King County Fair shrinks to 3 days, focus on farms
The 145-year-old King County Fair is going back to its old-style country roots after years of dwindling attendance. Beginning this summer, King...
Seattle Times staff reporter
The 145-year-old King County Fair is going back to its old-style country roots after years of dwindling attendance.
Beginning this summer, King County is shrinking the fair to a free, three-day event, cutting the carnival rides and most entertainment acts. County officials say moving away from greasy food, midway games and carousels will provide a renewed focus on local agriculture and will attract more visitors and revenue.
"I'm hoping that this will be what turns it around," said fair manager Sharon Roberts.
Billed as the oldest fair in the Western U.S., the King County Fair still will be a true community fair, just a little different, Roberts said. The fair's been renamed the King County 4-H Agricultural Fair to reflect the new vision. Visitors can expect less of the traditional fair food and more healthful options, Roberts said.
The fair is scheduled for July 18-20 at the Enumclaw Expo Center.
Last year, the county gave the fairgrounds to Enumclaw, and plans are under way for the city to create a large-scale equestrian expo center on the property. The city allows the fair to use the space once a year at no charge.
In the past five years, fair attendance has fallen nearly by half — from 64,821 people in 2003 to 33,119 in 2007. Fair officials blame the decline on bad weather and scheduling conflicts with other events in the area.
Roberts said dropping the admission fee and shortening the event will cut staffing costs.
Lauren Vane: 253-234-8604 or email@example.com
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
UPDATE - 09:46 AM
Exxon Mobil wins ruling in Alaska oil spill case
NEW - 7:51 AM
Longview man says he was tortured with hot knife
Sam and Sara Lucchese create handmade pasta out of their kitchen-garage adjacent to their Ballard home. Here, they illustrate the final steps in making pappardelle pasta.