When the Puyallup Fair opens Friday, you’ll find all the traditional attractions of horses, Krusty Pups and top-name entertainment. But the 17-day fair has new features this year that range from educational to heart-stopping. Grab the kids and get ready to do the Puyallup.
NEW THIS YEAR
The Rainforest Adventure recreates a tropical rainforest complete with toucans, anacondas, snapping turtles and geckos. Interpreters will explain how the ecosystem works. It’s free and located near the Blue Gate Plaza.
“Our Body: The Universe Within” is a preserved-cadaver exhibit that consists of human bodies and organs.
It’s a fascinating and educational display of human anatomy but it isn’t suitable for children or adults who might find the lifelike poses and skinless bodies disturbing.
Admission is $7 but ages 5 and younger get in free. The exhibit near the Red Gate opens Saturday.
And if any of your kids give you lip, tell them to zip it – on the fair’s new zipline. Riders will descend from a 28-foot-high tower along a 130-foot cable.
The cost is $10, but “go agains” are $5 if a rider is still wearing the harness. It’s near the Green Gate.
BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND
In past years, a huge fireworks display would follow every grandstand show. After years of absence, it’s back – but not at the grandstand. The 10-minute-long Fireworks Spectacular will start at approximately 10 p.m. near SillyVille tonight and every Friday night.
For 20 years, the fair’s most popular free entertainment act was the Texas-based country group The Shoppe. The group disbanded in the late 1990s, but its fan base urged a reunion and now the band is back. They’ll perform daily Sept. 17-23 at noon, 3 and 6 p.m. at the Coca-Cola Stage.
This year’s main-stage entertainment offers something for everyone. Headliners include country star Tim McGraw, comedian Jeff Dunham, Latin heartthrob Enrique Iglesias, tween favorite Big Time Rush, rapper Pitbull and budding opera diva Jackie Evancho performing with the Tacoma Symphony. Purchase tickets at thefair.com/concerts.
Fiestas Patrias returns Sept. 15-16 and features bands Jalapeno Rock, Explosion Musical, Band LM and Mariachi Huenachi – a mariachi band from Wenatchee High School.
America got to know Drew and Derek Konzelman, two brothers from Puyallup, when they won the NBC reality show “Escape Routes” in May. But since 2001, fairgoers have known them as part of the Konzelman Family band. Drew, Derek and their three younger brothers – David, Daniel and Darien – will perform with their parents, Greg and Joan, over several days at the Showplace Stage. Catch them at noon, 2:30, and 5 p.m. Sept. 17-22 and at 11:30 a.m., 1:30, 3:30, and 7:15 p.m. on Sept. 23.
Other popular favorites include animal shows, Grange displays, home arts cooking contests, quilts, the International Photo Exhibition, Hobby Hall, floral designs and rides.
A memorial to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks will be on display Monday-Wednesday at the Blue Gate Plaza. Metal from the destroyed Twin Towers was used and it incorporates stone facade pieces from the Pentagon. Four life-size bronze statues (firefighter, military personnel, office worker and flight attendant) hold hands in a circle.
DISCOUNT DAYS AND DEALS
Military Mondays (Sept. 10 and 17) offer free gate admission to all active, reserve and retired military and National Guard and their dependents, plus disabled veterans (with valid military ID). Senior Tuesdays are Sept. 11 and 18 with activities, coupons and refreshments for early risers.
The fair offers a variety of package and discount deals, season passes and other specials on admission and rides. Check their website for the full list.