PORT ANGELES — Along with the traditional fair fare — barns filled with livestock, live music, vendors and the whirring of the carnival rides — attendees of the 2019 Clallam County Fair might notice more than a few calls back to the past.
Event organizers are marking the fair’s 100th year with a variety of displays and honors as they prepare to welcome regulars and newcomers to “Red, White & Moo — It’s Our 100th Too!”
The fair begins Thursday and continues though Sunday at the fairgrounds at 1608 W. 16th St.
Gates will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. though Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.
Carnival hours are from noon to 10 p.m. through Saturday and from noon to 7 p.m. Sunday. Today is the last day to buy carnival tickets. They are $30 at a variety of venues in Clallam County.
Day passes are $8 for adults, $6 for those 62 and older and students 13 to 17 and $5 for children 6 to 12 — except Thursday, when children 12 and younger will be admitted free of charge for Kids Day. Admission is free each day for children 5 and younger.
Season tickets are $24 for adults, $13 for those 62 and older and students 13 to 17 years old and $12 for children 6-12.
Tickets will go on sale for Sunday’s demolition derby at 9 a.m. Sunday at the yellow gate. Tickets are $15 in addition to fair admission. The show will begin at 5 p.m. For more about the derby and tickets for it, contact Jessica Little at 360-477-7653.
At 6 p.m. Thursday, fair organizers will recognize the Clark Family Farm in Dungeness as the fair’s first Farm Family of the Year. Family members will be presented with the award at the Sunny Farm Stage.
The Clark Farm was settled in 1853 and patented in 1869. It has remained in the Clark family since and is the oldest continuously-operated family farm in Washington state, family members note.
The original farm included about 220 acres. Timber was the first crop, and later grass was grown for feed and hay to cattle and work horses. The gardens and orchards were planted to feed the family along with the addition of diary cows to bring an income to the farm. A second barn was built 1880.
The farm added wheat, oats, barley and vetch, and around 1940, 60 acres were leased to the Hogue Pea Production, who shipped pea seeds around the world from Sequim by train. The farm featured tulips for a dozen years as well as turkeys. At one point the farm began raising, selling and racing horses.
Eventually the family sold the dairy herd, and the Clark’s Chambers Bed and Breakfast began in 2000 by Glenda Dickinson and her sister Bernita Dickinson Chambers.
Today, Tom Clark, a fifth-generation Sequim resident, and his wife Holly use the remaining 115 acres of farmland for hay, cattle and pigs.
A little history
The fair has had so many starts and stops that it took 124 years to get to 100 official Clallam County Fairs.
One of the few remaining photos from the first fair shows a tower of canned salmon on display at the fair’s first venue, the Port Angeles Opera House, in early October 1895.
Fair organizers have decided to recreate the display with a charitable twist: hundreds of cans of tuna fish will create a similar tower this year, helped fueled by a competition among Clallam County staff that has at last count reached more than 400 cans, fair officials said.
Fair manager Shari Ioffrida said fairgoers also will notice folks in late 1800s-era clothing in the Home Arts Building and some exhibits and items featuring exhibitors guides from long-ago fairs back as far as the 1930s.
New this year will be recognition of the family with the first baby born following the fair’s start when gates open 9 a.m. Thursday.
The family will receive free fair passes and a onesie for the following year, plus a photo package courtesy of West 101 Photography, Ioffrida said.
Old favorites will continue this year, Ioffrida said.
The things attendees have come to know and love — the hundreds of animals on display, the thrill of carnival rides, rodeo events, draft horse pulls and logging show — are all back.
Making a return to this year’s fair is the rock group Spike & the Impalers, set to jam on the Wilder Stage from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday.
Other entertainment will include magician Jeff Evans (3 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday through Saturday on the Sunny Farms Stage), Seattle-based reggae-rock-groove band Longstride (6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Thursday on the Wilder Stage) and 1980s-inspired Radio 80 (noon and 6 p.m. Saturday on the Wilder Stage).
North Olympic Peninsula band will perform also.
Black Diamond Junction will play at noon and 2 p.m. Saturday on the Wilder Stage. Buck Ellard will perform at 4 p.m. Friday on the Wilder Stage and at 7 p.m. Friday and noon Saturday on the Sunny Farms Stage. Just In Tyme will perform at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Sunny Farms Stage.
Also, check out multi-genre group Buttercup Lane (1 p.m. Friday, Sunny Farms Stage), Soundwaves Marimba Band (1 p.m. Thursday, Sunny Farms Stage), the Olympic Men’s Chorus (4 p.m. Saturday, Wilder Stage), the Olympic Peninsula Ukelele Strummers (11 a.m. Friday, Sunny Farms Stage) and much more.
The fair’s ninth annual Variety and Talent Show will feature performers vying for $350 in cash prizes at 2 p.m. Sunday.
See www.clallam.net/Fair/entertainmentcalendar.html for a list of entertainers, venues and start times.
The fair’s grandstand venue Thursday will feature the Draft Horse Show from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., followed by The Knights of the Realm medieval warriors show set for 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.
On Friday, Western Games are set from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., followed by another round of The Knights of the Realm from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
On Saturday, the grandstand will host the Logging Show from noon to 2 p.m. The rodeo will kick off at 5 p.m. and be back from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday.
Dozens of animal-themed contests and exhibits are scheduled this year, from dog obedience, fitting/showing, rally and agility testing to horse English and Western Dressage and reigning, fitting and showing for rabbits, poultry and small animals, sheep and goat costuming, and even a horses-and-rider watermelon-eating contests set for 4 p.m. Sunday, in the horse arena.
For a list of animal shows (with locations and start times), see www.clallam.net/Fair/animalshows.html.
The Junior Livestock auction is set for noon Saturday in the sheep/swine area. FFA and 4H children will sell their animals in hopes to pay for more agricultural projects and schooling.
For a list of demonstrations and presentations, see www.clallam.net/Fair/demonstrations.html.
For more about the fair, see www.clallam.net/Fair or call 360-417-2551.
Michael Dashiell is the editor of the Sequim Gazette of the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which also is composed of other Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News and Forks Forum. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.