Stanwood-Camano fair expands activities for children

STANWOOD — This year’s Stanwood-Camano Community Fair has new activities for children along with the popular animal shows, carnival rides and finger food fairgoers look forward to every summer.

The fair starts Friday with an opening ceremony at 9 a.m. Activities continue through Sunday, wrapping up with a lip sync competition at 5 p.m. The fairgrounds are at 6431 Pioneer Highway and there is a free shuttle from Stanwood High School, 7400 272nd St. NW.

The Stanwood-Camano fair started as a one-day harvest festival in 1932, fair manager Belinda Royal said. It’s now a three-day summer celebration put on by a group of more than 350 volunteers, including planners, ticket sellers, set-up and clean-up crews and show coordinators.

“We are solely dependent on our volunteers,” Royal said. “We couldn’t put it on without them.”

This year, coordinators decided to add new children’s activities. The fair has included a small kids’ zone in the past, but this weekend’s zone is expanded. There are giant versions of table games like Tic-Tac-Toe, Connect Four and Jenga, and classic outdoor competitions like sack races, tug-of-war, Frisbee toss, hay scrambles and a scavenger hunt.

“It should be fun,” Royal said. “We’re really trying to focus on the kids.”

The animals remain the most popular part of the fair, she said.

More than 700 animals are expected to be shown this weekend, livestock superintendent Margaret Olson said. There are beef and dairy cows, sheep, pigs, llamas, alpacas and three divisions of goats: pygmy and meat goats, dairy goats and fiber goats. Three dog shows are planned, one each day. There are showcases for small animals like bunnies, guinea pigs and birds.

Anyone entering an animal must be between 4 and 21 years old. The exception is horse shows, where riders can be older. “We just don’t have room for older people to show in every exhibit, so we focus on the youth,” she said.

The animals that rank best in show for their category are scheduled to compete with each other for the ultimate best in show award at noon Sunday. That’s followed by an animal costume contest, where owners try to win a few laughs from the crowd by dressing their dogs like celebrities or their fowl like food.

“Everyone loves that,” Olson said. “My favorite was the chicken taco.”

About 12,000 people are expected to visit the fair, Royal said. The theme this year is “Horns, Hides and Rides.”

Tickets are $10; $7 for seniors and children. Kids under five get in free. Three-day passes are available for $20. Carnival rides cost extra.

For more information, including a schedule of shows and events, visit www.stanwoodcamanofair.org.

Kari Bray: 425-339-3439; kbray@heraldnet.com

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