The King County Fair begins its four-day run Thursday, offering a traditional lineup of carnival rides, entertainment, livestock, commercial vendors and more.
The fair gates will be open from noon to 9 p.m. Thursday and Sunday; noon to 10 p.m. Friday; and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday.
Admission will be $7 for those 13 and older and $5 for kids 5 to 12. Those 4 and younger are admitted free. Tickets for carnival rides are sold separately, but an all-day ride wristbands are $20. Parking is free.
Families planning on attending the fair can save money by going online for advance purchases. Visit the fair website, www.thekingcountyfair.com, and click on “Family Funpack” for a package that includes two adult admissions, two youth admissions and two all-day ride wristbands.
Among the fair highlights will be live music every day. Additionally, daily features include a magic show at 1, 3 and 5 p.m.; racing pigs, also at 1, 3 and 5; and a kid-friendly mutton bustin’ competition at 2, 4 and 6 p.m.
The fair will again be operated by Universal Fairs, the Tennessee-based organization that breathed new life into a floundering enterprise. After King County systematically diminished the fair and finally sliced funding altogether, the city of Enumclaw made a one-year stab at offering a summer attraction. Universal Fairs offers its Enumclaw attraction for the fourth year.
The King County Fair has long been billed as the oldest county fair west of the Mississippi River. It debuted in 1863, or 26 years before Washington achieves statehood. It started as a simple celebration of agriculture in the Georgetown area south of Seattle, was moved to Renton around 1900 and settled in Enumclaw following World War II.