Puyallup Washington got its start as an agricultural community in the 1800s, and it likes to maintain ties to its agricultural roots. This is evidenced in part by the city’s annual Daffodil Parade and the downtown farmers market that operates on weekends from early May to late October. Also reflective of Puyallup’s agricultural past is its popular autumn fair. One of the largest fairs in the world in terms of attendance, the Washington State Fair ranks high among the top tourist attractions in all of Washington State.
Puyallup Washington and its 37,000 residents enjoy a wonderful location. Nearby cities include Tacoma and Seattle, and lofty Mt. Rainier rises up on the horizon to the southeast. Residents and visitors alike can take advantage of this location and the side trip possibilities that it provides. As for keeping busy in Puyallup itself, a quaint downtown shopping area awaits, and the antique shopping is especially excellent. Visitors might also interest themselves in the Meeker Mansion while spending time in the old-fashioned downtown core of Puyallup, and the city boasts several parks that can be used for a variety of recreational pursuits. In terms of lodging, there are motels, chain brand hotels, and B&B’s to select from, and you can bet that they fill up fast when the city’s main annual events are in full swing.
Washington State Fair
Washington State Fair
The king of the Puyallup events is the Washington State Fair. Formerly known as the Western Washington Fair and the Puyallup Fair, this September extravaganza offers numerous activity options for its more than one million annual visitors. There are rides to ride, animals to check out, concerts to attend, arts and crafts displays to admire and so much more. The Washington State Fair enjoys a two-week run, so there is plenty of time to drop by and take it all in. For those who can’t manage to arrange a September visit to Puyallup, the Western Washington Fair Association, which is in charge of the Washington State Fair, also puts on a four-day fair in April. This other fair is known as the Puyallup Spring Fair.
The rich glacial soil that can be found in the Puyallup River valley caters well to the growing of daffodils. So much so that the flower became one of the valley’s top crops when the once-thriving hops industry started to decline in the early 1900's. The first festival honoring daffodils was held in the Puyallup River valley in 1926, and in 1934, its popular parade section was introduced. This parade is the main highlight of the festival, and its one-day run includes stops in four different area cities. In addition to Puyallup, these cities include Tacoma, Sumner and Orting. The Tacoma portion of the Daffodil Parade kicks off at around 10:15 am, the Puyallup portion at around 12:45 pm, the Sumner offering at approximately 2:30 pm, and the final Orting segment at 5 pm. The parade date falls in mid-April.
A pioneer known as Ezra Meeker is credited with being the principle founder of Puyallup Washington. Born in Ohio, he eventually traveled West using the Oregon Trail as a primary route. After establishing himself in Puyallup in 1862, Meeker grew wealthy thanks to his hop-growing operation. In 1888, a mansion that was largely built to satisfy his wife’s desires became one of the main fruits of Meeker’s labor. Today, this lovely and historic home is a small museum, and it can be rented for weddings and other private events. No visit to Puyallup would arguably be complete without taking a tour of the Meeker Mansion. Its location at 312 Spring Street puts it right downtown, and the admission rates are more than reasonable. Hours are noon to 4 pm Wednesday through Sunday.