The Kitsap County Fair and Stampede kicks off Wednesday, and organizers promise some of the old favorites and new items for the fair’s 99th year. Here is the summary of this year’s event.
More food, vendors, rides — and people
Last year, the Kitsap Fair and Stampede Association had eight weeks to hold the fair after statewide COVID-19 restrictions on large events were lifted. The fair was canceled in 2020.
It was tough for the organization, which was hosting its first fair and first rodeo since Kitsap County decided to scrap the event and hand it over to a nonprofit board, Rich said. Nestor, director of the fair and vice-president of the association.
Now, with a full year to plan for the five-day event, the council has had ample time to find sponsors, sign up vendors, plan entertainment and enhance the show experience, Nestor said. .
In addition to a fair pavilion filled with vendors, the parking lot that hosts fair food concessions will be full, Nestor said. After a smaller than usual carnival last year, Funtastic Traveling Shows is bringing 18 different rides from three different carnivals to the fair, and it will be set up in a new location – the parking lot in front of the pavilion.
Attendance at last year’s fair was down 30% from a more typical year, Nestor said, at 48,000 visitors. Organizers are preparing to welcome up to 75,000 to 80,000 people this year.
Fewer chickens due to bird flu
Due to the ongoing bird flu outbreak in Washington State, there will be no poultry at the fair this year (other than those that are terminally ill or headed to auction).
But, young people who have raised poultry to be shown will still have their work judged. Among the tasks on Nestor’s to-do list during the run-up to the fair was ordering 100 photo frames where photos of the birds will be displayed (for judges and visitors to the fair).
While birds are under bird flu control, rabbits this year will be “socially distant”, said Kharissa Hamilton, animal husbandry coordinator for the fair. The presence of RHDV2 (also known as rabbit hemorrhagic disease) in a nearby county has alerted fair officials.
As for the rest of the animals (sheep, miniature horses, goats and more): “Our barns are going to be pretty darn full compared to what they’ve been, and we’re very excited about that,” Nestor said.
These carnival bracelets
Funtastic Traveling Shows will be bringing its rides and games to the fair for the second year. The carnival begins at 5 p.m. on Wednesday and at 11 a.m. Thursday through Sunday. The carnival ends at 11 p.m. every day except Sunday, when it ends at 6 p.m.
This year, the use of unlimited travel wristbands is limited to Fridays. They cost $50 and had to be purchased by August 19.
Nestor acknowledged that limits on carnival wristbands were not popular this year. But, he said, the carnival industry is struggling with a shortage of workers and a host of other factors (rising fuel prices among them) that make unlimited wristbands no longer financially viable. for many companies.
“As an industry, it’s costing them too much money,” Nestor said.
He said show organizers worked with Funtastic to find a way to have them this year.
“They were able to give us a day to still have them,” he said, adding “It was a huge thing that the community wanted, that they were able to bring.”
Walk around with your booze
Those attending the rodeo at Thunderbird Stadium or heading to ‘Chuters’, a bar next to the ‘Thunder Road’ stage, will no longer have to stay in the beer garden to enjoy booze.
New this year is a ‘walk-in liquor permit’ which will allow people to carry their drink from one of the liquor vendors to their seat in the stadium.
“It’s a big thing, it’s brand new,” Nestor said, adding “there’s a lot of security with that.” He said the heightened security will feel like a small version of T-Mobile Park or Lumen Field.
More cats + archery
One of the greatest traditions of the Kitsap County Fair is the Cats/Archery Barn, where the breeding of felines has always been associated with the sport of archery.
This year, no cats are shown at the fair and archery gets a new barn. Cats/Archery this year will be the “Agricultural Education” barn, where visitors to the fair can hear speakers discuss topics ranging from gardening to poultry farming.
Next door at the Milking Parlor there will be live cows and milking demonstrations, which fair organizers said was a throwback from previous fairs.
Entertainment for young and old
There are no “headliners” at the fair this year, Nestor said, hinting the board is planning something big for its 100th anniversary next summer.
There will be two stages this year: the main stage in front of the fair ground office and “Thunder Road” in front of Thunderbird Stadium. Nestor said he was thrilled with the variety of acts performed over the five days, including Kitsap’s perennial “Heart by Heart” performer.
“(We have) a lot of bigger acts, but no national acts,” he said.
New this year is the circus company Vuelta La Luna, which will perform in the “Kids Zone” throughout the fair. The area will also contain games and features like the giant Jenga.
A 9-by-15-foot video wall near the main stage will broadcast performers, schedules and feature photos of fair attendees.
Admission to the fair is free, while parking costs $10 (cash only, according to the fair’s Facebook page). Ticket prices for rodeo events range from $10 to $20. Tickets for the Sunday afternoon Destruction Derby, also at Thunderbird Stadium, also range from $10 to $20.
Buy your tickets at https://www.eventspass.com/event/2022KitsapFair. To learn more about the fair, visit https://www.kitsapfair.org/.
Kimberly Rubenstein is the local editor of Kitsap Sun. She can be reached at [email protected] or 360-792-5263. Support local news coverage by signing up for a digital subscription today.