The Puyallup Fair, an event celebrated around the state, kicks off this morning with fanfare and tradition. The annual cattle drive and Puyallup Fair Western Rodeo Parade start at 10 a.m. sharp. Free gate admission is offered from 9 a.m. until noon, with a recommend donation for the Puyallup Food Bank.
The new $2 Puyallup Rodeo Breakfast will be held from 8-10 a.m. at Pioneer Park’s Pavilion across from City Hall, just prior to the cattle drive and parade. Who knows what the cattle will do, or where they may go, so the cattle drive is an event people love to watch. This year, over 800 participants will be part of the parade, a tradition that started in 2000. Six school marching bands, equestrian drill teams, draft horse hitches and more will make it a great kickoff to the Fair.
Free gate admission until noon, sponsored by Sleep Number, draws big crowds on opening day. A food drive is also held, recommending guests bring non-perishable items for Puyallup Food Bank. Last year 160,000 pounds were collected in one day, with a hope for 200,000 pounds this year. Media partners for the food drive include KOMO 4, KOMO Newsradio AM 1000/97.7 FM, KOMOnews.com.
The first three days of the Fair also feature the Puyallup Pro Rodeo, Justin Boots Playoffs. The Puyallup Rodeo, sponsored by O’Reilly Auto Parts, features the top 24 rodeo athletes in each event in an epic battle to punch their ticket to the National Rodeo Finals. The road to the Finals goes through Puyallup. Tickets are available to two rodeo performances on Friday and Saturday each, and the finals on Sunday at www.thefair.com/rodeo.
The Puyallup Fair Concert Series, presented by Columbia Bank kick off with Willie Nelson tonight following the 6 pm rodeo. Other grandstand entertainers include: Heart, Enrique Iglesias, Big Time Rush, Jeff Dunham, TobyMac, Tim McGraw, Train, and more. Tickets for all concerts are available at www.thefair.com/concerts.
New highlights this year include two new exhibits, the Rainforest Adventure (free admission), and Our Body: The Universe Within ($7 fee), as well as fireworks at 10 p.m. each Friday night. A flash dance will be held at 5:30 p.m. on opening day at the corner of Showplace Way and Grand Avenue. The Do The Puyallup Walk to Beat Breast Cancer will be held on Sept. 22 (DoThePuyallupWalk.org).
The Puyallup Fair started in 1900, is one of the biggest fairs in the world, and is considered to be the state fair in Washington. Star-studded entertainment, the PRCA Rodeo, rides, exhibits, food, flowers and animals are mainstays of the 17-day event in September. For more info about the Sept. 7-23, 2012 Puyallup Fair, visit www.thefair.com, or text “FAIR” to 75868.
What are you most excited about the Puyallup Fair?