Washington State Fair (Puyallup Fair) Information
Washington State (Puyallup) Fair – Official Fair website The next Fair is scheduled for September 4-27, 2020 (closed Tuesdays). The PNNA had a booth in the Pavilion at the 2019 Fair from September 11-22, 2019. Have a numismatic question that wasn’t answered at the Fair? – email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Important: Due to changes at the Fair, the PNNA only had a display and info table from September 11 to 22, 2019 – the second half of the Fair. We hope to have a display for the entire Fair again in 2020; we’ll let you know.
A schedule was posted with directions on how to sign up for a shift at the Fair. Sign-ups for 2020 will begin in the spring.
Message (2019) by PNNA Fair Chairman Rick Schulz:
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!
For more information about our Hobby Hall display you can contact me, Rick Schulz, at email@example.com, or call me at 253-535-0690. See you at the Fair.