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How to Evergreen State Fair: A Guide

Maybe you’ve never been to the Evergreen State Fair before. If you’re thinking about going, you definitely should.

If you like sensory experiences tinged with nostalgia, this is the event for you. Or should I say “events”? Because there’s so much to do at the fair -- so much to see, taste, smell, and feel. Get down on a savory corndog, feel your stomach lurch (in a good way!) as you careen down the slope of a rollercoaster, stand in awe before exotic poultry.  

Here’s how to maximize your fair fun-time, streamline carnival enjoyment, and increase general sense of late summer fun in a rural context.  

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Step 1: Eat food 

Everyone has their favorite fair food. Usually, it’s a dish that will do something regrettable to your digestion later. But that’s part of the fun, right? Chow down on elephant ears, corndogs, and burgers underneath piles of Walla Walla onions. There are so many options. Follow the clouds of smokey grease to find your pleasure. 

A classic state fair dessert you need to try (I’m like 90 percent sure this is exclusive to the Evergreen State Fair) is the Purple Cow. 

A Purple Cow is a blackberry ice cream float made with 7-Up soda. It’s frothy and creamy. Every seventh customer gets a free Purple Cow. You get why there’s a lineup for this food booth every summer. And, bonus: proceeds go to local farmers. 

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Step 2: Amusement park rides 

What’s more all-American than walking down the fairway with your sweetheart, holding a cotton candy as strings lights flash and the wheels of roller coasters clatter and crash into the August night? A kid drops a hammer and the bell rings. You ride the Yo-Yo until you feel sick, laughing yourself silly to feel like a kid again. 

It’s Tom Waits vibes. It’s that one scene from The Sandlot.  

If you’re too cool for amusement park rides... well, then you may not be that cool after all. 

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Step 3: Look at cute animals 

There was a day when most people lived in close proximity to livestock. Today it’s something of a novelty for most modern humans. But look how cute they are! There are bunnies and llamas and ducks, and strange breeds of chickens. If you have kids, you must see the piglets. The cat barn is pretty lit, too –- I mean all those kitties. I can’t handle it. You can't handle it. 

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Step 4: Appreciate arts, crafts, and preserved goods 

Do you know what’s underrated? The arts barn. This is where cultural self-reliance is proudly on display. It’s a tribute to rural craftsmanship to see quilts, homemade beer, and jars of pickles in rows. It makes you feel like you could be more self-reliant and DIY, you know? 

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Step 5: Lumberjack time & traditional Native American rituals 

The International Lumberjack Show brings the old-timey crafts of logging and tree-felling into the public view. The flannel-clad performers make sport out of scaling 70-foot “tree trunks,” rolling logs, and throwing axes. It’s all in good repartee and with a flair for showmanship -– corny puns and clownish antics designed to please a family audience. 

Right next to the lumberjack show is a long house. Coast Salish tribes and Aztec dancers play drums and perform traditional dances for the public. Inside the long house you can buy smoked or barbecued salmon with a side of local berries. The walls are full of historic photos and crafts from the Snohomish Peoples. 

But wait! There's more. 

This is the tip of the proverbial iceberg. There’s live music and car races and monster trucks and snow cones and cowboy hat booths and reptile shows and putt putt golf and a roaming swing time jazz band. You’ll just have to see it to believe it.  

One thing’s for sure. There’s really no wrong way to Evergreen State Fair. 

Visit the Evergreen State Fair! 

Get tickets – click here

14405 179th Ave SE, Monroe, WA 98272   

Aug 24-29 & Aug 31-Sept 4 

Aug 30 - CLOSED 

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Make a trip out of it! Stay the night on the Everett Waterfront.

Let's lodge

Get off the beaten path and explore historic downtown Monroe.

Let's go

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