Enumclaw’s Gray honored for ‘leadership and dedication’ in helping King County Fair

Scott Gray has helped breathe new life into the annual fair, and hopes to bring in 25,000 people this year.

Scott Gray (right) was presented with the Martin Luther King Jr. Medal of Distinguished Service by County Councilman Reagan Dunn. KING COUNTY PHOTO

Scott Gray (right) was presented with the Martin Luther King Jr. Medal of Distinguished Service by County Councilman Reagan Dunn. KING COUNTY PHOTO

Scott Gray has spent the past four years striving to keep the Enumclaw Expo Center a happy and healthy place and, more specifically, to breathe new life into the King County Fair.

His reward comes with increasing fair attendance and the many other activities that occupy the Expo Center grounds.

But appreciation for Gray’s efforts took a more formal turn the afternoon of April 30, when he was presented with the Martin Luther King Jr. Medal of Distinguished Service. The award came during a meeting of the King County Council and Gray’s selection was made by Councilman Reagan Dunn.

“Scott’s leadership and dedication to helping to save the King County Fair is a gift to the entire region,” Dunn said. “As part of the community effort, Scott has turned the Fair and the Expo Center into a thriving facility.”

The County Council annually presents the Distinguished Service award to citizens living across King County, recognizing those who have gone above and beyond in their efforts to make a difference in their communities. The council’s nine members each selects a recipient for the award, now in its third year.

Gray spent a corporate career primarily with Pepsi and had returned to Enumclaw with retirement in sight. After taking a position with The Courier-Herald, Gray became involved as a member of the Expo Center Advisory Board, which was created to determine if the declining King County Fair was still viable. The county had ceased operation of the fair – the oldest ongoing fair west of the Mississippi – and the city of Enumclaw had taken control, turning the operation over to an out-of-state company.

By 2014, attendance at the fair had hit a modern-day low.

The outlook changed with formation of the nonprofit Enumclaw Expo and Events Association, which was charged with operating the city-owned Expo Center and handling all its events. Gray took the reins as executive director and, in 2015, fair attendance doubled. The number of attendees has continued to grow.

“I’d like to thank the council for this award,” Gray said during the April 30 ceremony in Seattle. “It means a lot to be recognized. I’d also like to thank my team who have been with me through this whole endeavor.”

More in News

Black Diamond’s Rock Creek Bridge to gets pedestrian walkway

The walkway will make it safer for people to walk along Roberts Drive. But some have criticized how the project hasn’t gone through a SEPA review.

Councilwoman Lauk resigns seat

Kimberly Lauk thanked the council and mayor for their work since she joined on in 2016, and urged residents to continue to participate in their local government.

Architectural rendering of a modular congregate shelter. Modular housing is a type of dwelling where the components are manufactured in one location, then assembled at another location. Courtesy of kingcounty.gov.
Modular housing in King County moves ahead

Small, portable housing units are being explored by the county to address homelessness.

Gov. Jay Inslee shakes hands with Dinah Griffey after signing Senate Bill 5649 on April 19. The law revises the statute of limitations for sex crimes. Photo by Emma Epperly, WNPA Olympia News Bureau
Hits and misses from Legislature’s 2019 session

New laws target vaccines, sex crimes and daylight savings; losers include sex ed and dwarf tossing bills.

Educational signs installed at Lake Sawyer

The Lake Sawyer Park Foundation hopes the new signs will encourage people to be more environmentally conscious around the park.

Carnegie Hall appearance for White River band

The band was encouraged to apply for to play at the famed venue three years ago.

Enumclaw Schools Foundation hosts lunch, sets two more fundraisers

Make sure not to miss the May 4 event, the annual Food Truck Wars, at the Expo Center.

Gov. Jay Inslee speaks to protesting nurses on April 24 at the State Capitol Building in Olympia. Inslee indicated he would sign the bill for meal and rest breaks into law if it passes both chambers. Photo by Emma Epperly, WNPA Olympia News Bureau
Lawmakers approve ‘nursing bill’ for mandatory meal and rest breaks

Nurses show up in Olympia to support bill, protest Sen. Walsh’s remarks.

Scott Barden stands next to the pit that will house the newest, and possibly final, section of the Cedar Hills Regional Landfill near Maple Valley. The pit is 120 feet deep, and around another 180 feet will be built on top of it over the next decade. Aaron Kunkler/staff photo
King County’s landfill is going to get bigger

A ninth cell will be built, extending its life by another decade.

Most Read