Spokane County Interstate Fair has come to entertain the greater Spokane area, so gather your people and bring your appetite for iconic fair food and fun entertainment.

This year’s fair, themed “Pirates of the Carrots and Beans,” runs until Sunday from 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. and is located at the Spokane County Fair Grounds, 404 N. Havana St.

Fair season is the time to remind your inner-kid of the magic discovered while spinning in the Tilt-a-Whirl, beating your buddies in bumper cars, or journeying through Whacky Shack Fun House, where the only way down is via slide. Also included are The Zipper, a Ferris wheel, Cliff Hanger paragliding, the Zillerator roller coaster and many more rickety rides.

Of course, there are fun and games aside from rides. Take your chances and try to win a giant stuffed doughnut or llama head at the balloon racing, milk bottles, or ring toss booths. Whether you’re skilled or lucky, you know your chances of winning are high when the person running the booth shouts, “win every time.”

The fair also provides fantastic entertainment for attendees who aren’t interested in pressing their luck. Local farmers, livestock raisers and rodeo riders come from all over to present their most successful animals to Spokane’s public.

Fair season is a special time for 4-H kids, an organization similar to Future Farmers of America, to come show off their most successful livestock.  In the pig, cattle, sheep and bunny barns, you can learn about all animal subjects ranging from animal vital signs, how to feed your pig and how to tell if your sheep has pneumonia from these young farmers.

Be warned: if you’re vegan/vegetarian, these barns may be considered sensitive content. You will find some young farmers who cherish their livestock as pets, such as John, who prefers to spend his show time cuddling his pigs Petunia and Tundra in their pens. However, there are 4-H raisers who are less emotionally attached, such as Traxton, who said he doesn’t love his pigs, “They’re just meat.”

Exotic animals also make appearances at the county fair. Come out to meet Roxy the Fennec fox, Wally and Jenny the bennet wallaby kangaroos, keel billed toucans, alligators, and Dolly the camel who loves to eat carrots out of your hand.

The fair is a special place for these animal-owners, farmers and foragers.

“We love the fair to be a family-friendly place where everyone can come showcase whatever it is they have, whether it’s cows and crops to jewelry and other artwork,” said Rachelle Buchanan, the sales and marketing manager of the Spokane County Fair and Expo Center.

If you’re in the market for a glistening belt buckle, a new truck or even a hot tub, then the fair is your shopping-stomping grounds.

"There are over 300 vendors and 40 food vendors on site, together selling almost anything anyone could be interested in," Buchanan said.

Let’s not forget those curly fries and elephant ears you’ve been craving all year. The Spokane County Fair has these and other fried foods. You may find fried pickles, fried bacon, fried macaroni and cheese or fried pizza.

Sound like too much fried food?

Don’t worry, fresh- squeezed lemonade and A&W Root Beer are there to wash it all down. And of course, Mary Lou’s Ice Cream is served to top it all off.

Behind the food and concessions section of the fair is the round pool and the high dive from which synchronized diving pirates draw the “oohs," "aahs” and “oh my gods!” from the gathering crowds.

The final three days of the fair include events such as the Pop Evil Concert, youth horses and llama fleece exhibits, truck pull shows and the Demolition Derby. If nothing yet has been enticing, finally consider the racing teacup pigs, tractor pulls, kids’ mutton busting and dueling pianos that take place throughout each day.

Admission into the fair costs $11, however, on Sunday the fair kicks off the Coats for Kids coat drive. Bring in a new or gently used coat for free admission.

So, unless you frequent country music festivals, this may be the last time of the year to acceptably wear a flannel and cowboy boots in public. 

Don’t miss out, mark your calendars and head to the Spokane County Interstate Fair.

Brooklyn Popp is a staff writer.

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