State fair provides plenty of fun for all
Joe Dyer / Herald file 2012
Connor Wagner, 8 (center) attempts to ring a rubber duck at last year's Evergreen State Fair in Monroe.
Mark Mulligan / The Herald
The Giant Wheel lights up the midway as it rotates at the Evergreen State Fair in 2011.
Joe Dyer / Herald file 2012
Andrew S., 11, sits with his award winning family dogs at the Evergreen State Fair in Monroe last year.
But it's the community that sets the local gem apart.
"The entertainment is a lot of fun, but the quality of our exhibits -- the barns, the animals, the quilts -- that's what makes us unique," said Hal Gausman, manager of the Evergreen State Fairgrounds and Park.
"It's just a big community party."
And there will be no shortage of community at this year's event.
Families will be blowing bubblegum, throwing Frisbees and eating pie.
Local 4-H and FFA animal exhibitors will show off dogs, llamas, cattle, pigs and piglets, and "the best collection of rabbits you'll ever see anywhere," Gausman said.
And they've added a robot-building section to the 4H exhibits.
Food vendors will serve elephant ears, purple cows, blooming onions and other, move adventurous foods.
"Basically, if you're not afraid to eat almost anything, you can find it out here," Gausman said.
He said visitors can expect interesting variations of popcorn this year.
Close to the food vendors is the family stage for visitors who didn't get tickets to the fair's grandstand stage entertainment. Jugglers, comic magicians and musicians will give free performances on the Pepsi Family Stage between the south end of the arena and the north end of the grandstand.
The fair offers three days of barrel racing, bull riding, steer wrestling and calf roping at the Pro West Rodeo and drag races, demolition derbies and other car events, available with tickets.
Familes can also cheer on squealing racers at the fair's legendary all-Alaskan pig races, watch the saw-offs, log rolls, axe throws and spare pole climbs at the fair's International Lumberjack Show and pick apples, gather eggs, dig for potatoes and milk a cow at the fair's free Farmer for the Day spots.
"It's just a great place to come out, spend the day and make memories," Gausman said.
The Evergreen State Fair opened Thursday and continues through Sept. 2 at its Monroe fairgrounds, 14405 179th Ave. SE.
Regular gate admission $10 for adults, $7 for seniors and youth and free for ages 5 and younger or 90 and older.
Parking is $8 on weekdays, $10 on weekends. Season and half-season parking passes are available.
Tickets are available online or by calling 800-514-3849, ext. 2.
For more information, call 360-805-6700. For a complete schedule of events, go to www.evergreenfair.org.
Ashley Stewart: 425-339-3037; firstname.lastname@example.org.
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