I rarely get a chance to talk about my hometown because there frankly isn’t usually a lot going on. Then a friend reminds me about the fair that happens every September. It was formerly known as the Puyallup Fair until its de facto status as the state fair became official in 2013. The Washington State Fair ranks among the top ten largest fairs in the United States. I grew up going to the fair and have attended it since I was a small child. Come and find out why you should experience the Washington State Fair at least once in your life.
Washington State Fair110 9th Avenue Southwest Puyallup, WA 98371 (253) 845-1771
What to See?
The fair is one of the most action packed places to visit outside of Seattle when it’s going on. For simplicity’s sake I’ll address the three main topics of interest due to the enormity of the Western Washington Fair: crafts, animals and entertainment.
Crafts are an important part of the fair experience. My favorite building at the fair is called the Hobby Hall. The Hobby Hall is the place where models, clothing and collections are displayed. This expansive building is a great place to get inspired by the wonderful craftsmanship of others. Other crafts include different venders selling their creations ranging from paintings to wooden sculptures. There are so many crafts that it’s easy to get stuck checking them out for hours.
One of my other favorite things about going to the fair is visiting the animals. There are always cows, sheep, horses, pigs, rabbits and goats in the barns throughout the fair. Additionally, you can also visit special exhibits including dog shows, cat shows and even exotic animals like zebras! If you come at the right time of day you might catch the various animals being judged for medals. Children will be thrilled by the petting zoo nearby the “Silly Ville” ride area.
One of the biggest draws to the fair is the entertainment options. Award-winning performers hold concerts in the Grandstand Arena every day. The biggest draw happens during the first weekend of the fair when a rodeo is held followed by a country singer. Other acts include comedians, pop singers and oldies groups. Check the schedule in advance to buy tickets because some of the more famous acts easily sell out.
What to Eat?
If you can name it, they likely have it. Venders at the Western Washington Fair provide meals ranging from hamburgers to teriyaki to barbeque. My favorite place to get an authentic fair burger with onions is called Marlowe’s. (Marlowe’s happens to be one of the few places that serves breakfast food for people who arrive at the fair from opening time until around 10 AM.) I recommend trying out a scone if you get a chance. Scones are warm biscuits with warm jelly in between the slices. They taste so good that I make it a ritual to grab a scone every time I come to the fair.
What’s the Cultural Value?
The Western Washington Fair is the pinnacle of Washington’s diverse community coming together to celebrate. Fairs have always been a place to share ideas and have fun. Even though the weather starts to get colder during the fair, the excitement makes what could be a gloomy time into a day for families to bond and enjoy the sights and smells of the Western Washington Fair.
Recommended Place to Stay
A few years ago there weren’t many choices for hotels. As the fair has continued to grow so have hotel options. One of them is the Hampton Inn which is highly rated and conveniently located within walking distance of the fairgrounds. The rooms are clean and the hotel is highly rated. There are many other chain hotels in the vicinity but the Hampton is considered the best of them.
How Is the Overall Rating?
We have a saying around of “Do the Puyallup.” Coming to the fair too often can get a bit expensive but you need to come at least one day if you are in the Greater Seattle area during September. I give the Western Washington Fair a 5/5 because it’s the embodiment of what makes Washington State such an amazing place to live. The fair is entertaining, exciting and a wonderful place to go as a family. Do yourself a favor and come to the Western Washington Fair.