Fall, fun, fur, and feathers abounded at the Washington State Fair!
The month of September saw the blacktop at the Washington State Fair grounds transformed with thousands of people, booths, rides, and--what's a fair without them?--animals.
The far end of the lot was taken up by numerous barns housing four-legged (and winged) 4-H contestants.
Clydesdales had a barn all to themselves along with another horse barn and one just for the cows. Dogs had an arena to strut their stuff and a separate barn for napping afterward.
Over sixty guinea pigs and almost two hundred rabbits lined a barn dedicated to the smaller animals, including a line of quails, pigeons, and chickens. Judging for these animals does not include walking on the runway or showcasing tricks. Instead, it is based on feel and look of the animal for a healthy weight, coat, and temperament.
Adjacent to the small animal barn were pens for geese, peacocks, turkeys, and a couple alpacas.
No fair is complete without a petting farm, where goats and sheep entertained as they meandered about. A separate barn was even dubbed the "Piglet Palace," home to Spamela and her eight little piggies. Spamela did anything for scones, so patrons were asked to guard their food bags carefully.
Visitors had the chance to feel like a hamster in a wheel by jumping inside giant inflatable balls and rolling about. They could nibble like mice on roasted corn and kettle corn, then get a bird's eye view from one of three Ferris wheels.
Little ones could practice their hand at being future farmers by riding miniature tractors around a loop. Some game booths even had animal-themed prizes, including giant "Finding Nemo" characters--though actual goldfish prizes seemed to be a thing of the past.
The fair runs for three weeks every fall, closed on Tuesdays. It was open September 2-25 this year.
The Washington State Fair is located in Puyallup, one hour south of Seattle. It is the largest event in the state and one of the top ten biggest fairs in the nation.
All photos via Stacey Venzel.