Poffertjes, Moo-wiches, funnel cakes, cotton candy, giant vats of chilli cheese fries, kettle corn, cheesecake on a stick — guess it’s time to back the ole belt off a couple of notches as summer bikini bods transition to fair food physiques.
The 108th Northwest Washington Fair opens Monday, Aug. 13, and runs through Saturday, Aug. 18, and it promises to bring enough tasty deep-fried caloric gut busters to feed a starving nation and plenty of fun.
Topping the list of attractions is a new carnival, as Funtastic Traveling Shows takes over for Davis Amusement Cascadia, which has provided rides at the Lynden fair since the mid 1980s.
According to a Fair press release on the move, Funtastic Traveling Shows was founded in 1971 in Portland, Oregon, and has more than 3 million people visit its carnivals each year, including at the Washington State Fair in Puyallup and the Oregon State Fair.
As usual, the main stage at the Northwest Washington Fair will feature the Lynden PRCA Rodeo, the demolition derby and a number of other headline acts, but the roots of the event are still in agriculture, manager Jim Baron said a press release last month.
“Thanks to all the farmers, FFA and 4-H members who bring us draft horses, cows, goats, pigs and more, thousands of people gain a better understanding and appreciation of agriculture in Whatcom County,” Baron said in the release. “And children love seeing all the different animals!”
And then there’s the food, the exhibitions, more food, free entertainment, even more tasty goodness and everything else you’d expect to find at the Fair — and even a few surprises.
The Northwest Washington Fair annually draws close to 200,000 attendees, according to the release.
Here’s a look at everything you need to know to get the most out of six days in Lynden your family won’t want to miss:
When: Gates are open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Aug. 13-18; carnival rides and games are open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.
Where: Northwest Washington Fair and Events Center, 1775 Front St., Lynden.
Admission: Gate admission is $13 for adults, $11 for seniors 62 and older and $8 for youth ages 6-12. Children 5 and younger are admitted free. Discounted tickets ($11 adults, $9 seniors, $7 youth) are available through Sunday, Aug. 12, at Haggen Northwest Fresh stores and Peoples Bank branches in Whatcom County. Family value packs of two adult admission tickets, two youth admission tickets and two one-day carnival wristbands are offered for $95 (a $23 savings) through Aug. 12 at Little Caesars Pizza stores in Whatcom and Skagit counties. All-day carnival wristbands also are available through Aug. 12 at Little Caesars for $29 (regularly $38).
Parking: Pay lots surround the fairgrounds, with proceeds from most supporting local causes. Parking is free in downtown Lynden, where a free shuttle to the fairgrounds also is available.
Bus service: The Whatcom Transportation Authority is offering free rides on all routes Aug. 13-18, except on the 80X route to Mount Vernon. WTA will offer a special 10 p.m. return trip from the fairgrounds during the Fair. Departing from the bus stop across the street from the fairgrounds, it will make two stops at the Cordata and downtown stations in Bellingham.
More information: Visit nwwafair.com or call 360-354-4111.
Grandstand tickets don’t include Fair gate admission, which is required.
Demolition Derby: Shows at 12:30 and 7:30 p.m. Monday, Aug, 13. Reserved grandstand tickets are $10 for the 12:30 p.m. show and $18 for the 7:30 p.m. show.
Lynden PRCA Rodeo: Some of the top cowboys will compete in bull riding, bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping, steer wrestling and team roping at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, Aug. 14-15. Tickets are $15 for all ages 11 and older. Tickets for $12 are available through Aug. 12 while supplies last at all Whatcom County CHS Northwest stores.
Bret Michaels: The former front man for the rock band Poison will perform at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 16. Preferred seats are $30. Reserved seats courtesy of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 191 are available on a limited first-come, first-served basis for $5 with gate admission into the Fair.
High Valley: The Canadian country duo will perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug 17. Preferred seats are $20. General admission is free, courtesy of IBEW Local 191 and offered on a limited first-come, first-served basis with gate admission into the Fair.
Jeff Foxworthy: The comedian known for his redneck jokes will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 18. Reserved seats are $35.
Banner Bank Festival Stage entertainment
All shows are free with Fair gate admission.
Louie Foxx: The magician will perform around the fairgrounds, but will be on the stage at 11:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Friday and 12:30 and 3:45 p.m. Saturday.
Matt Baker: The comedian and stuntman will perform at 12:30 and 4:45 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 1:30 and 6:30 p.m. Friday and 1:30 and 4:30 p.m. Saturday.
B2wins: The unique musicians will perform at 1:30 and 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 12:30 and 3:30 p.m. Friday.
Karen Quest: The trick roping, whip cracking performer dubbed “America’s Funniest Cowgirl” will perform at 2:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 4:45 p.m. Friday and 11:30 a.m. Saturday and will also perform around the fairgrounds.
Tammy Harris Barton: The hypnotist will perform at 3:30 and 7:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 2:30 and 5:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Sean Taylor: The DJ will bring a dance party to the Fair at 8:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Hispanic Bands: Enjoy their music at 6:45 p.m. Saturday.
Also new to the Fair in 2018 is the Silver Reef Hotel Casino Spa, Beer Garden Stage, with live music performances each night from 5-7 p.m.. Featured performers will be Lefty and the Right Hand Band on Monday, The Young Kids on Tuesday, Queens Bluegrass on Wednesday, Triple Tribute on Thursday, Nick and the Underdawgs on Friday and Sean Taylor on Saturday.