YAKIMA, Wash. — Opening day at the Fair on Friday saw dozens lined up at the gates for the annual 10-day run of food, rides, entertainment, exhibits, games and more food.
“We figured it would be less busy, being a workday, and it might be the best day to come,” said Scott Sharp of Yakima, who was waiting in line with his wife, Kathy, pushing their grandson in a stroller.
Sharp said they had never been to the Central Washington State Fair on opening day, but were lured by the discounted entry price and the nice weather. They planned to enjoy the exhibits and a funnel cake, but they don’t do the rides anymore.
Like the Sharps, plenty of other retirees waited in line, along with some families with small children. Two of the teenagers were heading to check on the art they had entered in the fair’s contests.
“We’re homeschooled, so we’ve been going on the first day for years,” said Sarah Laurvick, 17. “I’m going to check on the stuff and check out the competition.”
Up near the gates, Yakima resident Jack Moseman, 75, sat in line, resting on the seat on his walker since he was dropped off at 10 a.m. He said he comes on opening day most years.
“I go right from here back to Young Life and get one of those barbecue beef sandwiches. That’s my top priority,” Moseman said.
When the gates swung open at 11 a.m., people rushed in and were greeted by banjo music and fair staff handing out sparkling bead necklaces. People spread to partake in their favorite fair activities after stopping to pet Babe, a 13-year-old Jersey cow who’s been touring fairs all summer with Animal Specialties, a farm experience exhibit. By 11:15, the line was clear, and more people streamed in.
“It was a strong showing this morning,” said Greg Lybeck, the fair’s assistant general manager. “We’re off to a good start.”
Today’s Sunfair Parade is another sort of opening salvo for the fair. It starts at 10 a.m. at 16th and Yakima avenues.
Editor’s note: This report has been updated to correct the start time of the parade.