Tractor Tracks, an interactive experience during which children can learn and explore, will be open during the course of the Washington State Fair for children ages 3-8. The site is located in Sillyville inside the Green gate.
Alan Bruess helped design the free tractor experience.
“It is simply for fun and designed for kids,” he said. “So often kids have to follow the rules, and in this experience, they don’t. They can stop and look at the giggling sunflowers and ride under the water feature.”
Most children in the age bracket are too short to ride the carnival rides, so Tractor Tracks is something they can have fun doing, Bruess said.
Children power the tractors with pedals, allowing them to run their own show, and they can stop when they want to and maneuver around corners at their own speed.
Nathan Falk, 4, said he loved the bridge and water fountains. After he went twice around the track — with a different tractor each time — he begged his mom Melissa, “Can I go around just one more time?”
The Falk family traveled from Kent to the Washington State Fair, and Melissa was sold on the tractor rides.
“It is so neat,” she said. “Tractors are his favorite thing — and for free, it is a treat for me, too.”
Bruess said they ran non-stop all day on opening weekend of the fair. Professional photos that can be purchased for $12 are optional and are ready to be picked up when children finish.
“I just show up, and the kids do it on their own,” Bruess said about the feature.
Kent Hojem, chief executive officer of the fair, said the fair board looks to incorporate fun activities for younger guests.
“This just seemed like a logical extension of our commitment to preserving and educating our younger guests regarding agriculture,” Hojem said. “It is fun but has its basis in farm life and operating a tractor around the farm.”
Hojem said fair staff members plan to expand and improve the event next year.Joan Cronk is a freelance reporter for the Herald.