Pro Rodeo, Exotic Animals and More at the 104th Northwest Washington Fair

washington state fair
Photo credit: Phillip Palermo


Submitted by Northwest Washington Fair

washington state fair
Photo credit: Patrick Hagerty

The cows, pigs, rabbits and other animals featured annually at the Northwest Washington Fair in Lynden are being joined this year by camels, reptiles and bucking broncs, oh my!

The 104th edition of the fair, being presented Aug. 11-16, also will include the Lynden PRCA Rodeo, a slate of entertainers led by country star Gary Allan and perennial favorites such as the demolition derby.

“This year’s variety of top-notch entertainment is amazing,” said fair manager Jim Baron.

The Northwest Washington Fair, which annually draws around 200,000 attendees each year, will be open from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. each day. Gate admission is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors 62 and older, and $7 for children ages 6-12. Children 5 and younger are admitted for free. Discounted admission tickets will be available before fair week at Haggen Food & Pharmacy stores and Peoples Bank branches in Whatcom County and online here. Also, discounted carnival ride passes are offered before fair week at Little Caesars Pizza stores in Whatcom and Skagit counties.

Gary Allan will be one of many star studded performers at the Northwest Washington Fair.
Gary Allan will be one of many star studded performers at the Northwest Washington Fair.

Highlights of this year’s fair include:

  • The 10th annual Lynden PRCA Rodeo, featuring PRCA Clown of the Year JJ Harrison and some of the world’s top professional cowboys competing in bull riding, bareback riding and more, will be presented Aug. 12-13.
  • After the demolition derby Aug. 11 and the rodeo, the grandstand stage will be brought out for Allan on Aug. 14, rock-and-roll great Huey Lewis and The News on Aug. 15 and alternative rockers Collective Soul on Aug. 16.
  • Whatcom County-based Camel Safari, a hit in its fair debut last year, returns to offer rides on its Dromedary (one-hump) and Bactrian (two-hump) camels.
  • Predators of the Heart, an Anacortes-based exotic animal refuge that is home to alligators, cougars, snakes and more, will bring some of its residents and provide educational talks.
  • The Rainbow Squares, a local square-dancing group, will perform at the fair for its 30th year at 5 p.m. Aug. 16 in front of the fair’s clock tower.

The core of the fair continues to be thousands of exhibits from local farms, residents and 4-H and FFA youth, displaying the area’s best in livestock, flowers, art and much more. Last year’s fair featured more than 10,000 exhibits and 1,600 exhibitors.

A wide variety of carnival rides and games for all ages also is available from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. Free entertainment will be featured each day from noon-9 p.m. on the Charter College Festival Stage and from 1:30-7:30 p.m. on the RECO Community Stage.

The schedule of featured grandstand performances follows with fair admission included in the prices for tickets purchased before fair week:

  • Monday, Aug. 11 – Demolition derby. Reserved grandstand tickets are $22 for the 12:30 p.m. show, $27 for the 7:30 p.m. show or $32 for both shows.
  • Tuesday, Aug. 12 and Wednesday, Aug. 13 – Lynden PRCA Rodeo, 7:30 p.m.; adults, $27; children ages 4-12, $22.
  • Thursday, Aug. 14 – Gary Allan, 7:30 p.m.; reserved tickets, $52.
  • Friday, Aug. 15 – Huey Lewis and The News, 7:30 p.m.; reserved tickets, $52.
  • Saturday, Aug. 16 – Collective Soul, 7:30 p.m.; reserved tickets, $42.
Fans can't wait to see Huey Lewis and the News at this year's Northwest Washington Fair.
Fans can’t wait to see Huey Lewis and the News at this year’s Northwest Washington Fair.

Allan’s “Every Storm” is his fifth No. 1 single and was nominated for the Academy of Country Music’s Song of the Year. Allan, 46, also has reached the top of charts with “Man to Man,” “Tough Little Boys,” “Nothing On But The Radio” and “Watching Airplanes” as he mixes honky-tonk bravado and grainy isolation. He’s amassed seven gold albums, including three that were certified platinum, during his 17-year recording career.

Huey Lewis and The News have sold more than 20 million albums since forming in 1979. Their Top Ten hits include “Heart of Rock & Roll,” “Stuck With You,” “I Want A New Drug,” “If This Is It,” “Hip To Be Square” and “The Power of Love,” which debuted in the hit film “Back To The Future” and reached No. 1 on Billboard’s singles chart. The group’s live show incorporates a variety of musical influences, including rhythm & blues and soul, and features a horn section with two saxophones and a trumpet.

Founded by vocalist and guitarist Ed Roland, Collective Soul shot to international fame with its 1993 release, “Hints, Allegations and Things Left Unsaid,” and its mega No. 1 hit “Shine.” Collective Soul dramatically expanded its fan base by performing on the soundtrack to one of the hottest movies of 2008 – “Twilight.”

The public can purchase tickets and select seats for all grandstand performances through the fair’s website here. Tickets purchased through the website may be printed by the buyer through their computer, eliminating the need to pick them up at the fair office. Tickets also are available at the fair office, 1775 Front St., Lynden, and by phone at 360-354-7777. Discounts are available for groups of 40 or more. For group sales, call the fair, 360-354-4111.


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