Washington State Fair (Puyallup Fair) Information

The next Washington State (Puyallup) Fair is scheduled for Sept. 4-27, 2020. Due to virus concerns, it is not yet known if the Fair will be held in some form, and if the PNNA will participate. Updates will be posted when more information is available.

Washington State (Puyallup) Fair – Official Fair website. The next Fair is scheduled for Sept. 4-27, 2020 (closed Tuesdays and Wednesday 9/9).

PNNA Fair sign-ups for 2020 have begun! See the schedule, and contact Rick Schulz (ph. 253-318-4205, email richardf53@yahoo.com) to volunteer.

Due to changes at last year’s Fair, the PNNA only had a display and info table from Sept. 11 to 22, 2019 – the second half of the Fair. However, we plan to have a display for the entire Fair again in 2020 (but see note above).

InformationHave a numismatic question that wasn’t answered at the Fair (or a question about the PNNA at the Fair)? – email info@pnna.org.

Message (2020) by PNNA Fair Chairman Rick Schulz

Rick Schulz
Rick Schulz

Update (June): I would like to take a moment of your time and talk a bit about the upcoming Washington State Fair and, in particular, the PNNA sponsored display in the Hobby Hall. At this time, the Fair is still scheduled to happen. Based on the governor’s Safe Start Plan for gradually reopening businesses and entertainment activities it is still unknown if Pierce County will meet the standards necessary for the Fair to open. The Fair management is still planning for the Fair to open and is currently working on plans to make the Fair as safe as possible.

At this time the PNNA is also planning for the Fair to open and is seeking volunteers to staff the Hobby Hall display. As most of you know I have been the PNNA’s Hobby Hall display coordinator for a number of years and every spring it falls to me the task of recruiting volunteers. Normally I visit as many local coin club meetings as I can in search of people to fill shifts at our Hobby Hall display. With the pandemic causing the cancellation of meetings I must recruit some other way. I know there are a lot of you who are unsure about making a commitment to the Fair, even though it is three months away. I get it. But the Fair requires that our display be staffed whenever the Hobby Hall is open and we can’t wait until the last minute to satisfy that requirement. So, I’m asking everyone who would sign up for a shift or two or three if the virus was not hanging over our heads to go ahead and sign up now with the full understanding that if the Fair does go on as planned and you are feeling at all uneasy about attending you can back out. It is far more important that you and your family stay healthy and safe and not have to worry about exposure.

The current Fair schedule is on the PNNA web site, pnna.org (see above). Please check it out and if you find a shift you would like to cover let me know. My email address is richardf53@yahoo.com and my phone number is 253-318-4205. There are just so many unknowns at this time. As new information becomes available, I will keep everyone updated. Please keep yourselves safe!

Previous message: It’s that time of year again, and because we’re not coming together for meetings due to you-know-what, I thought I’d better reach out to the usual suspects as a reminder that it’s time to sign up for a shift or two or three at this year’s Washington State Fair display in the Hobby Hall.

The Fair runs from Friday, September 4 through Sunday, September 27. I’ve attached the schedule so you can pick out the days and shifts that interest you. (The schedule link is posted above.) We have been notified by Hobby Hall Coordinator Sue Knapp that we can display for the whole run of the Fair this year, so there are lots of shifts that will need to be filled.

As in the past, this is a first come, first serve proposition, so please pick your shifts as soon as you can to ensure you get what you want.

Hopefully the current difficulties will be behind us soon, and we can resume our regular club meetings, at which time I will get to as many meetings as I can to reach out to folks and to answer whatever questions you may have. Until then, if you have any questions, please call me at 253-318-4205, or email me at richardf53@yahoo.com.

Message (2019) by PNNA Fair Chairman Rick Schulz:

The Nor'wester - 3rd Quarter 2019 cover
The Nor’wester – 3rd Quarter 2019 cover

The 2019 Fair is “Just Around the Corner.” Spring is here and summer is “just around the corner” and it is time to start thinking about the Washington State Fair. In particular, it is time to start thinking about the Pacific Northwest Numismatic Association’s (PNNA) display in the Hobby Hall of the Washington State Fair. As many of our readers know the PNNA hosts a numismatic display at the Fair every year. It has become a very popular attraction over the years which many visitors have made it a must-see during their trip to the Fair. As a coordinator for the display, it makes me very proud when I see all the work we do so appreciated.

