Washington State Spring Fair is right around the corner

The Washington State Fair runs April 19 through 22. Rides, exhibits and old favorites are ready to go. Photo courtesy of Washington State Spring Fair

The Washington State Spring Fair is set to begin in less than a week. The four-day, mini version of the gargantuan fall fair has been going on since 1990. This year the fair runs Thursday, April 19 through Sunday, April 22. The Spring Fair brings a dose of rides, eats, games, exhibits, motor sports, animal shows, music and more to its audience each year. The 2018 edition of the spring classic will see a return of many favorite attractions and will add a few exciting new features.

There is a lot of buzz over one of the new shows at this year’s fair, the Cirque Ma’Ceo Equestrian Stunt Show, which is a gypsy-themed stunt show with horses and acrobats. Cirque Ma’Ceo is a production of Cavallo Equestrian Arts, which is owned by Olissio Zoppe, who purports to represent the sixth generation in which his family have been involved in horse-based showmanship. Some of the show’s cast members have performed with outfits like Cirque de Soleil and Cavalia — the latter being the horse show that took the region by storm a few years back. Cirque Ma’Ceo will combine daredevil stunts and acrobatics with scenic choreography that will highlight the nobility of horses and the romance of the bond between humans and horses, a relationship evocative of visions both epic and mythic. 

This year, enjoy the acrobatics and fancy horsemanship of Cirque Ma’Ceo. Photo courtesy of Cirque Ma’Ceo

Cirque Ma’Ceo Shows are held at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. April 20, 21 and 22. General admission is $7 on top of gate price for the fair. Shows run 45-50 minutes and are held in the Paulhamus Arena.

Another new exhibit is “Aussie Kingdom.” See and interact with kangaroos, wallabies, walleroos and other native Australian wildlife. Shows are free daily (various times) and take place at the courtyard west of Coca-Cola Stage.

Regular Features:

Motorsport Mayhem
Various times
• Grandstand
Don’t miss Motorsport Mayhem presented by O’Reilly Auto Parts. Monster truck rides, tricked out monster trucks, smashing cars collide and even boats … for action-packed entertainment you won’t want to miss. For specific events and schedules: www.thefair.com/spring-fair/motorsport-mayhem. (Visit your local O’Reilly Auto Parts for $5 off coupon) 

Storybook Village
Daily, free with fair admission
• Red Gate Building
Enter the world of make believe as you journey through a storybook land of classic fables.

BBQ Competition
Various times
• Contest arena (south end of the grounds) 
Don’t miss your opportunity to taste award winning BBQ at the second annual Washington State Spring Fair BBQ Competition. Competitors will be cooking up their own variations on BBQ classics. Cast your vote for the People’s Choice on Saturday and watch as the contestants vie for the blue ribbon on Sunday. The Washington State Fair competition is the highest prize purse in the state, at $17,500!

Pirate Parrot Patrol Show
Daily, free with fair admission (various times)
• Courtyard west of Coca-Cola Stage
Learn all about parrots from the experts: pirates. This show is interactive, informational and most of all, fun.

DockDogs Competition
Daily, free with fair admission (various times)
• Red Gate area 
DockDogs features dogs running down a 40-foot canine runway and jumping headlong into a 27,000-gallon pool of water.

Swifty Swine Racing Pigs
Daily, free with fair admission (various times)
• Fountain Stage 
Watch pigs shoot out of the gate, hoping to be the first one to finish and win an Oreo cookie. Swifty Swine Racing Pigs always proves to be a fan favorite.

Creative Kids Exhibit
Daily, free with fair admission
• Pavilion
This pre-registered exhibit showcases the talents of children, 6-15 years old. Divisions include:  art, baking, creative writing, photography, textiles, bird houses/bird feeders, paper crafts and scrapbooking, and an egg drop contest.

Northwest Living & Garden Show
Daily, free with fair admission
• Mattress Firm ShowPlex
It’s time to get outside and spruce up our gardens and our outdoor living areas. Northwest Living & Garden, presented by Mattress Firm, has a range of vendors. Ciscoe Morris will be providing a 30-minute gardening presentation followed by a Q&A on Sunday, April 22, 1 p.m.

Outdoor Adventures
Daily, free with fair admission
• Expo Hall
Don’t miss hands-on activities for all ages, interactive learning opportunities including kayak safety tips, outdoor simulations and more. Don’t miss Brad’s World Reptiles and get your heart racing with exotic animals from around the globe.

Animal Exhibits
Daily, free with fair admission
• Throughout Fairgrounds 
Washington Shepherds’ Extravaganza, Northwest Junior Livestock Show, Pygmy Goat Show, Dexter Cattle Display, Miniature Horse Exhibit, Llama Exhibit, Junior Poultry, Rabbits, and of course, the Fair Farm.

Fun on the Farm
Daily, free with fair admission
• Centennial Tent
Kids will love having fun on the farm in this area. They can get up close to baby animals, petting a variety of babies. Barnyard Adventure offers an experience of working on the farm with Pete’s Potato Place, Corn Play Box, Professor Kluck’s Fact & Picture Board, milking a faux cow and more.

Diversity Celebration
Daily, free with fair admission
• Hobby Hall, (Coca-Cola Stage on Saturday, April 21)
The 13th annual Puyallup School District Diversity Celebration will be held all four days of Spring Fair. This is a time of sharing, learning, and showcasing the artwork, essays, poems and other works based on culturally relevant curriculum.

Special days and events:

  • Thursday, April 19: Gate giveaway, first 500 guests opening day. The first 500 guests will receive a complimentary handy hot/cold pack in the shape of Quigley the Duck.
  • Thursday, April 19: Kids free gate admission/ opening day at the fair food drive. Kids ages 6-18 get in free April 19, with a suggested non-perishable food donation to benefit the Puyallup Food Bank. Kids ages 5 and younger are always free.
  • Friday, April 20: Military Appreciation Day. Free gate admission will be offered to active, retired and reserve military and their dependents, plus disabled veterans with valid military ID. 
  • Friday, April 20, 7 p.m. at the Showplace Stage: Country 98.9 Showcase Concert featuring Darryl Worley. This annual event showcases a country artist with a free concert for those at the fair. Darryl Worley was born in southern Tennessee to a Methodist minister and a church-choir mom he describes as a “prayer warrior.” Worley played clubs almost nightly, honing his stage craft at the same time he was woodshedding his songwriting skills, and as he gained confidence, he found his way to Nashville. There, he secured a recording deal in 1999 on the basis of some demo recordings that showcased his authoritative vocals and his understanding of the hard-working country audience.
  • Friday, April 20 and Saturday April 21: Fireworks show. Join us at the fireworks spectacular on Friday and Saturday nights at approximately 9 p.m. The show will be enhanced with music.
  • Sunday, April 22: Fiesta Mexicana. Come enjoy Latin culture and sizzling entertainment that’s sure to get you up and dancing. Free, with fair admission. Location: Showplace Stage

For more on the Washington State Spring Fair, visit www.thefair.com/spring-fair.

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