LYNDEN - Regular visitors to the Northwest Washington Fair will see several new sights this year, as well as some old favorites that have been upgraded or are back for the first time in years.
THE RESERVE CHAMPION BISTRO
One of the most talked about additions to the fair, which will run Monday, Aug. 13, through Saturday, Aug. 18, at the Northwest Washington Fairgrounds, is The Reserve Champion Bistro.
Operated by the staff from The Reserve restaurant in Lynden, the bistro will make fair history as the first vendor to sell alcohol at the fair, in the Mt. Baker Rotary Building.
The restaurant was originally going to be called the Blue Ribbon Bistro, but the name was changed to avoid confusion with other groups at the fair with similar names, said Cody Hurlburt, owner of The Reserve.
Hurlburt said the bistro will offer beer and wine for $4, well drinks for $4, call drinks for $6, and premium drinks for $7. The bistro also will offer burgers, wraps and salads, ranging from $8 to $10.
LIVE STREAMING VIDEO OF PIG BIRTHS
Also new this year: A live video feed of pigs in the small animal area that are expected to give birth during the fair.
In the past, the dairy maternity ward has offered an up-close look at bovine birth, but this is the first year that livestock births will be available streaming live online, said Fair Manager Jim Baron.
People interested in seeing the live pig births can visit the fair, or visit nwwafair.com, for details on how to watch.
ADDED SHUTTLE ROUTE
Visitors can park for free in downtown Lynden and ride a free shuttle to and from the fairgrounds. This year, organizers added a second route to increase service. The routes will operate 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday, with pickup roughly every 15 minutes. A map showing both routes can be viewed at the fair's website.
BIRDS OF PREY
Sardis Raptor Center, based in Ferndale, will display various birds of prey, including bald eagles, hawks and owls, and will host at least two educational shows a day at the clock tower.
Holly Villaroman, a volunteer with the center, said this is the first time in several years that the fair has invited the volunteer-operated nonprofit organization to participate.
The barbecue operated by Young Life will have a new location this year, moving near the clock tower, where the group will serve food out of a small makeshift barn.
The main carnival Ferris wheel has been upgraded with new lights and has been moved to a new location, Baron said. Also, the kids' carnival this year will have its own, smaller Ferris wheel.
OTHER NEW SIGHTS
Atlas Robotics will have a life-size robot on display at least three times a day at the clock tower. Shows are at 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. most days.
Cavallo Equestrian Arts will perform horse shows featuring knights and ladies dressed in medieval garb.
There are several new food vendors, including The Ramblin' Gourmet and Grant's Burgers.
About half of the acts on the Reco community stage and the Haggen stage are new this year, Baron said. The stages will also feature some acts that haven't been at the fair in recent years.
Daily tickets to the fair are $9 for adults (13-61), $4 for children (6-12), and $7 for seniors (62 and older) when purchased in advance, and $1 more when purchased at the gate.
To buy tickets or view a full schedule of events, visit nwwafair.com.
PARKING AND CAMPING
Free parking is available in and around downtown Lynden. Catch the red or blue shuttle to and from the fairgrounds each day, 1 a.m. to 11 p.m.
The closest paid parking is in lot 8, accessible from Kok Road. Cost: $8 a day, Tuesday through Saturday.
Lots operated by Kiwanis Club are accessible from Front Street and Kok Road. Cost: $6 a day.
Handicap-accessible parking is next to the fair office on Front Street. Cost: $6 a day.
A few other privately operated lots are accessible off of Kok Road. Price varies.
Most RV camping must be reserved in advance. To reserve a daily spot, call the fair office, 360-354-4111, and ask for Laura. Cost: $50 a night. Space is limited.
Reach SAMANTHA WOHLFEIL at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-715-2264.