Three days of rides, trout fishing, barbecue sampling, race simulators, a root beer garden (and a beer garden for the big people) and all
the fair food you could want.
Those are just a few of things on tap for the first ever Spring Festival at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds the weekend after next, Friday April 26 through Sunday, April 28.
The Spring Festival is the latest of a series of events the Evergreen State Fair has tried for spring. Previously, the events have tended to focus on trade, frequently featuring demonstrations of outdoor recreation services and products.
But this year is all about fun, the organizers say.
The event starts Friday evening with a carnival provided by Butler Amusements, which will bring such rides as the Zipper, the Tilt-a-Whirl and the Cyclone, as well as a number of rides for younger kids.
The heart of the festival will be in the new events center, recently named the Gary D. Weikel Event Center, where live music starts at 10:15 a.m. Saturday and goes all day. Look for folk, classic rock, Latin rock, country and even a Bad Company tribute band.
Also in the event center will be a beer garden featuring local craft brews, and there will be a root beer garden for those too young or not inclined for more robust fare.
Although trade is not the focus of this year’s event, there will be plenty of vendors on hand, selling everything from 3D wooden puzzles to Mary Kaye cosmetics and home satellite systems.
As you wander the grounds, so will groups of musicians, and kids will enjoy face painting and balloon twisting, a pond in which to catch trout and pedal tractors.
The Master Gardeners will be on hand, displaying flowers and answering gardening questions, and green thumbs will also gets chance to see Northwest gardening guru Ciscoe Morris at the stage at 2 p.m. Saturday.
Attendees can see a 4H horse show, peruse bargains at the Sky Valley Swap Meet and check out the Western Heritage Museum at the east edge of the fairgrounds.
Wherever you go, you will be followed by the smell of barbecue, as the Washington State Spring Barbecue Championship goes on throughout the weekend.
Barbecue teams from around the state will vie for cash prizes and a shot at the annual Jack Daniels World Championship Invitational Barbecue in Lynchburg, Tenn. next fall. The pit crews will do more than just grill for the judges; they’ll give cooking demonstrations and share barbecue techniques.
And samples from all of the barbecue entrants will be for sale; the proceeds benefit the Monroe Youth Football Association. If you find yourself inspired to learn more about barbecue, there will be free barbecue classes on the center stage on the hour from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.
The entire event is free, except for the carnival rides, which can be ridden all day with a one-price wristband. Parking is $5.
The carnival starts at 4 p.m. Friday. The fair opens at 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. It closes at 10 p.m. Saturday and 5 p.m. Sunday.