Jefferson County Fair offers that real small-town experience; ends today with mud drags, beef barbecue
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Karley Caseder, 13, takes a spin on the mechanical bull at the Jefferson County Fair. —Photo by Charlie Bermant/Peninsula Daily News
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Charlie Bermant/Peninsula Daily News
Nora Shapiro of Port Townsend, center, gives spinning wheel instructions to Grace Vickery, 8, left, and Sam Vickery, 5, at the Jefferson County Fair on Friday. Grace and Sam, both of Chevy Chase, Md., were visiting their grandmother who lives in Port Ludlow.
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Charlie Bermant/Peninsula Daily News
Halie Jones, 9, of Port Townsend shows off her prize-winning Abyssinian guinea pig, Elizabeth.

By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News

PORT TOWNSEND — The 77th annual Jefferson County Fair winds up today, providing this year's last chance at its small-town community experience.

“This fair is one of the last places where a family can go out together have a beautiful day outside, enjoy the surroundings in a family-friendly environment at a very reasonable cost,” said East Jefferson Fire-Rescue spokesman Bill Beezley, who supervised a booth offering entertainment and educational materials at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds, 4907 Landes St.

No attendance figures were available Saturday. Fair officials hope to match last year's total of 12,000 attendees.

Buildings and grounds open to the public at 10 a.m., although gates and ticket sales open at 8 a.m. The fair will close at 6 p.m.

General admission tickets are $6. Those older than 65 and students from 13 to 17 years old pay $5. Children 6 to 12 cost $2, and children younger than 6 get in free.

Two special events today are the 4-by-4 mud drags on the main stage at 11 a.m. and the $8 beef barbecue from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The fair is alcohol-free and has no midway carnival rides.

“This preserves our rural heritage and the fair tradition,” said Washington State University Extension Director Laura Lewis.

“The big carnival in town is Rhody, which gives us the opportunity to put our energy at the fair into the animals and the crafts and all the lovely things we do as a community.”

The day seems designed for kids but is appreciated by parents.

“It's a good opportunity for kids to show what they have created with animals and artwork,” said Lisa Doray of Port Townsend, who has three children — 9, 11 and 14 years old — exhibiting at the fair.

“There is a lot of emphasis in each booth about what kids can do in a hands-on way,” she added.

Chelsea Jones of Port Townsend said involvement in the fair has helped her 9-year-old daughter gain confidence.

“She's learned a lot about farm animals, and she's learned speaking skills because she has to make presentations,” Jones said.

“She's also learning money-management skills.”

Election booths, both for individual candidates and political parties, were in evidence.

“Going to the fair is a good way for people in office to connect with their constituents,” said Jefferson County Superior Court Clerk Ruth Gordon, who is running unopposed for a third term.

“We get to talk to people here who aren't likely to come into the courthouse.”

It's also an opportunity to support nonprofits and local businesses, she said.

“I feel like I have a responsibility to contribute, to buy some pie and contribute to local causes,” Gordon said.

“It's all about being part of the community.”

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Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or cbermant@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: August 09. 2014 8:45PM
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