What do hypnotists, mustaches and Patsy Cline tribute singers have in common?
You’ll find them all at the Kitsap County Fair.
You’ll also find falafels and funnel cakes, lambs and llamas, jams and juried pies. With such a wide-range of offerings, there should be something to tickle each fairgoer’s fancy.
The repertoire of daily entrainment ranges from ventriloquists to dancers to comedians. And yes, even a beard and mustache contest at 5 p.m. on Saturday evening.
“That contest has been going on for years and years, and it’s always interesting,” said fair co-organizer Sunny Saunders-Housen. “People spend all year— or more—preparing for the contest.”
New this year is a large area dedicated to fire, rescue and police vehicles. Viewers can get an up-close look at Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue’s new ladder truck. K-9 units from the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office and the Bremerton Police Department will have daily demonstrations showing their dogs in action.
Headlining this year’s entertainment is country singer Lee Brice. In 2010, Brice’s album “Love Like Crazy” reached Country Billboard’s top 10 album chart. Brice performs at the Kitsap Fairgrounds on Aug. 25, with opening act Aces Up. The show begins at 8:30 p.m.
Cowboys from across the country will converge in Kitsap to compete for a $30,000 purse in the Xtreme Bulls competition. While in-person viewing of the bull riders is thrilling, if you can’t make the competition on Aug. 28 at 1 p.m., the event will be nationally televised on Sept. 11 and Sept. 12 on GAC-TV (Great American Country). For local viewers, that’s channel 484 for Comcast customers, or channel 326 on DIRECTV or 167 on DISH Network.
The rodeo happens Wednesday through Saturday at 7 p.m. and includes favorites such as barrel racing, roping and rodeo clowns.
Rounding out the fair experience are carnival rides (both tame and wild), vendors (from henna tattoos to replacement windows), food (some on a stick) and, of course, the 4-H animals.
“What’s a fair without the animals and kids?” Saunders-Housen said. She cited the animal barns as one of the main visitor attractions. From small dwarf rabbits to large cows, many different varieties of animals will be on display. 4-H students work year-round learning about and caring for their animals.
“Without all those kids and their programs, we wouldn’t have a fair,” Saunders-Housen said.
The first recorded Kitsap County fair was in 1923 and since then has become part of Kitsap’s summer tradition. When the previous fair organizer vacated the position in the spring, Saunders-Housen along with Gus Housen and Jonathan Miller stepped in to organize the event. With a volunteer force of over 500 Saunders-Housen said the event is on track to run as smoothly as ever.
What memories will be made this year at the Kitsap Fair?
Maybe a hypnotized handlebar mustache-wearing man singing Patsy Cline’s famous song “Walkin’ After Midnight?”
It just might happen.
Kitsap Fair and Stampede Information:
• Kitsap Fairgrounds is located at 1200 NW Fairgrounds Road in Bremerton.
• Fair opens 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Aug. 24 -27, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 28.
• Aug. 24 -27 the Rodeo begins at 7 p.m.
• Xtreme Bulls begins at 1 p.m. on Aug. 28.
Children 5 and younger get in free everyday.
Parking is $6 per vehicle (no re-entry privileges).
Fair general admission (Wednesday through Sunday)
• Adults $9
• Seniors (60 and older) $7
• Youth (12 and younger) $7
Fair & Stampede admission (Wednesday through Saturday)
• Adults $16
• Seniors(60 and older) $13
• Youth (12 and younger) $13
Xtreme Bulls admission (Sunday only)
• Adults $21
• Seniors (60 and older) $21
• Youth (12 and younger) $17
• Military Day: Free fair and stampede admission for active, retired and dependents with ID.
• Free ‘til noon (free fair admission for everyone until noon.)
• Kids Day: Free fair admission for youth 12 and younger.
• Senior Day: Half-price fair admission for seniors 60 and older.
• $1 off fair admission with specially-marked Pepsi cans.
• Quarter ‘til noon fair admission is 25 cents for all guests until noon.
• Family Day: $21 admits two adults and two youth. (Fair admission only.)
• Pre-sale carnival wristbands are available at Kitsap County Burger King locations for $20 ($8 off the price at the gate) and are sold now through Aug. 23.
• Carnival hours are Aug. 24 and 25 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Aug. 26 and 27 from 11 a.m. to midnight; Aug. 28 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.