Why do we do it? Our presence at the Fair gives us a chance to expose the fairgoing public to the hobby that we all love. Visitors get to see coins that are sometimes familiar and sometimes not so much. Coins, currency, tokens and medals from around the world and from times past are there for them to see. Our display often generates questions that we are there to answer. We also answer questions from folks with collections they’ve inherited and don’t know what to do with. We help them figure it out. And then there’s the kids, who love the games we play and the free stuff we give away and who love to create their own souvenir with our penny press. Thousands of kids visit our display every year. For many it is their first stop at the Fair. It’s hard to say how many of these kids have become collectors after visiting us but I’d like to think there have been a few. The fact that they come back year after year to look at our display and play the games makes me believe that if they haven’t been bitten by the collecting bug yet, they may just pick it up when they’re older. All we can do is show what we have to offer.

The Fair now runs for more than four weeks which includes four weekends. This year opening day is Friday, August 30 and it continues through Sunday, September 22. Every day the Fair is open the Hobby Hall is open during which we are required to staff our display. To fill all this time we ask for volunteers to staff our display and interact with our visitors. As in past years our volunteers are asked to cover shifts of four hours. Many who have volunteered in the past report that they had a wonderfully fun time and jump at the opportunity to sign up again for one or two or even more shifts. For giving us a few hours of their time our volunteers receive passes for the fair so when they are not at the display they can “do the Fair.”

All PNNA members and members of PNNA member clubs are welcome to volunteer to help us out at the Fair. In the past most volunteers come from along the I-5 corridor, from the Everett WA area to the Salem OR area. This makes sense because the fairgrounds in Puyallup lies between these areas. Working our display for four hours and doing the Fair the rest of the time can be a one-day excursion. I’d like to see some volunteers from other parts of the PNNA area but I understand that, for many, it can be quite a drive. What if volunteering for a four hour shift at the PNNA’s Hobby Hall Display were just part of a mini vacation to Western Washington? Doing the Fair is a big deal. The Washington State Fair is one of the biggest in the country and offers a pro rodeo event, big-name entertainment, numerous free stage shows and tons of all the stuff you expect from a state fair. Go to the Fair web site, www.thefair.com – see the entertainment coming this September and all the other attractions the Fair has to offer.

There are loads of things to do in the Puget Sound area besides the Fair. You could spend a day or three, do the Fair and still have time to get reacquainted with the region. You would also get to meet some fellow collectors who you’d be at the display with you.

For the past couple years we’ve been asking local clubs to volunteer to take over the display for a whole day, thus making it their club’s day at the Fair, complete with their own banner, handouts and giveaways. This gives them an opportunity to plug their club and, hopefully, bring in a few new members. We’ve had a number of local clubs take advantage of the offer, and look forward to doing it again this year.

Speaking of handouts and giveaways, we do it big at the Hobby Hall display. Every year we give away more than 10,000 pennies to kids of all ages. We invite kids, again of all ages, to search through our trays of loose pennies looking for their birth year. When it is found we place it in a 2×2 holder identifying it as coming from the Fair and the PNNA. We also supply copper cents to roll in our penny press for all “kids.” Each year we have a new, dated, fair-themed elongated design to hand out. We also give away world coins and currency, as well as tokens and medals when we have them.

So you see, the Fair is a big deal for the PNNA and we look forward to it every year. It gives us a chance to support and encourage coin collecting in our region and to let people know that we are out there for them to answer their questions and support their interest in collecting.

A schedule was posted with directions on how to sign up for a shift at the Fair. Whenever there were new volunteers added to the schedule it was updated. Also, I visited local coin club meetings in the Puget Sound area in search of volunteers. If you’ve volunteered for shifts at the Hobby Hall display in the past you already know how much fun it is. If you haven’t signed up yet, you don’t know what you’re missing!

Washington State Fair (Puyallup Fair) 2014-2018

Beginning in 2016, the Fair includes four weekends, but is closed on Tuesdays and on the first Wednesday. Official Fair website.

The Nor'wester - 3rd Quarter 2018 cover
The Nor’wester – 3rd Quarter 2018 cover

The 2018 Fair ran from August 31-September 23, 2018.
A report was printed in the 4th Q 2018 edition of The Nor’wester.

The 2017 Fair ran from September 1-24, 2017.
A report was printed in the 4th Q 2017 edition of The Nor’wester.

The 2016 Fair ran from September 2-25, 2016.
A report was printed in the 4th Q 2016 edition of The Nor’wester.

The 2015 Fair ran from September 11-27, 2015.
A report was printed in the 4th Q 2015 edition of The Nor’wester.

The 2014 Fair ran from September 5-21, 2014.
A report was printed in the 4th Q 2014 edition of The Nor’wester.

PNNA at 2014 Puyallup Fair
PNNA at 2014 Puyallup Fair