Have you been to a real, local county fair recently? Clallam County Fair, August 14 – 17, 2014, is the real deal. Stomach-dropping rides, baby farm animals, cotton candy, scones, and live entertainment are all hallmarks of a true county fair and you’ll find them all. www.clallam.net/countyfair
I know it’s not throw-back Thursday, but here’s a blast from the 1960s! 4-H girls modeling their aprons they made as projects for the fair. 4-H is still an integral part of the fair activities. What are the 4 Hs you ask? Head, Heart, Hands and Health. Yes, I’m in this photo.
4-H girls show off their sewing project aprons at the fair in the 60s!
History of the Fair. We can trace the origins of what has become a highlight of the summer to locals and visitors alike to October 2, 1895. Yes, that’s 1895!
After the Depression, several civic leaders in Clallam County invited the US Navy Pacific Fleet to be the city’s guest to showcase the natural harbor in Port Angeles. They accepted and sailed into the harbor on October 2, 1895, saluting the townfolk with cannon fire and music. The naval crews slept on the shore in tents. During the day, they provided exhibitions on military drills and held band concerts in the evenings. Of course, ball games were played between the Navy crews and local teams. I couldn’t find a record of who won and lost, but clearly the citizens of Clallam County were the long-run, big-time winners!
Pacific Fleet in Port Angeles harbor ca. 1900 – photo courtesy of Clallam County Historical Society
Pacific Fleet in Harbor in the 20s or 30s – photo courtesy of Clallam County Historical Society
The Clallam County Horticultural Society held an agricultural fair in the Opera House. Just look at this display of produce! What an abundance! The quilt in the foreground is a crazy quilt, the second quilt hanging is call a Double Irish Chain. If anyone has good enough eyes to identify the pattern on the quilt hanging at the back, please let us know. Looks like an American flag draped under the “Get Together” sign at the back. On October 4th, almost everyone in town attended the Harvest Home Ball. The Pacific Fleet continued to visit the area every summer until the 1930s and the fair continued to be held in the Opera House until 1920.
Opera House Agricultural Exhibit – courtesy of Clallam County Parks
In 1904, a bill passed through US Congress transferring land to the City of Port Angeles and the property became known as Lincoln Park and our fairgrounds are there today.
Animals of all sizes and coats!
Animals are always a highlight of the fair. Take time in the Cat Barn and Dog Arena to view special household friends. Could your four-legged family member win a blue ribbon? And, be sure to catch the 4-H Horse Showmanship at 10:00 am, Thursday August 14, in the Horse Arena. On Friday, August 15 at 3:00 pm in the Sheep/Swine Arena, catch the Fleece Show! There’s usually a pen with piglets and their mom entertaining a crowd. Horses, cows and rabbits and chickens all have representation at the fair. Who can’t you wait to see?
Here’s a calendar of all the animal shows over four days. Capture YOUR favorite animals photos for those funny animal posts on facebook and Pinterest!
Non-stop Entertainment for Four Days
Look! No hands! – courtesy of Clallam County Parks
Between wandering through all the demonstrations and exhibits, rides and animals, grab a seat in the grandstand, or at two other venues for music, dance and a rest or to indulge in some county fair fare. There’s a couple rodeos, a demolition derby and a logging show. Music is always part of the fair and there is local talent (and I mean good talent) for your enjoyment!
Get ‘yur pirate on with Cap’n Arrr! – courtesy of Clallam County Parks
Don’t forget to stop by the KidZone to get some basic instruction on how to act like a pirate. Bring a kid, or not. If your pirate skills need polishing, now’s your chance! Cap’n Arr will have you rolling in the grass with his comedic take on piratism. He is only appearing Thursday – Saturday. His parrot doesn’t work on Sunday.
There’s something for everyone! Quilting, baking, stained glass, floral and agricultural exhibits and the old machinery exhibit. Over 150 food and commercial vendors.
Race Ewe to the Fair!