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The Washington State Fair, the biggest party in the state, to run Sept. 11-27

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PUYALLUP - The biggest party in the state, the Washington State Fair is preparing for its 17-day run, starting on Friday, Sept. 11, and running through Sunday, Sept. 27. The Washington State Fair is the largest fair in the state. It has been a tradition of generations since its start in 1900.

Tradition holds that on opening day the Fair kicks off with the annual cattle drive and the Washington State Fair Western Rodeo Parade. It will be held on Friday, Sept. 11 at 10 am. on Meridian Street in downtown Puyallup. Corriente cattle lead the way, followed by draft horse hitches, marching bands, equestrian drill teams, and costume characters. A Rodeo Breakfast will be held from 8 - 10 a.m. for $2 at Pioneer Park's Pavilion, right next to the parade route. Local businesses donate food and product for this community event.

Gate admission is FREE from 9 a.m. - noon on Friday, Sept. 11, with a recommended non-perishable food donation for Puyallup Food Bank. Last year a record-breaking 275,000 pounds were collected on opening day, and the goal is to beat that number this year. Food drive media partners are KOMO 4, KOMO Newsradio 1000 AM/97.7 FM, and KOMOnews.com.

New features:

Star Trek: The Exhibition: This exhibit brings visitors into the Star Trek universe and allows them to connect with iconic moments. Fans and novices alike will have an opportunity to sit in the legendary Captain's chair where Captain Kirk, and subsequently Captain Picard, took command of the U.S.S. Enterprise. Guests will also have the opportunity to pose in front of a replica of the U.S.S. Enterprise, see one-of-a-kind displays, have hands-on fun with interactive kiosks, and enjoy rare photo opportunities.

This is a separate ticketed exhibit beyond Fair gate admission. Star Trek is located inside the Red Gate, and is $8 per person. Children five years and under are free in the exhibit with a paid adult. Advance discount tickets are available until 9/10 at www.thefair.com. Location: Red Gate Building

Sweet! A Tasty Journey: Sweet! A Tasty Journey takes a nostalgic look at the confections beloved by generations of Americans. The FREE exhibition serves a healthy helping of brain food, teaching all about the "farm to fork" role in candy making. Plus, it's a treat for the senses, from your eyes to your taste buds! Sweet! A Tasty Journey has lots of interactive displays and activities to stimulate all five senses while you explore the social and cultural aspects of the candy industry. You'll learn all about real life "Willy Wonka" stories from notable inventors such as Forrest Mars and Milton Hershey.

Location: Grand Champion Blvd. near SillyVille

Beer Haven: Beer Haven is a celebration of the small, independent, traditional and innovative culture of American craft brewers. It is a one-of-a-kind mobile mega-experience. This giant tap room on wheels will feature some of the region's favorite craft beers. Guests 21 years and older will have a chance to sample a myriad of craft brews, and talk shop directly with the brewmasters, learning about the brewing and canning process from start to finish. Join us each Saturday from noon - 4 pm. for exclusive access to Beer Haven. Sample 60+ local microbrews, meet brewmasters, play interactive games and enjoy live entertainment. Festival tickets start at $40. Advance tickets at www.thefair.com include Fair gate admission, a $12.50 value. Location: Blue Gate Plaza

Big Washington: Bigfoot IS alive! The legend of bigfoot is alive and well at the Washington State Fair. We're pleased to introduce you to this once-elusive creature, who comes out of hiding each year to attend the State Fair. He's known by the name of Big Washington, and big he is! While our costume character is 7-feet tall, the version created by wood carver, Bob King (www.chainsawking.com) is a stately 9-feet tall. Both are a tad shy, but still very friendly, welcoming photo ops with Fair friends. Location : Photo ops with costume character in Planting Patch, Chainsaw carving by Gold Gate Fountain

Northwest Woodworkers Exhibition: The Northwest Woodworkers Exhibition is a new exhibition showcasing the handmade work of regional professional, amateur, and student woodworkers. The works they will enter are some of the region's top craftsmanship featuring outstanding design. In addition to viewing the entries, check out the locally and nationally-known woodworkers demonstrating their craft. A featured part of the exhibit includes the woodcarvings of Russ Graff. Location: Pavilion, 2nd floor.

Rides - Brand New!

  • Evolution: This is a large thrill ride consists of four inclined pillars which support a revolving arm. On one end of the arm are some counterweights and on the other is a rotating hub which holds 10 cars. Minimum height to ride: 48"

  • Rock Star: This is a spectacular thrill ride that elevates riders 55' above the midway on top of a flying platform! The Rock Star gives riders a unique free-fall experience as the platform whisks towards the ground. Minimum height to ride: 42"

  • Phoenix Wheel: This classic wheel reaches a height of 65', yet is kid-friendly as well. You'll find it in SillyVille, where thrill-seeking young ones will love it! Minimum height to ride: 48" to ride alone OR 32" if accompanied by a responsible person.

Timber Gulch: Timber Gulch is a brand new western/pioneer town located inside the Green Gate. You'll take a step back in time when you see the pioneer town backdrop, complete with a jail, and photo opportunities galore. There will be an interactive area featuring a gunfight show, kids' activities, pioneer farming, shopping, and even a saloon. Entertainment includes Tumbleweed Crossing, a comedy gunfight show, and a cowboy boot camp designed for young cowboys and cowgirls. Mosey on over and visit a western town in Washington you would have seen in days gone by. Location: Green Gate area

Tradition is still a strong part of the Fair, since both the 4-H and FFA State Fairs are held at the same time. Other popular favorites include animal shows, home arts cooking contests and quilts, the International Photo Exhibition that draws entries from all corners of the globe, Hobby Hall, floral designs, and rides.

