Washington State Fair

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Coordinates: 47°10′55″N 122°17′49″W / 47.182°N 122.297°W / 47.182; -122.297

Washington State Fair
Puyallup Fair Logo.png
Genre State fair
Dates September
Location(s) Puyallup, Washington
Attendance 1,065,208 (2010)
This 2005 aerial photo of the Washington State Fairgrounds shows the fair's permanent structures. SR-512 curves across the southeast corner of this photo; SR-161 is its eastern edge.

The Washington State Fair, commonly referred to as the Puyallup Fair, is the largest single attraction held annually in the state of Washington. The fair continually ranks in the top ten largest fairs in the United States.[1] The Washington State Fair hosts two annual events: the 17-day Washington State Fair every September, and the four-day Washington State Spring Fair every April.

Situated in Puyallup, 35 miles (56 km) south of Seattle and 10 miles (16 km) east of Tacoma in the shadow of Mount Rainier, the fairgrounds comprise 160 acres (0.65 km2), with buildings and land valued at more than $54 million. The facilities are available for rent during the year, making the grounds a valuable community resource. A staff of 55 works year-round. Over 7,500 employees are hired each September during the Fair.[2]

The fairgrounds were known as Camp Harmony, a temporary assembly center within the system of internment camps for Japanese Americans, during World War II. A total of 7,390 Japanese Americans from the Seattle-Tacoma area and Alaska were confined in converted horse stables and barracks constructed on adjacent parking lots, the racing track and under the grandstand.[3][4]

Until 2006, the fair was officially known as the "Western Washington Fair." At that time, the former name was dropped and changed to match the more common usage. The name of the fairgrounds was changed to "The Puyallup Fair and Events Center." It is now a facility that is opened year round covering various seasonal festivals (such as the Victorian Country Christmas), races, concerts, car shows, and sporting expositions (such as the International Sportsman's Exposition).

Starting in 2013, the fair was renamed the Washington State Fair. The marketing tagline "Do the Puyallup" was retained.[5]

In 2016, The Fair will extend its flagship September event to 21 days by opening on Labor Day weekend.[6] It will be closed on Tuesdays under this schedule revision.[7]


Young fair attendees may participate in mutton busting.

Attendance has grown significantly since the fair's October 4, 1900 opening, drawing more than one million people each year. Selected dates:

2012: 1,117,323[8]
2011: 1,059,182[9]
2010: 1,065,208[10]
2009: 1,183,035[11]
2008: 1,163,969[12]
2007: 1,182,937[12]
2006: 1,131,276[12]
2005: 1,117,707[12]
2004: 1,073,581[12]
2003: About 1,160,000[2]
2002: About 1,180,000[2]
2000: About 1,300,000[13]
1993: 1,420,037 (highest attendance ever)[12]
1991: 1,414,487[13]
1989: About 1,300,000[13]
1980-1988: Between 1,100,000 and 1,200,000[13]
Late 1930s: About 400,000[13]
1922: About 130,000[13]
1900: About 5,500 families[13]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Historical Facts: 1900-2000". TheFair.com. 
  2. ^ a b c "Puyallup Fair attendance down slightly". Puget Sound Business Journal. 2003-09-22. Retrieved 2008-09-23. 
  3. ^ Fiset, Louis. "Puyallup (detention facility)" Densho Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2014-06-19.
  4. ^ Burton, J., et al (National Park Service, 2000). Confinement and Ethnicity: An Overview of World War II Japanese American Relocation Sites, "Puyallup Assembly Center, Washington." Retrieved 2014-06-19.
  5. ^ Trujillo, Joshua (2012-09-20). "Puyallup Fair getting a new name". SeattlePI.com. Retrieved 2012-09-23. 
  6. ^ "Washington State Fair to Add Another Weekend in 2016". TheFair.com. 2015-01-22. Retrieved 2015-09-24. 
  7. ^ Plog, Kari (2015-09-19). "Washington State Fair changing dates, hopes to be Labor Day tradition". The News Tribune. Retrieved 2015-09-24. 
  8. ^ "Puyallup Fair Attendance Tops 1.1 Million Beats Last Year". 2012-09-24. Retrieved 2012-10-02. 
  9. ^ "Puyallup Fair draws just over one-million visitors". 2011-09-25. Retrieved 2011-09-25. 
  10. ^ Schilling, Sara (2010-09-28). "Rain, economy cut into Puyallup Fair numbers". The News Tribune. Retrieved 2010-10-08. 
  11. ^ Santos, Melissa (2009-09-28). "Final Puyallup Fair attendance". The News Tribune. Retrieved 2009-09-28. 
  12. ^ a b c d e f Santos, Melissa (2008-09-23). "Despite nice weather, fewer do the Puyallup". The News Tribune. Retrieved 2008-09-23. 
  13. ^ a b c d e f g "Washington State Fair History". thefair.com. Retrieved 2015-09-24.