Evergreen State Fair

Looking for an end-of-summer tradition?  Check out Monroe’s Evergreen State Fair, running from August 23-September 3, 2012. With an emphasis on agricultural education, it also provides the novelty of gimmicky games, thrill rides and greasy food that are essential to any fair.  We packed a lunch to go along with our elephant ears and corn dogs (and saved a few bucks).

If carnival rides are your thing, then take heed:  tickets are fairly expensive, running $1 per ticket, with rides requiring 3-5 tickets on average.  If you plan on checking out most of the attractions, it’s wise to purchase an all-day, unlimited ride wristband for $25 ($30 for Saturday or Sunday).

Along with the “big kid” attractions, there’s a small section that has rides for the little ones, and the ponies are always a favorite.  The games are the same every year, forever exclaiming the chance to win an oversized stuffed animal that you probably don’t need.  I always like the fish bowl toss.  We still have the gold fish that we won 2 years ago.

The commercial booths selling crafts, services and seen-on-TV trinkets are both charming and chintzy, but the animal buildings never loose their appeal.  Farm standards like cows, goats, sheep and pigs are on display for all to see, with many of their owners available to answer questions.  On our visit we learned about baby pigs, and our son was delighted to have the opportunity to pet a two-week-old runt.  Educational 4-H and programs are held during the fair, and kiddos are able to get up close and personal with prize-winning dogs, cats and bunnies.

It’s fun, tacky, educational and a bit expensive.  But in the end, a fair is a fair, and this one is worth a visit or two.

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