MONROE — Bleats of goats, shrieks from carnival rides and the sweet aroma of fried dough filled the air Thursday at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds.
Thursday marked the opening of Snohomish County’s 11-day fair. As many as 350,000 people are expected to attend this year, which will be at full capacity for the first time since 2019.
Crowds were steady. Guests turned to misting tents, ice cream or lemonade as temperatures reached the lower 90s. The heat should start to wane a bit Friday and into next week, according to the National Weather Service.
One returning exhibit drew a crowd: In the swine barn, kids and adults gathered to see Betty, a 3-year-old 600-pound sow, and her newborn piglets. By Thursday afternoon, Betty’s five piglets were barely a day old — born at precisely 1:07 p.m. Wednesday. It’s her second litter but first appearance at the Evergreen State Fair.
Brooke Cobean, 1, and sister Claire, 5, of Shoreline, got a chance to pet and hold a piglet.
“We just love the animals and the fair scones,” said mom Katy Cobean. Originally from Snohomish, she grew up going to the fair and showing her horses.
Waite Mill Farm of Granite Falls has hosted the sow and piglet display at the fair for decades. Farmer Ed Miller said holding and touching the baby animals has an impact on guests.
“Once you do that, that is imprinted into your mind,” he said. “People remember that for years.”
It’s important for kids to learn where their food comes from, he added.
Guests who stroll the fairgrounds may encounter the fair’s roving performers — like Adria the Juggler. She’ll give you a free lesson if you ask.
She’ll be at the fairgrounds Saturday and Sunday and Sept. 3 and 4, juggling bean bags this weekend and scarves the next. The performer, of Kirkland, has honed her craft for 20 years. She originally wanted to become a circus aerialist, but was seriously injured in a car crash. Someone suggested she learn to juggle.
At the fair, her job is to interact with patrons and draw them to vendor booths.
“It’s a really great fair,” she said.
On Thursday, there were few lines at the carnival. Helen Enkh and her family, of Seattle, spent the morning trying out all the rides. The consensus? The Freak Out is the scariest.
The Evergreen State Fair runs Aug. 25 to 30 and Sept. 1 to 5. More information and tickets at evergreenfair.org.