Fair Fun For Everyone

<p>Balloon Popping</p>

Balloon Popping

11 a.m., hundreds of people rush the gates, greeted by farm animals and a banjo player.

Some have been waiting all year for the start of the Central Washington State Fair.

"I love coming to the fair because there's so many interesting things going on," said Sherry Thompson, I"t's something that I wait for every year."

It's a ten day event that attracts a crowd more than three times the size of Yakima's population.

For some it's also a long-time tradition that's continually growing.

"My family got me started on this, and ever since my family got me started, I've been coming annually," said Ryan VanKeulen, "It's grown exorbitantly, it's changed, it's gotten bigger."

And bigger is better, at least for the people who came for one thing: The food.

"I love the different foods that they have here at the fairgrounds," said Thompson, "You can't get them anywhere else."

This year's fair features more than 250 vendors and food carts, three new rides, and a collection of modern and historical exhibits.

One of those new exhibits includes the Hall of Heroes; it features popular comic book characters, and even local heroes.

It's meant to attract the modern crowd, while staying true to the fair's traditional roots.

"It's kind of funny, some people want to come see the same things they see every year, it's kind of like old home week," said fair spokespersion Rob Phillips, "Other people want to see something new and different, so we provide both."

For locals, it's a chance to showcase the valley's best and end the summer on a high note.

"Nobody really knows Yakima, and I think that's pretty cool; having people come over here and see how it is," said Jessica Dominguez.

For a list of all the attractions, events, and hours for the Central Washington State Fair, click here.