Rainier_Rush_-_New_Washington_State_Fair_Coaster.jpg
The Washington State Fair offers a new ride this year with its Rainier Rush. (Image courtesy Washington State Fair)

Washington State Fair still the best around

It's one of the things that sold me on Western Washington when I moved her 25 years ago. The fair formerly known as the Puyallup, now renamed the "Washington State Fair," is again open for business.

The rides, the music, the animals, the deliciously bad for you food. It's been running for 113 years and is among the top ten attended fairs in the country. I always knew it was the best.

Until I saw a recent article on fairs around the U.S. this year. Each had its biggest attraction listed, and man, some of them sounded awesome.

There is celebrity cow milking in Tennessee. Fairground robots in Arkansas, and in Georgia, dog races with ultra competitive monkey jockeys.

Yet under the Washington State Fair's entry was listed, Bavarian Beer Garden. Granted that's cooler than daily parades in New Mexico, or Tractor pulls in Virginia but still, that seemed tame.

Suddenly I wondered, was our fair the best? Panicked, I called Karen LaFlame who's helped run our fair for years.

"I think we're the best there is. We have Luminasia this year, which is a Chinese, larger-than-life, lantern festival. We also have two Cirque shows, and you don't find those just anywhere. It's much more fun to enjoy all of those activities than celebrity milking, or something of that nature," said LaFlame.

And she reminded me, we don't need tricks to pull folks to our fair.

"We have something for every age of guest, from the little tiny ones to people who are 101. That's what has made the fair such a generational favorite," said LaFlame.

While I would like to see monkeys on dogs, my faith in the Washington State Fair is restored. We are the best. Imagine being in Utah where the big draw is a live version of "The Price Is Right."


Dan Restione, KIRO Radio Managing Editor
After signing on at News Talk 97.3 KIRO FM back in the waning days of the 1980's, Dan's worked his way up from the ranks- working as Desk Assistant, Morning Editor, Afternoon Editor, and Reporter.
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