Word on the Street

The latest news in and around Tacoma, Pierce County and South Puget Sound

NOTICE: Word on the Street has moved.

With the launch of our new website, we've moved Word on the Street.
Visit the new section.

Puyallup Fair attendance tops 1.1 million, beats last year

Post by Sara Schilling / The News Tribune on Sep. 24, 2012 at 8:29 am with 9 Comments »
September 24, 2012 9:10 am

This year’s Puyallup Fair drew 1,117,323 people over its 2 ½ week run, beating last year’s total crowd count by 58,141 people.

The fair’s biggest day was this past Saturday, when 113,917 people poured through the gates. Sunday’s crowd count was 102,696, which was 36,745 more people than the corresponding day in last year’s run – the biggest year-to-year daily attendance gain of the fair.

In general, attendance was slow the first several days compared to the 2011 event. The exception was the first Saturday, Sept. 8, which drew 73,489 people, besting last year’s opening Saturday by 7,638 people.

But the middle weekend drew big crowds – more than 200,000 people combined, beating last year’s middle weekend figures by 64,997.

The fair released attendance numbers late last night, after the gates closed on the final day of the 17-day event. That’s a change from years past, when the fair has released daily crowd counts to the public.

It’s not the only adjustment. The fair also is getting a new name: Washington State Fair. The new moniker isn’t expected to become official until next year, when the trademark process is completed.

But the fair started a “soft roll-out” this year in print and television advertising.

On the fair’s opening day, a food drive for the Puyallup Food Bank collected 200,000 pounds, breaking last year’s record. And the first “Do the Puyallup Walk to Beat Breast Cancer” drew more than 500 walkers on the fair’s final Saturday and generated more than $23,000.

Next year’s fair is Sept. 6-22.

Leave a comment Comments → 9
  1. mojjonation says:

    Might have something to do with the weather. Wasn’t it pretty bad last year? Short summer. Not a whole lot of warm days. I am surprised that the fair continues to draw more than a million people. Living proof that every year brings a new batch of kids who want to “Do the Puyallup”.

  2. MrCarleone says:

    Grossly overpriced swill, passing itself as food.

    $7.00 beer and $8.00 wine.

    Exhibits that bring nothing new or interesting.

    Will not be “Doing the Puyallup” again !

  3. useyourcommonsense says:

    Have not been to the fair for years. Stopped going because there is
    no reason to go. It is overpriced and not that much new to see. I guess if you are into the rides and games, it is somewhere to go.

  4. bushisapig says:

    I bought an unlimited pass for $30.00. I live four blocks away, and went seven times. I wore different pairs of tennis shoes and got them cleaned at the vendors that were hawking the over-priced shoe cleaning kits; all for free!

    Earthquake was by far the best burgers. I bought one Freddy’s burger for $5.50, and got a tiny, dried-up thing they were trying to pass as a burger. It had nothing on it, and when I asked if they had mayo, they wanted to charge me 30-cents! All of their condiments we in those little packages that never open right, and the relish had a blue tint. I took one bite and threw it out; wanted to save my belly space for something more tasty, like a Durris Elephant Ear!

    I love finding a spot to eat and people watching. It’s amazing what some people are willing to wear to the fair. To think they actually looked in their closet and made a conscious choice to put those close on and go to the fair is simply astonishing. So many FAT women with skin-tight clothes on. One looked like a big pillow case stuffed with walnuts.

    Ha-ha, I dug it…

  5. tacomabizguy says:

    the fair is a huge economic engine for the county.. it is what you make if it.. If you do not what to pay the price of admission then dont go. I do and then spend hours walking around looking at the animals, people, art, vendors and such. The hobby hall is worth the price of the gate alone! (did you see the Jack Daniels collection!) just go meeting the nice cribbage folks and playing a game is truly fun. there is so much to see and do for free.

    Look at it this way.. if you take the cost of a movie, popcorn, drink etc.. and move that money to a day at the fair.. the fair provides more value. I am amazed at the bitchers. they must go only to eat. open your eyes and go marvel at the hours it takes to do the quilts or the talent of our local photographers. Talk to a kid who has raised rabbits and loves them. watch the dog competition. even play a cheap game of bingo.

    the fair is truly one of a kind and it is what you make of it. I suggest you find a way to enjoy it. you have 364 days to save for next years admission.

  6. DeschutesMan says:

    Went to Jackie Evancho concert on Saturday the 15th and had a great time! Always lots of rude people yet always one’s there to help. They need to change the tune on the Merry go roung otherwise all was great, crowded, loud and exciting at the same time. I don’t get out much LOL!

  7. Love the Fair! Went twice, one with my grandchildren on child care trip and again to see Pitbull with my daughter. Amazing concert! You go to the fair for the “ambience”. If you don’t want to go, don’t go. If I had MY choice, I would gladly go every day it’s running. You really don’t have to spend a lot of money if you don’t want to. All of the displays, hobbies, the Washington State Patrol setup, all FREE.

  8. alindasue says:


    Did you go to the fair this year? Did you see the new rainforest animals exhibit? Did you see the Bodies exhibit?(I didn’t go to it, but it was there…) Did you know that The Shoppe got back together and is performing at the fair again? There’s plenty of new stuff if you get away from the rides and people hawking the latest “miracle” cooking products.

    This time I went three times: with my parents, with my household, and once on a “quiet” day so my son who can’t handle lines very well could go on a few rides…

    However, the family favorite is still the bunny barn. ^-^b

  9. There’s lies, damn lies and statistics.

We welcome comments. Please keep them civil, short and to the point. ALL CAPS, spam, obscene, profane, abusive and off topic comments will be deleted. Repeat offenders will be blocked. Thanks for taking part and abiding by these simple rules.

JavaScript is required to post comments.

Follow the comments on this post with RSS 2.0