Here’s how to enjoy six days of food, rides, shows at NW Washington Fair

Cousins Roman Meenk, then 10, left, of Lynden and Elijah LaForge, then 17, of Yelm enjoy the YoYo ride at the 2014 Northwest Washington Fair in Lynden. The 2016 fair runs Aug. 15-20.
Cousins Roman Meenk, then 10, left, of Lynden and Elijah LaForge, then 17, of Yelm enjoy the YoYo ride at the 2014 Northwest Washington Fair in Lynden. The 2016 fair runs Aug. 15-20. pdwyer@bhamherald.com

Alligator and frog legs join the Moowiches and poffertjes at the 2016 Northwest Washington Fair. And performances by the Wenatchee Youth Circus and former Whatcom County magician Sterling Dietz are show highlights with grandstand performers Loverboy and Josh Turner.

Of course, visitors shouldn’t miss the draft horses and the 4-H exhibit judging.

“We love to keep the fair fresh with new acts while continuing to promote understanding and appreciation of agriculture in Whatcom County,” says Jim Baron, longtime fair manager.

Here’s a brief look at what’s happening:

When: 9 a.m.-11 p.m. Aug. 15-20; carnival rides and games for all ages open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.

Where: Northwest Washington Fair and Events Center, 1775 Front St., Lynden.

Cost: Gate admission is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors 62 and older and $7 for children ages 6-12. Children 5 and younger are admitted for free. Discounted admission tickets (adults, $10; seniors, $8; children, $6) will be available through Aug. 14 at Haggen Northwest Fresh stores in Whatcom and Skagit counties and Peoples Bank branches in Whatcom County. Also, family value packs of two adult admission tickets, two children’s admission tickets and two one-day carnival passes are offered for $85 through Aug. 14 at Little Caesars Pizza stores in Whatcom and Skagit counties.

Entertainment: Free entertainment includes musicians, magicians, a hypnotist and local performers from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. daily on the Banner Bank Festival Stage. Free grandstand horse shows will be presented at noon and 5 p.m. Aug. 16-20 and wild pony races will be part of them Aug. 16-17. Separate draft horse shows are scheduled at 1:15 p.m. Aug. 16-17 in the Washington Tractor Arena.

Grandstand performances: Prices don’t include gate admission, which is required.

▪  Demolition Derby on Monday, Aug. 15. Reserved grandstand tickets are $10 for the 12:30 p.m. show and $15 for the 7:30 p.m. show.

▪  Lynden PRCA Rodeo at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 16, and Wednesday, Aug. 17; $15.

▪  Rascal Rodeo at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 17; free with fair admission. It’s an event for people with mental and/or physical disabilities and their families, friends and caregivers. Participants enjoy rodeo clowns, horse rides, lasso training, and more fun opportunities meant to include everyone at any ability level. Details: Rascalrodeo.com.

▪  The Gaither Vocal Band at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 18; reserved tickets, $25-$35.

▪  Loverboy at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 19; free festival seating compliments of MyTrafficMan.net; preferred seating, $35.

▪  Josh Turner at 7: 30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20; reserved tickets, $25-$35.

Getting there: Whatcom Transportation Authority is offering free rides, plus special service to the fair, Aug. 14-20.

There’s a special 10 p.m. bus from the fairgrounds back to Bellingham that departs from a WTA bus stop on Front Street, across the street from the fairgrounds, between Bank of the Pacific and Umpqua Bank. It will make two stops: Cordata Station, located near Whatcom Community College, and downtown’s Bellingham Station.

In addition to the special 10 p.m. bus, WTA’s Route 26 provides regular bus service to the fairgrounds, departing from Cordata Station between the hours of 6:50 a.m. and 6:50 p.m. on weekdays. On Saturdays, Route 26 departs Cordata station between the hours of 8:50 a.m. and 5:50 p.m. Details: ridewta.com.

Margaret Bikman: 360-715-2273, @bhamentertainme