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County getting ready for 145th fair

With a variety of live entertainment, new Midway rides, livestock and crafts displays, wide-ranging food vendors and all of the other things that make a county fair so much fun, the 145th annual King County Fair in Enumclaw is getting ready to roll.

Set for July 18-22 at the Enumclaw Expo Center (formerly the King County Fairgrounds), the oldest county fair west of the Mississippi celebrates its historic country roots with livestock displays, 4-H contests and much more.

There will be headline performers every night (see story on page A3) plus other featured acts to keep the family entertained. Among those other attractions are the famous racing pigs, with four exciting races each day; a kids' tractor pull, where kids can use the power of their legs to pull trailers along a course; plus magicians, hypnotists, balloon artists and more.

Fans of classic fair rides are in luck this year, as the King County Fair features all-new Midway rides, along with rides just for the kids. Fairgoers can take advantage of a special unlimited rides bracelet, which if purchased before July 18 will cost just $18 and offers unlimited rides all day. An unlimited ride bracelet purchased during the Fair will cost $23 per day.

Bracelets can be purchased in advance by calling the fair office or visiting KeyBank branches in Enumclaw, Bonney Lake, Auburn, Forest Villa and Maple Valley beginning June 18.

No visit to a county fair is complete without traditional fair food, and the King County Fair offers all of the favorites, including onion burgers, corn dogs, hot scones with jam and barbecue. This year's fair also includes some newer treats, including alligator, frog legs, sweet potato fries and deep-fried Coke.

A beer garden will also be available. Sponsored by the Washington State Council of Firefighters' Burn Foundation, the beer garden will be staffed by 2008 firefighter calendar models.

This year's fair will end with a bang, courtesy of a car roll-over contest and demolition derby. The finale begins at 4 p.m. July 22 with a roll-over competition where drivers will vie for the top prize of $300 for completing the rolls.

Once the dust settles and the roll-over champ has been crowned, it's time for the demolition derby - an all-out battle that promises plenty of metal-on-metal action. The lucky driver with the last car running will take home $1,000. Tickets to the motorized mayhem are $15 for adults and $10 for kids and seniors, which includes admission to the fair on Sunday.

Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors 62 and older and children 6 to 12. Kids younger than 6 will be admitted free when accompanied by an adult.

Founded in 1863, the King County Fair is the oldest county fair west of the Mississippi River. The theme this year is “Dance to the Moo-sic.”

Other special offers at this year's fair include: senior half-price day July 18; kids half-price day July 19; and Family Day July 21, when a family of four can visit the fair for $20 (maximum two adults).

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