YAKIMA, Wash. — The 130th annual Central Washington State Fair is set to open Friday with no restrictions for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began and a lengthy list of new attractions and events.
“We had so many new things things this year that we actually had to create a brochure. How about that?” Central Washington State Fair president and CEO Kathy Kramer said.
Kramer said one new feature, Fiesta de Familia, celebrates the Yakima Valley’s Latin heritage with family-friendly activities for children that are both entertaining and educational. It will also feature local artist Ashley Cardenas.
“She is going to be painting a progressive mural that is 19 feet long and 4 feet high that, through her lens, is going to tell the story of the agriculture workers in the Valley,” Kramer said.
Another new addition to the fair this year is the Hometown Market, a space within the SunDome dedicated to local businesses and organizations.
“We know out of the pandemic, people created small cottage businesses, and we thought what a better way to take advantage of all of the fairgoers to introduce them to a larger audience,” Kramer said.
Kramer said local rap artist and Apple Jam winner, Coaster, will also be opening for Flo Rida at his concert on Friday.
“He is literally over the moon,” Kramer said. “That’s the exciting thing we get to do: we get to find those gems in our community and integrate them with that programming.”
The fair is also bringing in a half-dozen new vendors and new food from existing vendors, featuring fried ravioli, deep fried macaroni and cheese, chicken cordon blue bits, colossal onion blossom, Philly cheese steaks, pickle dog and more.
New vendor Tahvio Gratton owns his own line of BBQ sauces and rubs, which he sells at the local farmers market. But during the fair, people will be able to get a plate of BBQ plate with ribs or chicken, baked beans, mac-n-cheese and hand dessert pie.
Gratton said for him, the best part is when his food touches people’s hearts and brings back childhood memories.
“I’ve had so many people say this took them back to a certain time or to a certain family member that may no longer be here,” Gratton said. “I like that people kind of have that ratatouille moment.”
There’s also five days of discounts, including KAPP-KVEW’s school supply drive on Wednesday, Sept. 28, where a donation of three new school supplies will get you in the gates for free between noon and 4 p.m.
“Any of this information is on our website at fairfun.com: all the new food, the new attractions, times prices, everything,” Kramer said.
The Central Washington State Fair opens at noon Friday and runs through Sunday, Oct. 2.
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