PORT TOWNSEND — A favorable weather forecast and some new activities will make this year’s Jefferson County Expo a family event worth remembering, organizers hope.
“This is great for the kids,” said Sue McIntire, who serves as board treasurer of the fairgrounds’ management team.
“It’s important that people come out and support this fun event because it helps support the fair.”
The 12th annual expo will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds at 4907 Landes St., Port Townsend.
Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors 65 and older and for students 13 to 17, and $2 for children 6 to 12. Children younger than 5 and under are admitted free, as are active-military personnel with identification.
Expo proceeds go to support fairgrounds maintenance and repairs prior to the season’s big event, the Jefferson County Fair, which will mark its 75th anniversary this year when it opens Aug. 10 for a three-day run.
Every year, the expo features the Big Purple Slide, mechanical bull riding and a variety of vendors, as well as big-truck events.
This year, “we thought we’d provide more than the big trucks because not everyone is into 4x4s,” McIntire said.
“We have a scavenger hunt, a U-fish pond and kids’ bingo, and they’re all free” — meaning no extra fee is charged after gate admission.
The Kid’s U-fish Pond is for people 13 and younger who are accompanied by an adult.
Each child can keep one fish they pull from the pond.
Free kids’ bingo will be in the Erickson Building dining room, with prizes awarded both days.
Even with added special events for children, the reason for the expo — a tribute to large vehicles and the people who love them — hasn’t changed.
One of the main attractions will be a life-sized, road-worthy recreation of Tow Mater, which was featured in the animated Disney movie “Cars.”
Tow Mater’s recreation — the brainchild of Jack Walkley of Everett, who spent 2 1/2 years assembling the machine, which is used as a fundraiser for various causes and charities — started out as a 1955 Holmes wrecker from Arizona.
Along with various other parts from across the country, the bottom of the cab is from a 1955 Chevy farm truck from Wyoming, and the cab top is from a ’64 Mack from Montana.
The 1955 wrecker reflectors are from Connecticut, and the wrecker hook and shackles are from Alaska.
It took 13 coats of paint to make it look old and rusty.
Tow Mater will be at the expo both Saturday and Sunday.
There is no cost to see it, touch it or sit on it, but it will cost $10 to have a photo taken with it.
Of that amount, $7 of each picture will support the Jefferson County Fair Association.
The souvenir photos are mounted in keepsake brochures with information about Mater.
4x4s, car and bike show
Events for 4x4s are planned both days.
The 4×4 Dirt Drags races are Saturday, and the 4×4 Tough Truck Competition is Sunday.
Registration opens at 8 a.m. both days. Registration for the 4×4 events does not include expo gate admission.
The entry fee is $25 for one event and $20 for each subsequent event. Winners will receive trophies.
A drivers’ meeting is planned at 10:30 a.m., and racing will start at 11 a.m. both days.
“We’re hoping we’ll get a good turnout. I’ve heard from a lot of people,” said Ed Neet, who is in his second year as the 4×4 event organizer.
There is no additional fee for those who want to watch the action, unless they opt to pay for children to ride in Neet’s 6-foot-tall 1965 Thunderbird.
Each ride will cost $5, with proceeds going to the fairgrounds.
For more information on the 4×4 events, phone Neet at 360-301-1229.
The Car and Bike Show, which will run both days, is open to all cars and motorcycles.
Registration will be from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. each day. Owners can show their vehicles one or both days.
Visitors will vote on People’s Choice in more than 15 different categories.
Saturday’s awards will be at 4 p.m., while Sunday’s will be at 3:30 p.m.
Best of Show winners will be featured on next year’s posters.
Preregistration forms are available on the fair’s website at http://tinyurl.com/cax5d3r or at the fair office.
Other events include:
■ Open Western Gaming Show — Presented by Jefferson County 4-H Horse Project on Saturday, with registration beginning at 10 a.m. and games starting at 11 a.m.
Entries are $20.
The Western Games day is for fun and practice only; no ribbons or high-point prizes will be given.
For more information, phone Tanya Schweitzer at 360-301-3559
■ Jefferson County Fair Association Garage Sale — 10 p.m. to 4 p.m. both days in the Cat Building.
■ Horseshoe-pitching contest — 12:30 p.m. Saturday near the cow barn. Registration is from 10 a.m. to noon.
■ Groovy Bingo — 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday in the Erickson Building.
Bingo cards will be $1 each, and minors may play with a parent present.
There will be bingo prizes and door prizes, plus a raffle and silent auction.
The $1 raffle tickets will be on sale starting at 11 a.m.
Groovy Bingo will benefit the Jefferson County Fair Association, Golden Clovers 4-H Club and the Paws-N-Claws 4-H Club.
The Fair Restaurant will be open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., with breakfast and lunch menus, and will also be open during Groovy Bingo.
Expo sponsors are Bernt Ericsen Excavating Inc. and Sunshine Propane.
Only service dogs are allowed on the grounds during the expo.
For more information, contact the fair office at 360-385-1013, email@example.com or www.jeffcofairgrounds.com.
Jefferson County Reporter Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.