As a Pierce County native and Puyallup resident, I love our community celebrations that make our region distinct. Whether it’s the Buckley Log Show, Maritime Gig Festival, Daffodil parade or outdoor concerts at the Curran Apple Farm in UP, we have many great community traditions.
But, for me, the granddaddy of them all is the Washington State Fair.
Fall is all about school starting, football and the Fair! So of course I agreed to celebrate the opening of the new Farm at SillyVille. It is a great, new free hands-on opportunity for kids to connect to our farming heritage – and where our food comes from too. What child wouldn’t want to be a “farmer for a day” and feed chickens? Think of it as the counter-balance to Sue’s Tech Kitchen from last weekend!
So, as a public service to those of you who may not be as familiar with the Fair, here is my top ten list of Fair tips:
- First and foremost: Eat a scone – or really get a dozen! Scones are synonymous with the Fair and their anticipation is part of the visit. But eat them while they are still warm. Trust me on this. However, 10 seconds in the microwave the morning after makes a good breakfast!
- Traffic and Parking. OK, it will be kind of busy because a million folks are going to visit the Fair. There are some good alternatives to driving. I like to park at Kalles Junior High because it supports their programs. Locals use all the traffic tricks to getting around town during the Fair – you only do it when you visit!
- Watch the Rodeo at least once in your lifetime – and especially mutton-busting! Consider the concerts – they have a show for nearly everyone. This year, Lauren and I are going to Toby Keith. But, NEVER wait until after a concert to buy your scones. The line is unbelievable!
- Don’t miss the Pig Palace! Why? One word: piglets!!
- Try the Extreme Scream – it’s Disneyland’s Tower of Terror but better. Great views day or night! But, not after a more than three scones!
- Wander through the Showplex to see the latest thing you “can’t live without.” I rarely actually buy anything, but many of my friends can’t leave without the latest squeegee or hose nozzle. The salespeople can be entertaining – and there actually are some good deals.
- Throw out the diet for the day and indulge in Fair food. After scones, my favorite is the Young Life BBQ Beef Sandwich.
- Check out the Hobby Hall. You’d be amazed at what kinds of collections people will assemble!
- Go early before the crowds. You can always get a hand stamp. You can come back later that day and skip the lines!
- Chainsaw bears! Pretty self-explanatory – artists at work!
- BONUS TIP: Work at a food booth and help a non-profit! I worked at the Young Life booth for years and it was a blast.
That’s it. Have a great long weekend. I plan to spend it with my beautiful new granddaughter, Lucy. She’s even sweeter than a scone!