There are many things to do at the fair that won’t cost you more than the price of admission.
The non-motorized Western Rodeo Parade and cattle drive will start at 10 a.m. Friday on Meridian Street and include equestrian drill teams, draft horse hitches, military marching bands, musical entertainment, royalty and cowboys on horseback.
Following the half-hour parade, fairgoers can gain free admission from 9 a.m. to noon with a non-perishable food donation to the Puyallup Food Bank.
Karen LaFlamme, spokesperson for the Washington State Fair, said another big draw is when kids show their animals.
The art show offers guests an opportunity to see artists’ work and to watch them as they demonstrate pottery, weaving, spinning and more.
The fair will host more Western and regional animal shows than ever before this year, LaFlamme said.
“Part of it is the fact that the smaller fairs, not only in Washington, but around the country, are having to pass up the opportunity to host the events due to cost,” she said. “We are more than happy to welcome them.”
Also free with gate admission is Crazy World’s 3D Adventure, an interactive, multimedia experience during which guests wear 3D glasses and walk through a fantasy world that includes forestry, sea life and more.
“It is all interactive and will change out during the day,” said Candus Barnum, special events coordinator for the fair. “There will be different storylines, with more spooky storylines at night and more magical ones during the day.”
Fairgoers will be able to sample ice cream samples from Ben and Jerry’s booth at Midway and Grand Avenue from Sept. 6-8; popular musical group The Shoppe will return to the Coca-Cola Stage from Sept. 6-15; and Flo the Clown will entertain fairgoers throughout the three-week run.
From Sept. 10-17, senior citizens can take advantage of a coupon book and get cell phone tips from Verizon at 10:20 a.m. at the Showplace Stage.
LaFlamme said the Fair is one of the few venues where guests can bring their own food.
“We don’t mind that at all,” she said. “We don’t want to stop people from coming because they don’t want to purchase food.”
For a look at more than 100 things to do at the fair for free, visit www.thefair.com.Joan Cronk is a freelance reporter for the Herald.