Hit the Midway at the Thurston County Fair

by Jonah Barrett for OLY ARTS

Every year in the first week of August, the Thurston County Fair arrives in Lacey for a period of five days. Guests from all over Thurston County are attracted to the event, with about 28,000 attending overall. The fair is a family-oriented endeavor. Crowds attend to experience a lick of nostalgic taste, as the fair advertises itself as old-fashioned. “Every year we try to have something for everyone,” said the fair’s event coordinator, Theresa Reid. “We have a variety of entertainment including our ‘Live and Local’ concert series featuring local artists. As always we have the fair favorites: animals, carnival rides and of course, fair food. The Thurston County Fair is very proud to have many local food vendors featured at the fair.” A dedicated staff of volunteers maintains the fair, with thousands of hours volunteered every year to bring the event to reality. “The fair would not happen without the huge volunteer support we have,” said Reid. “There is something for everyone who wants to be part of the Thurston County Fair.”

Under the name Mutual Aid Fair, the first fair was held 146 years ago in 1871. That event occurred in a building known as the Columbia Hall, known today as 4th Avenue Tavern. The purpose of the Mutual Aid Fair was to assist farmers and agriculture while encouraging immigration. This tradition of education rings true to this day. “The fair is a place to showcase what Thurston County has to offer: the people, talent, art, food and businesses,” said Reid. “The fair is also a place for education. Visitors can learn about animals, flowers, quilts, butter-making and photography. Hands-on demonstrations and exhibits allow visitors, adults and children, to try their hand at things they may have never tried.”

Wednesday, Aug. 2One-Buck Wednesday – admission $1 with one canned-food donation (per guest) to the Food Bank

Thursday, Aug. 3Kids’ Day – $2 admission for all children under age 14

Friday, Aug. 4Military Day – $2 admission for any guest with military ID

What: Thurston County Fair

Where: Thurston County Fairgrounds,
3054 Carpenter Rd. SE, Lacey

When: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. Wednesday – Saturday, Aug. 2-5,
10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 6

How much: free – $7

Learn more: 360-786-5453 | Thurston County Fair

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