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Modified 19-Nov-23
Created 19-Jun-09
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Every year, in the middle of August, the community of Lynden Washington (U.S.A.) hosts the Northwest Washington Fair. It isn't the biggest event, as far as fairs go, but in my mind, it's probably one of the nicest.

Lynden is a smallish town in the middle of an agricultural district in the northwest U.S. They have many produce farms as well as a fair number of quite substantial beef and dairy cattle operations. The fair here is the time for them to "show their stuff" to each other as well as to visitors.

The fair ground has 5 exhibit barns for all types of livestock, and the show rings and judging to go with them. This part of the event is particularly aimed at the younger set: they show their prize animals, barter and trade, and all the young peoples groups (FFA, 4H, etc) are represented. We try to attend as many of the showings (all animals) as possible. The kids really do a wonderful job.

There are also a number of display halls for arts and crafts from the local community (everything from sewing to cooking to hobby items )and no fair would be complete without the commercial booths constantly trying to interest you in buying something. There is a "midway" where you can lose your money on games of skill or chance as well as the usual "rides" etc.

The local community groups ( Kinsmen, Rotary, Lions, etc. etc. etc.) all have booths and stalls for the sale of all types of food and especially popular on a warm day is the Dairy Women's Assoc and their ice cream parlor. Also well attended is the "birthing center" for any dairy cows that might be expecting in the near future. If you're lucky you'll be there to witness the event. It's fascinating.

The later afternoon is when the fair holds the team draft horse competitions (6 of the big guys in each hitch) and the team pony hitches (8 of the little fella's) out on the main fairground.
The end of the evening usually comes with entertainment of some sort - big name stars, country singers, rock bands, etc.

The fair grounds are absolutely sparkling, clean as can be, and I have never seen any sign of unpleasantness on the part of anyone in all the years I been going there. The entire fairground is dry (no booze) and they close up on the last night (Sat) at the stroke of midnight (no fair on Sunday). It is exactly as you might remember a county fair of 40 - 50 years ago. Going there makes for a really nice family outing and generally good time.
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