Entertainment

Top-name entertainment highlights the Columbia Bank Concert Series again this year. Headliners range from Keith Urban to Duran Duran, and Heart to Jason Derulo. Purchase tickets at www.thefair.com/concerts, and you can select your seating. Free entertainment stages and strolling entertainers feature something for all ages.

If you want to see the best cowboys and cowgirls in the sport fight for their rodeo lives, then attend the Washington State Fair Rodeo, Sept. 11-13. Their destination is the National Finals Rodeo, but the road to that competition in Las Vegas goes through Puyallup. They have to prove it here, or go home. You'll see the top cowboys and cowgirls compete in each event. Purchase tickets at thefair.com/rodeo/. Presenting Sponsor: O'Reilly Auto Parts.

Special Days

Sept. 11, 18, 25: Friday Fireworks Extravaganza, 10 pm.

Sept. 12:The Washington State Fair Foundation is presenting XPLORE Adventure Race, an urban adventure race for teams of 2-5 people. Pre-register at www.thefair.com/foundation/ .

Sept. 12: Asia Pacific Cultural Day, featuring traditional dress/dance/music.

Sept. 12 & 13: BECU Free Kids' Weekend with FREE admission for their kids up to 18 years.

Download a coupon at becu.org/freekids, and turn it in at the gate.

Sept. 14 & 21: Military Appreciation Days offer free gate admission to all active, reserve and retired military and National Guard and their dependents, plus disabled veterans when each shows valid military ID at the Fair gate (see http://www.thefair.com/fun/details/military-appreciation-day to see which forms of military ID are valid). Media Partners: 570 KVI, KOMO Newsradio 1000 AM/97.7 FM, KOMO 4 and KOMOnews.com.

Sept. 17 & 24: enior Tuesdays will offer senior entertainment, including a gardening presentation by Ed Hume.

Sept. 19 & 25: Take the Sounder Train to the Fair from Everett, with nine stops along the way.

Purchase bundled train and Fair admission at www.thefair.com/deals/ .

Sept. 20: Fiestas de las Familias is this year's theme for our Latino friends.

Sept. 27: Be part of the Ultimate Tailgate in the End Zone Sports Bar. Watch the first

home game for the Seattle Seahawks when they take on the Chicago Bears on

Sunday, Sept. 27 at 1:25 p.m.: The first 500 will receive a free team spirit prize,

starting at 11:00 a.m. Come play games, win prizes and watch Sea Gals and Guys

in the making at the Junior Cheer Camp. Wear your Seahawks fan gear for a chance to win the Ultimate Fan Contest from Aqua Quip.

Discount Gate and Ride Savings

Advance gate admission tickets are available through Sept. 10 at www.thefair.com, or at Safeway, Albertsons or South Hill Mall through Sept. 27, while supplies last:

At Gate/Advance

Adults, $12.50, $10

Students (6-18), $9, $ 7.50

Seniors (62 yrs.+), $9, $ 7.50

Kids (5 & under), ALWAYS FREE

The Fred Meyer Value Pack gives purchasers 50% savings. The pack is $36.95 and includes two gate admission tickets, 10 food bucks, 6 Funtastic rides (excludes Extreme Scream), two half-price weekday parking coupons (valid Mon-Fri before 5 pm., subject to availability, not valid on Sept. 11), and a discount rodeo coupon for the Sept. 12, 1 pm. rodeo performance. Value packs are available through Sept. 11 at participating Fred Meyer stores.

Season passes provide unlimited Fair gate admission, plus valuable coupons for weekday parking, scones, and more. Adult prices are $30.50 by Aug. 31 ($35.50 after that date), and student season passes are $20.50 by August 31 ($25.50 after that date) at www.thefair.com.

Ride deals featured this year include:

  • Value Packs are sold at Fred Meyer through Sept. 11 for $36.95, and include two gate tickets, any six Funtastic rides (excludes Extreme Scream), 10 food bucks, and a 2-for-1 coupon for the 1 pm. rodeo on Sept. 12.

  • Extreme Deal - Ride the Extreme Scream for only $7.50, Mondays - Thursdays, Sept.14-17, 21-24.

  • Xfinity Dizzy Pass Ride Bracelet - Get unlimited rides on Midway and SillyVille rides (except Extreme Scream) and two free games for just $30 if purchased by Sept. 10 at www.thefair.com, or $40 on site. The Dizzy Pass is valid Opening Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 12 and 13, and weekdays, Sept. 14-18 and 21-25.

Vital Statistics

Location: Washington State Fair Events Center, 110 9thAvenue SW, Puyallup, WA

Website: www.thefair.com

Hours: Sunday, 9 am. - 10 pm.; Monday-Thursday, 10 am. - 10 pm.; Friday/Saturday, 9 am. - 11 pm.

The Washington State Fair is one of the biggest fairs in the world, and the largest in the Pacific Northwest. It started in 1900 in Puyallup, and welcomes over one million guests to the single largest attended event in the state. Star-studded entertainment, the PRCA Rodeo, rides, exhibits, food, flowers and animals are mainstays of the 17-day event in September. For more info about the Sept. 11-27, 2015 Washington State Fair, visit www.thefair.com.

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