Jefferson County Fair opens Friday

Fair manager: ‘We’re going to have a great time’

PORT TOWNSEND — The 2023 edition of the Jefferson County Fair will offer mud drags, horse jumping, more than 100 vendors and a variety of musical entertainment among other attractions Friday through Sunday.

“We’re going to have a great time,” said the new fair manager, Brian Curry, a Chimacum resident who previously worked at Port Townsend Vineyards. He replaces former fairgrounds manager Danny McEnerney, who resigned in December.

“We’re making forward strides and will put on a great fair for 2023,” Curry said.

The fair will be from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at the fairgrounds at 4907 Landes St. in Port Townsend.

Gate admission prices are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors 65 and older and for students 13 to 17 years old, $2 for children from 6 to 12 years old and free for children 5 and younger. A military discount of $1 off regular gate admission is available for active military and family with current identification.

Season tickets in advance are $15 online at https://www.scan2scan.com/atshow/jefferson-county-fair-2023#!.

During the fair, season tickets will be $17.

Season tickets cover all three days of the fair as well as all entertainment and Sunday’s $8 beef barbecue, a total value of $26.

There is no additional charge for grandstand events.

These will include on Saturday Washington draft horse pulls at 3:30 p.m. with all-day entertainment including the Got Bull Greatest Kids Show on Dirt and Don Riggs Reptile show.

On Sunday, 4-by-4 mud drag events begin at 11 a.m. The kids and reptile shows will be held all day along with the Open Jumping Show and the Ring of Torti’s giant tortoises.

The music schedule on Friday offers Dukes of Dabob at noon, Joy in Mudville at 2 p.m., Buck Ellard at 4:30 p.m. and Future Tense at 7 p.m.; on Saturday, Olympic Express Big Band at noon, Port Townsend Summer Band at 2 p.m., James Howard at 4 p.m. and North Beach at 7 p.m.; on Sunday, Hippy and the Squids at 12:30 p.m., Bread and Gravy at 2:30 p.m., and Jean Lenke at 5 p.m.

Exhibits will include 4-H and FFA entries ranging from beef and dairy, goats, sheep, swine and horses to home arts and arts.

The fair association had gone through turmoil earlier in the year.

The board of trustees was restructured in April and is now a board of directors under interim chair Kate Dean, Jefferson County commissioner. Some of the department heads at the fair are included in the new board, said Treasurer Linda Nobel.

An investigation of the trustees urged in February by Amber Jones — a building superintendent at the fairgrounds who also leases buildings there for her private business and who did not describe what was to be probed — was dropped in April.

Jones is now a board member, Nobel said.

“The board of directors are trying to create a fairgrounds that is serving the community year-round but is also accommodating the fair,” Nobel said.

All board meetings are open to the public. They are conducted at 6:30 p.m. the second Thursday of each month — except in August, when the meetings are on the first Thursday because of the fair, and in October, when the board meets on the second Saturday for the annual meeting.

Meetings are on the fairgrounds, usually in the Art Building, Nobel said. Check the events calendar on the fairgrounds’ website at https://jeffcofairgrounds.org for specifics of each meeting.

Elections for the board of directors will be held during the annual meeting this year. Only members have voting privileges. To become a member, see https://jeffcofairgrounds.org/join-us.

Because of the disruption, “it’s been a real scramble,” although “it’s coming together,” Nobel said, adding that at times one questions if the effort is worthwhile.

“When the kids come in with their bunnies, and the baby ducks going down the slide, it’s like, oh, this is why we do it,” she said.

“Just come and have a good time,” she added.

“It’s going to be so much fun.”

________

Executive Editor Leah Leach can be reached at 360-417-3530 or at lleach@peninsuladailynews.com.

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