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Originally published Wednesday, September 5, 2012 at 7:02 PM

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A fair guess: If it's September, this must be The Puyallup

The Puyallup Fair, Sept. 7-23, 2012, Puyallup.

Seattle Times staff

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The Puyallup Fair invites you to "Get Your Happy On!" at summer's last big bash and Washington state's biggest fair, Friday through Sept. 23.

The Western Rodeo Parade and Cattle Drive kicks off the festivities Friday with cowboys on horseback wrangling cattle, equestrian teams and marching bands through downtown Puyallup. Opening weekend festivities continue with free admission (food-bank donations suggested) until noon Friday, free admission for kids Saturday and Sunday with an online coupon, and a new fair feature, fireworks shows at 10 p.m. every Friday through the fair's run.

Other new attractions at the fair include the Rainforest Adventure Journey to the Tropics, a zip-line ride and "Our Body: The Universe Within" educational exhibit of actual human bodies and organs (with additional admission charge). Special events include Fiestas Patrias, Sept. 15-16; the Animals of the World exhibit, Sept. 19-23; and Do the Puyallup Walk to Beat Breast Cancer, Sept. 22.

All the old fair favorites are on hand, including 4-H animals, the Fair Farm, giant pumpkins, grange displays, floral exhibits, the Hobby Hall, art displays, vendors of all kinds and lots of free entertainment. And the rides, of course: more than 70 to choose from with something for every taste, from thrill rides to SillyVille rides for little ones, and the merry-go-round, sky ride and train for all ages. Dizzy Pass bracelets, $27.50 for unlimited rides (excluding Extreme Scream), are available Sept. 11, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19 and 20 only. This Monday only, all rides and games are half-price.

Food is another main attraction, with 160 food vendors. Use the food finder on the fair website to search by categories including food on a stick, healthy options, kid-friendly and international cuisine.

Transportation options include a new Cellphone Waiting Lot, Third Street Southwest and Fourth Avenue Southwest, for 30 minutes of free parking while waiting for passengers at the pickup zone just east of the Red Gate, 6-11 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

The details

Times: 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Fridays, 9 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturdays (exhibits open 10 a.m.), 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Sundays (exhibits open 10 a.m.), 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays through Sept. 23. Rides open between 10 a.m. and noon daily.

Cost: $12.50/adults, $9/ages 6-18 and ages 62 and older, ages 5 and younger free; free admission with nonperishable food-bank donation, 9 a.m.-noon Friday only; free admission for ages 18 and younger Saturday-Sunday with coupon (available at www.BECU.org/freekids); free admission to active, retired, reserve military and their dependents with ID, Monday and Sept. 17; $7 admission after 7 p.m. Thursdays. "Our Body: The Universe Within," $7 in addition to fair admission. Concert series prices vary.

Location: Puyallup Fair and Events Center, 110 Ninth Ave. S.W., Puyallup.

Western Rodeo Parade & Cattle Drive: 10 a.m. Friday, on Meridian Street from West Main Street to the Fairgrounds, Puyallup.

Rodeo: 1 p.m. Friday, $5-$18; 6 p.m. Friday with Willie Nelson concert, $35-$60; 1 p.m. Saturday, $16-$30; 6:30 p.m. Saturday, $15-$45; 1 p.m. Sunday, $20-$35.

Getting there: From Highway 512 in Puyallup, take the Meridian Street exit. Parking $10/Monday-Friday, $12/Saturday-Sunday. Metro Transit, 206-553-3000 or tripplanner.kingcounty.gov; Pierce Transit, 253-581-8000 or www.piercetransit.org; Sound Transit, 888-889-6368 or www.soundtransit.org.

More information: 253-841-5045 or www.thefair.com.

Madeline McKenzie: 206-464-8245 or mmckenzie@seattletimes.com

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