Summer's end means it's time to "do the Puyallup". A grand, traditional country fair, the event is now officially the "Washington State Fair." Among the largest fairs in North America, the Washington State Fair draws well over 1 million visitors from all around the region during its 21-day run. Offering rodeos, concerts, rides, food, livestock, flowers, and commercial exhibits, the fair has no end of fun and entertainment.
2016 Washington State Fair Overview
When is the Washington State Fair?: September 2-25, 2016 (but closed on Tuesdays)
Gate and Commercial Exhibit Hours:
- Monday, Wednesay,Thursday: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- Tuesday: closed
- Fridays: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
- Saturdays: 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
- Sundays: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Where is the Washington State Fair?:
Washington State Fair Events Center
110 9th Avenue SW
Admission Ticket Prices:
- Adults: $12.50
- Senior Citizens (62+): $9.00
- Youth (6-18): $9.00
- Five & Under: FREE
Washington State Fair Coupons, Discounts, and Package Deals
Parking at the Washington State Fair
There are a number of parking lots located around the fairground complex. The official fairgrounds parking lots are referred to by color names matching up to the color of the gate that is closest. They are Gold, Blue, Red, Orange, Green, and Purple. Daily parking in official fair parking lots is $10 on weekdays and $12 on weekends. During the Puyallup Fair a number of locals also provide private parking areas. Parking, as well as traffic in and out of the fairground area, can be difficult, so plan accordingly when making your schedule for the day.
Fun Things to Do at the Washington State Fair
Just some of the highlights and special events you can experience at the 2016 fair in Puyallup:
- Western Rodeo Parade & Cattle Drive through Puyallup to the fairgrounds - a fair opening event
- Discover the Dinosaurs - wander around life-sized animatronic prehistoric creatures (admission fee required)
- Fireworks Show on Friday nights
- For the kids, there's the SillyVille rides, midway rides, magic shows, and mutton bustin'
- Free live music and entertainment at the Coca-Cola Stage, the Fountain Plaza, the Green Gate, and the Showplace Stage
- Special days for special folks, including Military Appreciation Day and a Kids' Weekend
- Washington State Fair Pro Rodeo
- A variety of fair concerts, including DNCE, Dierks Bentley, Flo Rida, Train, and more.
Carnival Rides at the Washington State Fair
Ride tickets cost $0.50 each and take a minimum of seven tickets per ride, with the most popular thrill rides requiring 20 tickets. On weekdays the ride areas open a couple hours after the gates open. There are two areas offering rides:
This is the place for small children aged two and over, offering tame rides for little ones. The minimum height requirement on most SillyVille rides is 36", with a few requiring a height of 42". SillyVille is located near the Green and Purple Gates, in the northwest section of the fairgrounds.
- Midway Rides
You'll find the more thrilling rides, as well as games of chance, at the Midway. All of the rides have a height requirement which typically ranges from 48" to 54".
Services Available at the Puyallup Fairgrounds
While attending the Western Washington Fair you'll find that a number of convenient services and facilities are available to make your fair experience more comfortable:
- Information booths in five locations - at the Gold, Blue, Green, and Purple gates and a centrally-located booth near the Extreme Scream ride
- People Movers - available Monday through Thursday, the accessible, tractor-pulled "shuttle buses" can help you cross the fairgrounds (free, available on a first come, first served basis)
- Wheelchair, electronic cart, and stroller rentals locations
- Lost and found
- First aid
- Locker rentals by the Gold gate
- Cash machines
- Hand washing stations
- Designated smoking areas
Tips to Help You Enjoy Your Visit
Save Money at the Washington State Fair
The biggest way to save money on admission to the Puyallup Fair is to buy your tickets in advance.
- Discount admission tickets are available when purchased in advance online or at some Safeway stores in Pierce and King County or at the South Hill Mall customer service center
- 3-Day Passes are available and must be purchased online
- Season passes may be your best option if you plan to visit the Washington State Fair for four or more days. Season passes are available online or at the Gold Gate Box Office. Having a season pass gets you additional discounts that include some concerts and some weekday parking.
Other Ways to Save:
- Get in FREE on opening day, September 6, between 9 am and noon by bringing non-perishable food items to donate. Baskets for your donations are posted outside the gates.
- Buy a family value pack at a participating Fred Meyer prior to opening day. The packages include admission for two, 10 food bucks, and 6 rides.
Learn more about all the deals, discounts, and special offers available to Puyallup Fair visitors.
Take Public Transportation to the Washington State Fair
Want to avoid parking hassles? Take the bus. Regularly scheduled service to the fairgrounds is available throughout the year on Pierce Transit and Sound Transit. On the second and third Saturdays, another option is the Sounder Train, which offers discount fares and fair package deals.
Navigating the Fairgrounds in Puyallup
The grounds of the Washington State Fair Event Center are huge and can be confusing. Be sure to wear your walking shoes and follow these tips:
- Pick up a fair brochure as you enter. This little booklet contains a wealth of information, including detailed maps, schedules, and food booth locations. Better yet, download the Washington State Fair Mobile App, which allows you to buy tickets, plan your day, or consult an interactive map.
- Follow the colored lines to find your exit. Fair entrances - or "gates" - are named by color. Remember the color of the gate you entered. Broad colored lines are painted along main fairground thoroughfares and will lead you back to that gate.
Washington State Fair Trivia
- The official name is now the Washington State Fair; the "Puyallup Fair" is the name many natives use.
- The "Western Washington Fair Association," which runs the Washington State Fair, is a non-profit organization, totally self supporting and receives no government subsidies.
- The Washington State Fair Events Center in Puyallup covers more than 160 acres of exhibition space and parking lots.
- The name 'Puyallup' comes from two words in local Indian dialect that mean friendly people.
- In 2015, over 1.6 million scones were served.
- In 2011, there were over 160 food booths open during the fair.
- In 2008, over 1.1 million people visited the fall Puyallup Fair.
- The WWFA Scholarship Program has donated over $300,000 to 114 area students for continuing education since 1991.
- In 2000 the Puyallup Fair celebrated it's the 100th anniversary.
- During 1943 the Fairgrounds became a Japanese-Americans Internment Camp.