City talking with outside group about putting on fair in July

By Kevin Hanson


For months, it appeared a summertime fair in Enumclaw was a dead issue for 2011.

King County washed its hands of its historic fair a few years ago, the county offered no money for the city of Enumclaw to produce a small fair and no one else had stepped forward to produce a summer show.

It looks like that has changed.

While nothing is official until paperwork is signed, it has twice been mentioned in recent public meetings that a private fair operator has been in talks with Enumclaw.

While Enumclaw Expo Center manager Kristen Damazio is hesitant to talk specifics, she mentioned during a City Council workshop Feb. 22 that a fair is likely on its way and the four-day event would begin July 7.

City Administrator Mike Thomas confirmed late last week the city has had ongoing discussions with Universal Fairs.

Damazio reiterated Friday afternoon that nothing has been inked, but Universal Fairs remains intent on staging a fair in July. The company, despite the lack of a contract with Enumclaw, has secured a carnival, she said.

On its website, the Tennessee-based company bills itself as “one of the leading independent promotion and production companies in the U.S.” Universal has put events like the Ostrich Festival in Arizona, the Austin Fair and Music Festival in Texas, Down on the Bayou in Louisiana and the Razorback Fair in Arkansas.

Damazio said Universal Fairs operates primarily in the southern United States, but is actively looking to expand its network of venues. She said the company is actively seeking out locations where public events are in danger of folding or have already met their demise.

She said Universal would like to use the King County Fair name, but the county has to give its consent.

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