Sesquicentennial Celebration: Washington’s Oldest Fair

Sesquicentennial Celebration: Washington’s Oldest Fair

by Korey Hope


It’s a rare spectacle to see a city prepare its fairgrounds for a 150th consecutive year. In fact, 2016’s Walla Walla Frontier Days will be the first such fair to reach the milestone in the history of Washington state.

A good indicator of a festival’s age is going back to one of its original names: Fair of Washington Territory Agricultural, Manufacturing, and Art Fostering Society. You read that right; this fair was established more than two decades before Washington gained statehood in 1889. But ever since it was little more than a farming exposition, Walla Walla Frontier Days has been a “great community tradition… creating memories for the young and the young at heart.”

This year’s edition will include a parade, concert, rodeo, demolition derby, as well as various vendors and exhibitors. Encapsulated in each year’s festivities are glimpses into the fair’s enchanting history, with special guided tours of both the city and fairgrounds available for this year’s celebration.

The festivities will run from August 31 through September 4, and when tickets come on sale (beginning in summer) you can get them here.

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