Nate McKiernan, then 12, of Duvall, flies down a slide at the Evergreen State Fair in Monroe on Aug. 30. (Herald file)

Nate McKiernan, then 12, of Duvall, flies down a slide at the Evergreen State Fair in Monroe on Aug. 30. (Herald file)

Evergreen fair’s Morning of Dreams returns for a second year

Those with disabilities or special needs can enjoy a less overwhelming experience with their families.

MONROE — The Evergreen State Fair can be a chaotic and boisterous place as animals, carnival rides, farm equipment and people fill the fairgrounds.

It’s the ideal atmosphere for many, but for others the sounds — with crowds as large as 54,000 — can be overwhelming.

For those looking for a calmer experience, the fair is bringing back for a second year its Morning of Dreams.

The event, which will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. Aug. 29, offers a more low-key atmosphere for those with disabilities or special needs, and their families.

It was so successful in 2017, the fair is doubling the number of tickets for this year’s event to 1,000.

Last year’s participants said the event expanded the fair’s reach and gave more families the chance to participate.

The morning of the event, the fair will open an hour early for Morning of Dreams guests. The carnival will start at 10 a.m., but without the lights and sounds that usually accompany the rides. Guests will be able to visit the petting zoo and activities in the “Farmer for a Day” area.

The fair is also setting up calm areas. The enclosed spaces will offer a place for overstimulated fairgoers to hang out until they are ready to go out and conquer the fair again, said Brielle Dodge, a fair spokeswoman.

Families are welcome to stay after the program ends at 11 a.m. The calm areas will be open until 1 p.m.

The Evergreen Morning of Dreams was recently recognized by the National Association of County Parks and Recreation Officials. The event won an award for eliminating barriers and encouraging greater participation for people with disabilities.

A request from a mother whose child is living with autism sparked the idea for the event, Dodge said.

Attendees need to register and buy tickets beforehand. They can be purchased online at

Tickets are $6 per person and are limited for the morning event. This year caregivers will get in for free.

Lizz Giordano: 425-374-4165;; Twitter: @lizzgior.

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