Arts and Entertainment

Woo hoo, it's the Puyallup Fair

Mirror staff

The Puyallup Fair, the most popular September tradition in the Pacific Northwest, is six days away.

More than a million people are expected to flock to the sprawling fairgrounds Sept. 5-21 for big-name musical entertainment, food that seems to taste best at the fair, carnival rides, midway games, exhibits of livestock and farm produce and endless arrays of commercial vendors. Those are just a few of the sights, sounds and smells that are indigenous to the granddaddy of Washington fairs and one of the biggest in the United States.

Because they have to be for an event this big, the days will be long –– 12 hours Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (10 a.m. to 10 p.m.) and 13 hours Friday and Saturday (10 a.m. to 11 p.m.).

Officially known as the Western Washington Fair but simply The Fair to many people, the annual extravaganza has some new features this year. A cattle drive will parade through some of Puyallup’s streets to the fairgrounds on opening day. The Spirit of the West exhibit will show off western photographers and artists, including Federal Way’s Fred Oldfield. Alaskan artist Rie Munoz will show pieces never seen before by the public Sept. 5, 6 and 7. And Dora the Explorer (Sept. 6, 7 and 8) and Clifford the Big Red Dog (Sept. 9-21) will get the little kids fired up during appearances in the Family Life exhibit.

Other highlights will include:

• Free admission until noon on opening day Sept. 5.

• The Army’s only cavalry horse detachment, visiting from Fort Hood in Texas. Twelve horses, four mules and their riders will demonstrate precision riding Sept. 5, 6 and 7.

• Professional rodeo Sept. 5-6.

• An Air Force band, a flyover by C-17 aircraft and free admission for active and retired military personnel and their dependents until noon Sept. 11 for the “Salute to Freedom.”

• Special events and free entertainment for seniors Sept. 9 and 16.

• Two women from Bellingham trying to break the world record for longest teeter-totter ride, starting at 10 a.m. Sept. 11.

• Giant pumpkins. The Super Pumpkin and Squash contest Sept. 5 was won last year by a 722-pounder.

The price of admission for all this is $9 for adults, $6 for children 6 to 18 years old and $6 for seniors 62 and over. Kids under 5 get in free. Parking in fair-managed parking lots costs $6.

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