So Long Puyallup Fair

Sunday marked the end of the "Puyallup Fair" era. Next year, we are legally bound to call it the "Washington State Fair." As Patch Editor Brent Champaco puts it, the name may fade, but the fight against long lines at the scone stand

PUYALLUP, WASHINGTON STATE-A scone by any other name would smell just as sweet.

Mmmmm. Sweet and buttery with raspberry.

Forgive my digression, but the clan of this Patch editor is currently mired in a crisis of morale, this, the final day of the 2012 Puyallup Fair. Here we sit at the food court, crankier than the guy who has to hose down swine barn after feeding.

Mrs. Patch Editor's feet hurt. Mini-Patch Editor realizes she has come out the loser when comparing the other kids' polar bear-sized stuffed animals to the pig's head that Daddy earned by popping balloons.

And I'm in a foul fair mood, comforted only by the flakey assurance of a scone and the momentum I've built by flawlessly scribing the entire opening of this conondrum on my smartphone. I mean, "column," not "conondrum." (Darn you, Autocorrect!)

Why am I cranky? It's because they've attacked something sacred. The innocence is lost. If these were the streets, it's the equivalent of saying something about my mama and I know you just did not go there!

The offense? They've killed The Puyallup Fair, at least in name. Mr. Fat Cat-Big Oil-Wall Street Bailout-Darth Vader-Fair Guy thought it would be good idea to be more inclusive and rename the thing the "Washington State Fair" beginning next year.

"Since the Fair features countless entries, animals, entertainment, and two major youth state competitions, it was logical to have a name that fit with all the Fair encompassed, participants from around the state," according to a statement released by the fair immediately following the sale of the last Krusty Pup, which in some countries marks the beginning of the new year.

"A perfect example is the giant pumpkin competition, with first place going to Robin Halbert of Enumclaw, and second place honors to Jay Groepper of Spokane."

Ha. Joke's on them. They missed the memo that Spokane is actually considered Metro Northern Idaho/All of Montana.

I understand why Washington State Fair makes sense. It's more encompassing, more welcoming. It represents how much of a regional attraction the fair - which drew more than a million visitors this year - has become. Fine.

But did they ever stop to think about the unforeseen consequences of a name change?

How am I going to explain the Puyallup Fair shirt I'm donning in the picture-turned-coffee-mug I bought in '96?

What about hipsters from Seattle? Plugging "Puyallup" into their GPS was their only chance of finding the fair the first time without accidentally going over Snoqualmie Pass.

And what about people who don't know how to pronounce "Puyallup?" Now whom will I mercilessly ridicule for not being from the Northwest? "Pooh-Yawl-Oop?!? Get outta town, Mr. and Mrs. We're-Originally-From-Temecula."

Oh, they are keeping the "Do The Puyallup" slogan, which means drivers will continue to hear the fair's radio jingle eight times per hour while stuck in traffic.

Look, I realize I'm much too bitter over this. I just need to decompress with an Elephant Ear or something.

Next year, although we won't call the fair the P-word, it will be back, better than ever.

We'll still have to wait 30 minutes in line for a scone.

The livestock will still smell just as, um, livestock-y on hot days.

Some carnival workers will still have unique stains on their shirts.

I'm getting excited again. The juices are flowing. I'm typing faster than ever before on this foam. Phone, not foam. Darn it, Autocorrect!

I'll be back next year, Fair-Formerly-Known-As-Puyallup. And even though you'll be going under an assumed name, one thing won't change.

I still won't be able to win my kid that giant stuffed animal.

Christie Anderson September 25, 2012 at 06:55 PM
I love Lauren's pic from a ride at The Fair....way cool!
Lauren Padgett September 25, 2012 at 07:51 PM
Thanks Chris! The two girls in front of my swing are my friends... I used instagram to edit it :) I love that photo too!
S A September 26, 2012 at 02:34 PM
April 18-21, 2013 = http://www.thefair.com/spring-fair/ ... There are events year-round ... http://www.thefair.com/events-calendar/?date=2012-10
Brent Champaco September 28, 2012 at 07:45 PM
Hey Puyalllup folks - what do you think? We want to hear your perspective!
Diana VanDyken April 17, 2013 at 04:14 AM
I think it's stupid & costly. It has always been known as THE PUYALLUP FAIR, why change it now and who's going to pay for all the sign changes .The public I'm sure. We are having a hard enough time holding on traditions that are getting so expensive.


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