People ride the Yoyo at the Evergreen State Fair on Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019 in Monroe, Wash. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

People ride the Yoyo at the Evergreen State Fair on Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019 in Monroe, Wash. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Evergreen State Fair saddles up for an 11-day run in Monroe

It’s scaled back from pre-pandemic times, but the fair still offers music, food, fast cars and frolicking goats.

New to the Evergreen State Fair this year is a goat playground.

Next to the fair’s goat barn, the 40-by-60 foot fenced space has tunnels, logs and rocks for goats to play, jump and run around on.

Kim Puzio, who is supervising the goat playground, is the leader of the Let it Goats 4-H club, with members from Arlington, Snohomish and Monroe. Twenty-four of her goats will be at the fair.

“It’s fun to watch baby goats frolic and play, and head butt each other and see who is king of the rock,” she said. “All their antics.”

Puzio owns the My Enchanted Acres dairy goat farm in Clearview. She raises Nubian goats for the butterfat in their milk.

But she also just loves their long, floppy ears.

“I love their look,” Puzio said. “I’ve had other goats, but the Nubians have stayed.”

Snohomish County’s fair is Aug. 26-31 and Sept. 2-6 at Evergreen State Fairgrounds in Monroe. The 11-day fair features live music, food, carnival rides, fireworks, monster trucks, auto races, a makers market, plus equestrian and livestock shows.

This year’s theme — “Back in the Saddle Again: Open for Fun in 2021” — is meant to be a cheerful metaphor. Cowboy or not, we’re all dusting ourselves off after the challenging ride that was 2020.

Fair staff are following health and safety guidelines to reduce the spread of COVID-19. In addition to increased sanitation and capacity limits, fairgoers are encouraged to practice social distancing, wear a mask indoors and wash their hands frequently.

In 2019, 355,000 attended the Evergreen State Fair. Which means the average daily attendance over 12 days was about 29,500.

There will be no rodeo, petting zoo or pony rides this year — but you still get to see horses, pigs, lambs, rabbits, chickens, turkeys and goats at the fair’s equestrian and livestock shows.

Due to staffing shortages, there also will be no competitive displays. You’ll get to see quilts, needle point, flowers, etc., but they won’t be judged.

Parking at the fair is free. Since the fair is so short on staff, they’re focusing on more essential operations. Put the $10 you’ll save toward a turkey leg and a purple cow instead.

The fair will be closed Sept. 1 — so this year’s fair is 11 days instead of 12. Staff and volunteers will clean and sanitize the fairgrounds that day, as well as change over the barns and rotate the animals.

“The fair is definitely different this year, and we’re excited to open the gates,” said Rose Intveld, Snohomish County Parks & Recreation’s communications specialist. “We put a lot of thought into our health and safety guidelines. We’re really trying to have the safest fair possible.”

Here are a few more highlights for this year’s Evergreen State Fair.

Grandstand concerts: This year’s concert lineup is scheduled for Aug. 30 through Sept. 3. Foghat will perform on Aug. 30, followed by Chris Janson on Aug. 31, Zach Williams on Sept. 2 and Flor de Toloache on Sept. 3. All concert tickets include admission to the fair.

Marketplace: Formerly the Makers Market, the Evergreen Marketplace is a showcase of handmade wares by Washington artists and artisans. You’ll find one-of-a-kind items at the market, which is now in its third year.

Courtyard Stage: The fair hosts a variety of performing artists on this free stage. The schedule includes The Reptile Man, Siggie The Vintage Man, Marcia Kester, Ciscoe Morris, Danny Vernon’s Illusions of Elvis, Inochi Taiko, Sheri Roberts Greimes, Filé Gumbo, Bailadores de Bronce, The Lonely Hearts Club and the Dr. Owl Jester Magic Show.

Morning of Dreams: Now in its fifth year, the Evergreen Morning of Dreams is scheduled for 9 to 11 a.m. Aug. 31. The sensory-friendly event is meant for children and adults with disabilities or special needs. No special ticket is needed.

International Lumberjack Show: Watch the Leavenworth-based loggers throw axes, roll logs and race to the top of 60-foot poles. Daily shows are at noon, 4 and 7 p.m. No 7 p.m. show on Labor Day.

Sky Valley antique tractors: See the Sky Valley Stock and Antique Tractor Club’s collection of tractors that dates back to the 1900s. If you have kids — not the goat kind — they can race around a roped off track in a tractor their own size.

Aztec Indian dancers: Watch the Tlokenahuake Aztec Fire Dancers perform to preserve culture. They play with fire and might invite you to dance with them. Shows are 2 and 6 p.m. daily. No 6 p.m. show on Labor Day.

Evergreen Speedway: Monster truck show and rides are Aug. 27, 28 and 29. Watch the sprint car races on Sept. 4, demolition derby on Sept. 5, and motorsports and auto show on Sept. 6. Ticket to Evergreen Speedway events sell out fast, so pick yours up ASAP.

If you go

The Evergreen State Fair is Aug. 26-31 and Sept. 2-6 at Evergreen State Fairgrounds, 14405 179th Ave. SE, Monroe. Live music, food, carnival rides, fireworks, monster trucks, auto races and a makers market, plus equestrian and livestock shows.

Fair admission is $14-$16 for adults and $11-$14 for kids 6-12, seniors age 62 and older and active military with ID. Younger than 6 or older than 89? You get into the fair for free.

Fair hours are 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Aug. 26 to Sept. 5 and 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sept. 6. Closed on Sept. 1.

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