Going to the Fair!

Ferris Wheel

For more than 100 years the fair held annually in Puyallup (pew-Al-up), Washington, was known as the Puyallup Fair. I know this because I used to have a pencil (unfortunately lost in our recent move) emblazoned with “Puyallup Fair 100 Years” that my daughter sent me in 2000. The fair’s tagline was “Do the Puyallup!” But in 2013 somebody (I’d keep my name out of it, too, if I had been responsible) came up with the brilliant idea to rename the fair the Washington State Fair. Whoever did this agreed to retain the “Do the Puyallup!” tagline, but it’s just not the same. According to the Washington State Fair Facebook page:

It’s a fact that since our beginning in 1900, our name has changed four times; the Valley Fair, to the Western Washington Fair, to the Puyallup Fair and most recently to the Washington State Fair. For over 60 years the fair was known as the Western Washington Fair. Our previous name, The Puyallup Fair, is a name that will always mean a lot to us, as well as the people that helped make this the great Fair it is today. We still love to hear the old “Do the Puyallup” jingle and we are proud to host the Fair in Puyallup every year. Puyallup will always be an important aspect of our identity, but the name change allows the rest of Washington to feel connected to the Fair as well.

But I digress. Today our activities director drove about 10 of us down for a visit to the Washington State Fair. On a weekday after the start of school, the grounds were not at all crowded, and we had gorgeous weather.

The fall fair began in 1900 as a way to showcase the crops that flourished in the rich soil of the Puyallup River valley. (See related post for more background.) Since then it has grown to include farm animals and produce from all over the state, as well as carnival games, rides, vendor booths, and LOTS of food.

But my husband F. and I headed straight for this year’s featured exhibit, Star Trek: The Exhibition, which traces the history of the Star Trek franchise from the original 1960s television series up through the latest motion picture. We got to see lots of photos, costumes, and props from the various television shows, as well as a 7/8 scale mock-up of the bridge from the original series. (It had to be downsized a bit so that it could be moved.)

Star Trek: The Exhibition
Star Trek: The Exhibition

(Click on any photo to see a larger version.)

We were not allowed to take photos inside the exhibit, but the link above will take you to the exhibit’s official web site featuring lots of photos and video clips.

After that we headed for the animal barns. There were lots of traditional farm animals on display. My grandfather was a dairy farmer, and I have a soft spot in my heart for cows. But I’ll restrict myself to just one photo:

Cow
Cow

Most of the sheep had been shorn within a few days of the fair:

Sheep (shorn)
Sheep (shorn)

I was expecting them all to look like this:

Sheep (unshorn)
Sheep (unshorn)

But one of the youngsters displaying sheep explained that they have to be shorn for competition because the judges want to be able to see their bodies, not just their wool.

There were also lots of goats, pigs, and rabbits. Another animal that I did not realize is so popular with 4-H kids is the llama:

Llama
Llama

Next we took a look at the fruits, vegetables, and flowers. A lot of people won ribbons for their flowers:

Flowers
Flowers

I am always fascinated by the artworks created by Grange chapters across the state out of their local products. One that particularly caught my eye was this one featuring a replica of the Washington State flag:

Vegetable Art
Vegetable Art

 

Vegetable Art: Close-Up
Vegetable Art: Close-Up

And of course there were awards for the state’s largest pumpkins and squashes:

Huge Pumpkins & Squashes
Huge Pumpkins & Squashes

For lunch we chose The Mad Greek because I arrived at the fair hoping I could find a gyro. I was so busy eating that I forgot to take a photo. But these are a few of the MANY other eateries available:

Killer Kielbasa
Killer Kielbasa

 

Deep Fried Butter Stand
Deep Fried Butter

 

Bacon!!! Stand
Bacon!!!

I’ll end with a photo of an iconic fair ride that also shows what a beautiful day it was.

Ferris Wheel
Ferris Wheel

Until next year!

One thought on “Going to the Fair!”

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