Sun, crowds greet first day of Spring Fair in Puyallup

Staff writerApril 10, 2014 


Sarah Albers of Puyallup takes a photo of her daughter Alyssa Buckler, 11, right, and her cousin Kaitlyn Reeber, 10, by the 20-foot inflatable rubber duckie during the Washington State Spring Fair in Puyallup on Thursday.

LUI KIT WONG — Staff photographer Buy Photo

Three little pigs near the Gold Gate entrance of the Washington State Fairgrounds raced through a straw-covered track Thursday. 

There wasn’t a big bad wolf trailing them, just peanut butter cups waiting to be gobbled up at the finish line.

The All-Alaskan Racing Pigs were one of the most popular attractions on opening day of the Spring Fair in Puyallup. 

Warm, sunny weather greeted the start of the four-day event, attracting large crowds that outnumbered those on opening day of the 17-day fall fair last September.

Lee Sawyers, a Graham resident working the Gold Gate, said Thursday was the busiest opening day for the Spring Fair in recent memory.

“I know it has something to do with the weather,” he said.

The temperature hovered around 60 degrees, and fairgoers wearing shorts, tank-tops and sunglasses headed straight for food and ticket booths.

Dozens of people stood in line right as the gates opened at 2 p.m. to get their ride tickets. 

Doug Pedersen of Edgewood said the rides were next on his family’s agenda; his three young grandsons were too busy grubbing on the fair’s popular Fisher scones to make their way to the midway at that moment.

The family planned to come to the fair rain or shine, “as long as it wasn’t too rainy,” Pedersen said. “The sun was a perk.” 

Zak Basaraba of Maple Valley said he was looking forward to the rides, too, as he snacked on fries. The 11-year-old was at the fair showing chickens for 4-H, something he’s done for three years.

He said his favorite ride is the Wildcat roller coaster, “because it’s the most exciting.”

Basaraba’s grandmother, Gayle Van Alstyne, had scones on the brain and planned to buy lots on their way out.

“We get them every year,” she said. “Always.”

Hundreds of other fairgoers skipped food and went straight for the rides.

The midway was packed with people, and long lines formed at the Extreme Scream early. 

The livestock barns were the only indoor exhibits that drew large crowds.

Kids learned to spin wool at the Sheperd’s Extravaganza and tried their hands at milking at a station with a fake life-size cow. 

Baby goats, especially one in an argyle sweater, were the crowd favorites at the barns. Kids giggled as the goats licked bystanders’ hands and bleated at each other.

Back at the pig races, the crowds grew even bigger as the announcer picked volunteers to help corral the piglets through the track. 

“They’re getting stretched out so they don’t pull a hamstring,” he quipped.

Kari Plog: 253-597-8682
Follow Kari on Twitter: @KariPlog

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