Formerly known as the Puyallup Fair, the Washington State Fair unfolds on 169 acres in a town also called Puyallup, located near Tacoma. With Mount Rainier in the background, people flock from all around to enjoy the music, food, fun and all the things to do at the fair. The big fair happens in the fall, but that’s not the end of it, there is another smaller fair that takes place in the spring once April rolls around.
Washington State Fair History and Facts
Formerly known as the Puyallup Fair
On this list of Washington State events and holidays, few draw more attention that the Washington State Fair. It is one of the biggest events in Washington, is also one of the largest fairs on the planet. The primary event takes place in September, over the course of about two weeks. Because the fall festival is so much fun, an April celebration was added on the same fairgrounds that host this Washington State Fair. It’s sure come a long way since the first agricultural festival happened in 1900. With a long history behind it, the Washington State Fair continues to be a source of community pride.
Each year, the fair brings on a full array of things to do. Tons of rides offer the best rides in the area by far, and also include lots of rides for small children. There are many games to play as well with just as many prizes to be won if you want a trophy for your day. Fair food is one of the top draws here as well as the agriculture and animal displays. Another top draw is the concert series each year, bringing out many top performers at reasonable prices.
Tickets to the Washington State Fair 2016
A variety of ticket packages are available that allow you to save money and enjoy the Washington State Fair at your own pace for both the fall and spring festival. Discounts depend on the days—for instance, one day may offer half off on all food booths while another day gives great discounts to veterans. On all days, concert-goers enjoy free fair admission with their concert tickets. Other discount packages provide great savings on rides or concessions.
If you’re planning on attending the fair three or more times, the season pass will be your best option. You’ll have full access to all days of the fair as well as coupons for half-price parking and 20 percent savings on souvenirs. Two-for-one concert tickets are included for select shows during the festival season. If you want to enjoy the rides, look for Dizzy Pass days, which will give you unlimited rides for one flat price rather than buying individual ride tickets.
Directions to the Washington State Fair
The fairgrounds are well-equipped for crowds—parking lots rim the grounds, and the best lot to park in depends on where you begin. Of course one is crowded, you can head to the next parking lot. It’s just minutes from the parking lot to the Washington State Fair 2016 and all the fun things to do there.
From Olympia and points south, head north on Interstate 5, until Exit 127. Continue east on Highway 512 until the 9th Street SW/94th Avenue Exit. After turning left, you’ll find the parking lots along Fairview Drive on the right.
If you’re coming from Tacoma, you can take I-5 to Exit 135 into Puyallup. At the first stop light, turn left onto River Road or right onto Pioneer Way East. If you take River Road, head to 18th Street NW and turn right, following the signs to the parking lots. From Pioneer, turn right at 5th Street, which will take you right to the parking lots at the Washington State Fair.
The trip from Seattle also involves Interstate 5. Head south from the big city to the Puyallup Exit #142 B. At the end of the exit ramp, turn left onto Highway 161, which turns into Meridian Street in town. Then turn right at River Road, left at Fourth, and continue to the closest parking lot to the Washington State Fair 2016.
Lodging near the Washington State Fair
A host of hotels are located within an easy of drive of the fairgrounds in Puyallup, Auburn, and Federal Way. Even the hotels in Tacoma are close to the Washington State Fair—so you’ll be easy to find a property to suit your style and budget.
One of the closet properties, the Best Western Park Plaza is located at 620 South Hill Park Drive. In the morning, guests are treated to a hot breakfast. Other complimentary amenities include high-speed Internet as well as use of the fitness center and a DVD library at this welcoming lodging property.
The Holiday Inn Express at 812 South Hill Park Drive, also serves a hot breakfast each morning. It’s home to a fitness center and indoor pool as well as cozy guestrooms with kitchenettes, perfect for a good night’s rest after a trip to the Washington State Fair.