply as The Fair, plan on having plenty of fun Sept. 1 to 24 at the Washington State Fair in Puyallup.
Last year, more than 1.1 million people from across the state came to the annual fair and hope to continue a new tradition of opening Labor Day weekend. Gate admission is free to all current or retired service members, and their family members during Military Appreciation Days on Mondays. The Washington State Fair considers the Monday free entry as a small token of appreciation.
“Often, military families know all too well how it feels to have to be away from loved ones,” said Stacy Howard, public relations manager for the Washington State Fair. “We hope that by offering them free admission to The Fair, they can enjoy each other’s company and party the day away.”
If Mondays don’t work well for the schedule, The Fair offers numerous deals and discounts that can be found online at thefair.com. Families can save more than 50 percent with a special Value Pack package through Fred Meyer before Sept. 1.
There is also BECU credit union’s Free Kids’ Weekend Sept. 1 to 4 where kids ages 18 and younger can enter The Fair for free. Kids ages 5 and younger are free every day of the Washington State Fair.
“We know our demographic is vast, and we work hard to offer many opportunities for guests to get discounts,” Howard said.
Part of the Washington State Fair’s fame is the level of talent that comes to perform on the fair’s Grandstand, including Lady Antebellum, Sept. 2; The Beach Boys, Sept. 14; and Casting Crowns, Sept. 18. Tickets can be purchased online and come with admission to the fair.
By looking at the list of artists, there is something that fans of nearly every music genre can find.
“Many factors are looked at from diversity, to cost, to what style of music tends to draw the most fans here,” Howard said. “ We definitely try really hard to have something for everyone.”
Aside from music, fairgoers can also see the 84th annual Washington State Fair Rodeo Sept. 7 to 10. Competitors come to the rodeo in an effort to qualify for a national rodeo in Las Vegas, Nev.
One of the more popular events within the rodeo is the annual Parade and Cattle Drive Sept. 8 at 10 a.m., which has become a family tradition that also goes through downtown Puyallup.
“Where else are cattle and horses walking through downtown streets?” Howard said.
Families can also see their fair share of rides and activities throughout the event. Some of the highlights include the Classic Coaster — the wooden roller coaster that has been a mainstay in Puyallup since 1935. It has also completed a five-year renovation just in time for this year’s fair.
And don’t forget about the food that can be found at the Washington State Fair. Regular attendees can look forward to seeing their favorites from Earthquake’s Biggest Burgers, Sharkey’s Seafood, Krusty Pup and others.
There’s nothing like the classic Fisher Scones made fresh at the Washington State Fair. Additionally, this year will see the debut of a new Fisher Scone ice cream.
“Scones are definitely the most iconic food and arguably the most iconic feature of the Washington State Fair,” Howard said.