An Evergreen fair to remember

No need to ballyhoo: The Evergreen State Fair already is the big kahuna, the harbinger of a new school year, the prelude to autumn and, as Fairgrounds Manager Hal Gausman notes, the “county’s biggest party.”

Unlike traditions that seem preserved in amber (insert lyrics from “The Music Man” here), the fair tracks with the times, as relevant as it is fun. This extends not only to the programming, but to fundamentals such as recycling and composting.

As The Herald’s Amy Nile reports, the 12-day shindig draws 340,000 visitors. Snohomish County spends about $2.5 million to sponsor the annual event. Admission is $10 for adults and $7 for seniors and youth. Those age 5 and younger and 90(!) and older wriggle in free.

The gumming of U.S. 2 traffic fuels the one grumpy-man whine. Someone should conjure a Monroe version of the old Everett-ism concerning pulp mills: Smells like jobs is now “bumper-to-bumper spells money.”

Thursday, opening day of the 106th annual Evergreen State Fair, featured the 4-H Cats Costume Contest, a bipartisan favorite (witness political candidates admiring tabbies dressed as ballerinas) and Frontierland’s Great American Petting Zoo.

The latter, a perennial favorite, scalds the minds of all four-year olds who’ve ever had their shirttails chewed by goats.

Today’s Sky Valley Stock and Antique Tractor display (near the dairy barn) is always cool, especially seeing their pristine condition.

Steve the Pretty Good comedy magic show at the Courtyard Stage at 12:45 p.m. today is, by all accounts, pretty good.

There’s an element of nostalgia, true enough. As songwriter Neil Young crooned, “It’s so noisy at the fair/But all your friends are there/And the candy floss you had/And your mother and your dad.”

The rides are kid-centric while the food options (gluten-free grub) are oriented to the middle-aged set. New for the 2014 fair is the “Freak Out,” Nile reports. It swings riders up to 40 feet over the midway as their seats rotate (Note: Don’t pig out pre-Freak Out.) There’s also a high-speed roller coaster called the “Zillerator.”

Marquee acts this year include Bill Cosby, The Charlie Daniels Band, Chris Young, the Newsboys and Emblem3.

Go and go soon.

As Neil Young observed, “Oh to live on Sugar Mountain/With the barkers and the colored balloons/You can’t be twenty on Sugar Mountain/Though you’re thinking that you’re leaving there too soon/You’re leaving there too soon.”

More in Opinion

Editorial cartoons for Sunday, Feb. 18

A sketchy look at the day in politics.… Continue reading

Editorial: Capital gains tax could offer property tax relief

A bill would use tax revenue to keep seniors in their homes and lower the state’s property tax rate.

Viewpoints: Does ‘target-hardening’ schools make things worse?

Emphasizing security has the potential to change how teachers, students and staff see one another.

Commentary: Fight opioid crisis through health, recovery

When the problems are mental illness and addiction, chasing crisis calls is costly and doesn’t work.

Commentary: Amazon not using its leverage to help LGTBQ cause

The retail giant was key to LGTBQ causes in Washington state, but it can do more in other states.

Parker: We’re the adults, but this kid is one making sense

David Hogg, 17, was one of those locked down during the school shooting. Listen to a future leader.

Robinson: This isn’t about mental health; it’s about the guns

There were warning signs about Nikolas Cruz, yet he was able to purchase a military-style weapon.

Harrop: Trump’s budget sows bitterness among U.S. farmers

The blueprint does several things that would hit farmers hard including a loss of crop insurance.

Ignatius: How U.S. can ‘get to yes’ with Turkey on Syria

Syria is riven by “converging forces with diverging interests,” warns a senior Pentagon official.

Most Read