Clallam County plans new fair fee schedule

Officials compare other events to discover what they charge for entry

PORT ANGELES — A new fee schedule for the Clallam County Fair proposes the first price increases since 2011.

The schedule will be the subject of a public hearing at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday in the commissioners’ meeting room (Room 160) in the Clallam County Courthouse, 223 E. Fourth St., Port Angeles.

Fair Manager Shari Ioffrida told the commissioners at their April 17 meeting that “admissions to the fair have not been raised since 2011. And then it was 50 cents a ticket and went to an even dollar amount.

“We currently do not offer discounts for active duty and veterans,” she said. “We do not have free admission for those 80 and over and we want to create those two categories.”

Fair staff performed a comparison study of similar-sized fairs and found that average adult admission is $10 to $12, Ioffrida said.

“Most fairs charge for the rodeo. In addition, most of our things are free with paid admission. So they charge for rodeos, logging shows, some of the music concerts. People do pay extra for the demo derby and the carnival, of course,” she said.

A lot of fairs charge a higher percentage for food vendors than Clallam County; food vendors pass that on to the fairgoer, Ioffrida said.

“We’re not aware of any other fair that offers a free kids day. So all children 12 and under get in free all day Thursday. And most don’t offer our season passes, which is buy three days, get one free,” she said.

Don Crawford, director of Clallam County’s Parks, Fairs and Facilities Department, said that staff looked at all the county fair west of Interstate 5 and that’s what they used for comparisons.

“There are a few fairs that don’t charge any gate,” he said. “They compensate for that by charging for everything. So you can get into the fair for free, but then you gotta pay for everything.”

Ioffrida said a lot of fee increases were enacted in 2022, but they chose not to increase the fair admission due to COVID.

“And we felt, we just wanted to keep the same dollar amount for the fair admission,” she said.

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Reporter Brian Gawley can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at brian.gawley@soundpublishing.com.

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