Oldest fair West of the Mississippi opens its gates Thursday
StoryA 146-year-old tradition is inviting the region to “GO WILD” in Enumclaw! The King County Fair opens it doors for a three-day run starting Thursday, July 16!
The city of Enumclaw has taken over operation of the oldest county fair West of the Mississippi, and the theme for this year’s edition of the fair is “LET’S GO WILD!” This year’s fair is bringing back cherished events and creating some new traditions including: the Critter Crowning Contest, Lawn Mower Races, a Tractor Pull and a variety of musical guests. Carnival rides are also returning to the fairgrounds, with the “scrambler” and “cliffhanger” joining over a dozen rides at the fair.
“This has been an event that I have been going to since I was a little kid and I look forward to bringing my wife and son for years to come” said Councilmember Reagan Dunn, who represents the city of Enumclaw on the King County Council. “As always, I am most excited about being a judge for the Critter Crowning Contest.”
As a result of declining attendance and a projected $93 million deficit in the County’s general fund, the fair’s $318,000 contribution from county taxpayers was cut from the Executive’s 2009 budget proposal. Councilmember’s offices were flooded with calls, emails and letters from residents advocating that funding be restored.
After weeks of public testimony, including a Town Hall Meeting hosted by Councilmembers Dunn and Pete von Reichbauer, the Council reinstated the funding and asked the city of Enumclaw to run the fair in 2009. The Council also created a Fair Task Force that is currently evaluating how to make the Fair sustainable for the future.
“The Task Force is making progress. We plan to use the information we learn from this year’s fair to improve the fair long term” said Dunn. “The city of Enumclaw and Fair Manger Joan Lewis have stepped up and significantly improved the quality of this fair in a very short period of time.”
The King County Fair will open at 10 a.m. on Thursday and run through 8 p.m. on Saturday, July 18. Admission to the event is free and parking is $5 per vehicle. You can pre-purchase fair ride tickets and receive a discount. For more information on the discount and the fair, go to the Enumclaw King County Fair Web page