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What’s new this year at the Washington State Fair

Some of this year’s new attractions at the Washington State Fair include the Farm at SillyVille, an interactive, agricultural “farmland” geared towards youth. Photo courtesy Washington State Fair.

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If you think you've seen, heard and done all there is to do at the Washington State Fair, you're wrong, and we're here to tell you why. New attractions, entertainment, food and drinks are added to the Fair's lineup each year, to keep families and friends coming back for more. This year is no exception, as fair officials prepare to kick-off the festivities this Labor Day Weekend. Here's a shortlist of new and exciting attractions at the Washington State Fair in Puyallup: 

Outpost 47

This all-ages stage and bar area was added to deliver a casual, family-friendly concert experience to fairgoers who're hoping to avoid the fuss of the grandstand stage. Concerts presented at Outpost 47 -- which is second in size only to the grandstand stage -- will be free to those already admitted to the Fair. Audience members can enjoy food, beer, wine and spirits while they watch live performances there. 

"We wanted to add more entertainment for people who just want to hear some good music," said Stacy Van Horne, public relations manager for the Washington State Fair. "The caliber of artists playing there is very diverse and very strong ... "we have a whole tribute (band) experience in line for the opening weekend." 

Gabriel Sanchez presents The Prince Experience, MJ Live! Michael Jackson Tribute Concert and Piano Men -- A Tribute to Elton John & Billy Idol, are among that lineup. 

Cirque Ma'Ceo Equestrian Stunt Show

Equestrian stunts and horseback acrobatics, anyone? We thought so! Experience this one-of-a-kind equestrian show by heading to the Fair on Labor Day weekend, the only weekend in which the performance will be available. The hour-long equestrian show is a paid attraction, meaning ticket prices do not include general admission to the Fair. But at only $7 a ticket, the performance is well-worth the cost. The show's choreography, singing, and horseback stunts are presented to the theme of "gypsy heritage." Although it's considered a new attraction of 2018, those with a good memory might remember that Cirque Ma'Ceo made its debut last spring.  

The Farm at SillyVille

Parents will be delighted to learn another new attraction is geared specifically towards kids: The Farm at SillyVille. This interactive "farmland" experience is centered around "Washington's food and farming story." The 1.5-acre farm is designed to help youth make connections between the food they eat and the farmers, land and agricultural industry from which it comes. 

"This is an exciting, hands-on exhibit in which kids can connect with agriculture," said Van Horne. "They can learn where produce comes from, how to make healthy choices ... and the produce process."

The Farm at SillyVille is also visually appealing. One of the buildings on the farm is shaped like a milk-box with six giant milk bottles going through the roof. Another has a tractor parked on the roof.

"At our core, bringing this attraction to the Fair is about agriculture and keeping it alive generation after generation," said Van Horse. "Youth need to see where our food comes from and where and how it grew. We need to keep agricultural education alive in the minds of our youth."

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Wheat Ale

Speaking of food and drink, Harmon Brewing Co. will debut its Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Wheat Ale this season. The brew was made especially for the Washington State Fair. The Tacoma-based Harmon Brewing Co. has been crafting beer in the South Puget Sound since 1997. Last year's fair-inspired beer, Raspberry Scone Golden Ale by Puyallup River Brewing, will also be available during the Fair. Both brews can be purchased at Brew Park and Outpost 47 on the fairgrounds. 

Run the Puyallup

To truly get a fresh perspective of the state fair, consider signing up for Run The Puyallup, a 2.5-kilometer fun run entirely within the fairgrounds. The route allows walkers and runners to weave their way through fair attractions and eat tasty fair treats along the way. Registration costs include a commemorative T-shirt, admission to the Fair after the run, and rides on the Classic Coaster or Carousel. The run will be held Saturday, Sept. 1. 

WASHINGTON STATE FAIR, Friday-Monday, Aug. 31-Sept. 3; Monday and Wednesday-Sunday, Sept. 6-23; 110 9th Ave. SW, Puyallup, $11-$14, children 5 and younger FREE, 253.841.5045, 

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