People can expect to see dragons, a bit of the tropics and new food at this year’s Washington State Fair.
The Washington State Fair in Puyallup will run Aug. 30 to Sept. 22 and be open every day of the week except Tuesdays.
The Lost World of Dragons paid exhibit will feature dragons and mythology from around the world, said Stacy Van Horne, public relations manager for the fair.
“I think this will really appeal to the masses,” Van Horne said. “Dragons are pretty cool, and lots of people like them for whatever rhyme or reason.”
Van Horne said there will be interactive moments throughout the exhibit, which will make for great Instagram moments. The exhibit will be open during fair hours and will be $8 for general admission — kids 3 years and under will get in for free. The exhibit will be hosted in the fair’s Centennial Tent.
There will also be the new, free Tropical Odyssey maze, which will focus on sustainable and unsustainable rain forest practices and creatures found in the rain forests.
“It’s for kids, and they get to pretend that they’re experiencing a rain forest and how butterflies grow,” Van Horne said.
The maze will be located in the Merchant’s Building.
There also will be new food offered at the fair, along with fan favorites. Shishkaberry’s, strawberries on a stick, will be at the Showplace Way across from Branks BBQ. The Tacoma Weiner Company will offer gourmet hotdogs at Outpost 47, and the Kama’ainia Grill, a Fife-based company, will operate near the Orange Gate area.
The fair also will continue Pierce County and Thirsty Thursdays. Both will be every Thursday.
For Pierce County Thursdays, fairgoers who live in Pierce County can benefit from a buy-one-get-one-free gate admission deal, as well as a 2-for-1 Thursday Grandstand show — people will have the choice to see Boyz II Men & 98 Degrees or Old Dominion. The first 1,000 also will receive a collectable, retro, commemorative pin, Van Horne said.
Thirsty Thursdays will allow fairgoers six samples of state craft beer and cider for $12. It is sponsored by 96.5 JACK-FM.
The fair also will bring back fan favorites like Fisher Scones, Route 66 Pizza and more.
There will be the inaugural Best Burger competition Aug. 31. The contest will be one day only. Participating vendors will offer sample size versions of their burgers for $3. Fairgoers can vote on which vendor has the best burger or most creative burger — the winners, who will win $1,000 in prize money and bragging rights, will be announced the following weekend, and voters will be entered to win prizes.
The Farm at SillyVille also will return to the fair this year, as well as Funtastic Carnival rides.
▪ Aug. 30 — KOMO’s Opening Day at the Fair Food Drive/Free Gate Admission: Fairgoers will receive free admission for donating non-perishable food between 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
▪ Aug. 30 to Sept. 2 — Kids’ free weekend: The fair will offer free admission for those 18 and under.
▪ Aug. 30 to Sept. 8 — World’s Biggest Bounce House: A 10,000-square-foot bounce house, complete with DJ, will be at The Landing on the west side of the fairgrounds. It is $7 per bounce house interval.
▪ Aug. 30, Sept. 6, 13, and 20 — Fireworks Spectacular: The fair will have a fireworks display at 10 p.m. each of the days listed.
▪ Aug. 31— Asia Pacific Cultural Center Day: Area groups will celebrate their heritage through performances, traditional dress, dance and music. Countries to be celebrated include Japan, Samoa, China, Thailand, the Philippines and Cambodia.
▪ Aug. 31 — Run the Puyallup: Fairgoers can run the 2nd annual Run the Puyallup and get early entry into the fair. The run will begin at 8:30 a.m. inside the Red Gate. Participants must register to run. Early registration ends Aug. 15.
▪ Aug. 30 and 31, Sept. 1, 2, 7, 8, 14, 15, 21 and 22 _ Giant pumpkin carving.
▪ Sept. 2, 9, 16 — Military Monday: Gate admission is free for all active, reserve and retired military and National Guard and their dependents with identification.
▪ Sept. 5-8 — Washington State Fair Rodeo.
▪ Sept. 6 — School Supply Drive/free gate admission: Fairgoers can earn free admission to the fair between 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. with a donation of new school supplies to benefit Communities in Schools.
▪ Sept. 11-22 — Cirque Cavallo: Performers will do equestrian stunts and horseback acrobatics. General admission is $8 and those 2 years old and younger get in for free.
▪ Sept. 15 — Fiestas Patrias: The fair will celebrate Mexican culture and arts with special entertainment from Chikos de la Banda and Folklore Mexicano Tonantzin at 2 p.m.; and El Dasa, Grupo Montez de Durango, Banda Vagos and Traditional Grito de Independencia at 6 p.m. Both are free and will be featured in the Grandstand.
▪ Sept. 20 — Washington’s Lottery Day: The fair will have a scavenger hunt for a chance to win four tickets to Brad Paisley, $50 in Fair Food Bucks and 10 Funtastic Rides.
▪ Sept. 22 — Hops & Harvest: The fair will host its first-ever Hops & Harvest with games, music, drinks, prizes and more at the Outpost 47 stage. There will also be music from The Spazmatics and Queen Nation.
Billy Idol will open the festival at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 30. Other performers include Keith Urban, Weezer, John Crist, Boyz II Men and 98 Degrees, and Foreigner with Night Ranger. The series will close with Brad Paisley with Riley Green at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 22. All tickets for concerts are sold separately.
For a full list of performers and dates, visit the fair’s website.
ADMISSION AND PARKING
Pre-fair gate admission (sale ends Aug. 29): General $11, kids (6-12) and seniors (62+) $10.50, children 5 and under free.
Regular admission: General $14, kids (6-12) and seniors (62+) $12, children 5 and under free.
Parking: Weekdays $10, weekends $15
WHEN AND WHERE
The fair will be open every day from Aug. 30 to Sept. 22 except on Tuesdays and Sept. 4.
Labor Day weekend, the fair will be open 10:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday.
After Labor Day, the fair will be open 10:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday; 10:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Friday; 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Saturday; and 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Sunday.
The fair will be at the Washington State Fair Events Center at 110 9th Ave. SW in Puyallup.