One of the most anticipated events of summer returns with the Kitsap Fair and Stampede Aug. 25 to 29 – expect lots of your old favorites and some exciting new additions, too!
With roots reaching back to 1923, the county’s favorite way to celebrate summer takes place at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds. And while COVID cancelled last year’s fair, the popular community event returns better than ever for 2021, now operated for the county by a non-profit association.
“It’s like starting all over again,” says show manager Randy Hatfield. “We’re just so excited to be back.”
Some exciting new changes are in the works this year, but don’t worry, your longtime favorites are also back, including stellar entertainment, agricultural exhibits, rodeo events and an array of fun – and often funky – fair food. As always, general admission remains free, with ticketed entry to some events and attractions.
While the year off has brought some differences to returning exhibitors, what hasn’t changed is the commitment of local volunteers. “A lot of our volunteers are very dedicated to the fair and we’re very grateful for that,” Hatfield says.
At the same time, more hands are always needed, and with so many options available, organizers will find opportunities to suit your interests and schedule. “We’re also always looking for equipment and in-kind donations to make the fair happen,” he adds.
Here’s a snapshot of what you can look forward to at this year’s Kitsap Fair and Stampede:
- A Funtastic carnival – This year’s carnival comes courtesy of Funtastic, the same team behind the amazing carnival at the Puyallup Fair, meaning exciting rides for families and thrill-seekers alike. “I’m really excited to have them here,” Hatfield says.
- And fantastic food – “We’re lucky to welcome back about 90 percent of our food vendors. We have a great variety of food, and when the fair rolls around, you’ll be able to get your curly fries fix,” Hatfield laughs.
- Bulls + broncs – Sanctioned by the professional rodeo association, the Kitsap Stampede is the only major league rodeo event that comes to Kitsap County. Take in three days of high-level competition, Wednesday through Friday, followed by Xtreme Bulls Saturday afternoon. “We get all the top cowboys who are competing for a place at the national finals,” Hatfield notes. “It’s only once a year and it’s a great opportunity to come out and see high-ranking competition in eight events.”
- On stage – but one not-to-miss highlight includes Saturday night’s free concert with country singer Mark Wills.