Living & Entertainment

More than 100,000 expected at annual Meeker Days festival in Puyallup

Meeker Days, the party that Puyallup throws for itself every year, turns 75 on Friday (June 20). The festival is named after pioneer and Puyallup founder Ezra Meeker whose home, the Meeker Mansion, still stands.

The weekend-long festival will have five different entertainment-filled stages. Acts range from bluegrass to rock to indie and include everything from the U.S. Navy band to mariachis.

“Any given time there will be a variety of entertainment,” said festival manager Benjii Bittle, who is expecting 120,000 visitors over the three days. “This is perfect for young families,” he said.

Bittle has scheduled a bluegrass focus on all five stages on Friday night. Latino programming will start on the stages at 3 p.m.Sunday.

The Lil’ Miss Meeker Pageant, a talent show for girls ages 5 to 9, will run 1:30 to 3 p.m.Saturday. 2013’s Lil’ Miss Meeker, Lennox Hopkins, will present the crown to her successor.

Classic cars will fill the Cornforth Campbell parking lot at Second Street Southeast and East Main. Saturday’s show will feature Pontiacs and Sunday’s will include vehicles 50 years or older.

There will be entertainment for children in the KidZone including a zipline, inflatable rides, rock climbing wall and face painting. At Mother Goose’s Farmyard, children can milk a life-like cow, learn about flour making and butter making. An antique tractor show will include activities for kids.

Kids can be the star of the show when they participate in “The Cutest Show on Earth” – a wild west show for children. The show will take place every 90 minutes in a tent in Pioneer Park.

Adult beverages will not be in short supply. A beer garden, located next to the main stage, will offer local brews. A wine garden featuring Washington vintages will be located in the courtyard next to City Hall. Local acoustic artists will perform there.

More than 50 food booths and more than 100 arts and crafts vendors will have plenty for sale.

The Puyallup farmers market – organized by Puyallup Main Street Association, which also produces Meeker Days – will continue as usual on Saturday at the Pioneer Park Pavilion.