GRANDVIEW - The Wenatchee Youth Circus, the "biggest little circus in world" featuring clowns and entertainment for the whole family, will set the tone for the Yakima Valley Fair and Rodeo Aug. 11-15 at Grandview Country Park.
Rodeo, Rides and Rip Roarin' Fun is the theme of this year's fair, which Sharon Fisher of the fair board of directors said is better than ever.
The youth circus will be the main attraction Wednesday and Thursday nights of the fair. The circus will be performing both nights at 8 p.m.
The youth circus acts with clowns and trapeze acts, according to Fisher, who added that other acts seen at professional circuses will also be performed. The Wenatchee Youth Circus, however, does not have acts using wild animals, she said.
The Wenatchee Youth Circus is considered one of the top four non-professional troupes in the nation. Over the years, the circus has performed for more than two million people in the Western United States, Alaska and Canada. The troupe travels well over 12,000 miles per year to perform.
Fisher said this year's fair is reminiscent of past years with more booths, rides and entertainment than there has been in recent years.
Friday night marks the beginning of the rodeo action at the fair.
This year the fair will feature a PRCA rodeo, rather than a ProWest rodeo, said Fisher.
PRCA is the professional rodeo association which competes for positions at the National finals in Las Vegas, Nevada.
"It sounds like we're going to have a lot of contestants," said Fisher.
Last year about 300 people competed in the ProWest Rodeo. She is expecting closer to 400 competitors this year.
The rodeo will begin at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights. Fisher said they will also be running slack during the day on Saturday.
One of the big advantages of having a PRCA rodeo at the fair, said Fisher, is the interest of corporate sponsors at the rodeo.
Sunday will feature entertainment geared towards the Hispanic community, which is still being lined up by entertainment chair Frank Allec.
Also featured at this year's fair is a carnival.
"We haven't had a carnival in two years," said Fisher.
She said the Paradise Amusement carnival will have 12 to 14 rides at the fair.
This year's fair will also have more vendors than ever before, said Fisher.
"We've had to turn away food vendors," said Fisher. "We've had vendors ask us to keep them in mind for next year."
As part of the fair tradition, the Grandview Parade will be held Thursday, Aug. 12, at 6:30 p.m. The parade will run along Second Street in Grandview. Reesha and Nahum from the Morning Playhouse on 107.3 KFFM will be the emcees for the parade.
Thursday will also be Yakima Valley Band and Cheer Day led by University of Washington Band leader Brad McDavid. The participants will perform in the parade and also prior to the Wenatchee Youth Circus, according to event organizer Jim Herriman.
Besides the fair entertainment, the fair will feature other specialty events, such as livestock showmanship competitions.
Rabbit showmanship will begin at 8 a.m. Wednesday morning followed by a horse show at 9 a.m. Poultry showmanship is also scheduled for the first day of the fair.
Sheep and swine classification will begin the activities Thursday at 8 a.m. Dairy goat showing will be at 9 a.m. Beef classification and showmanship will be at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, just after dairy judging at 2 p.m.
On Thursday, the FFA will be having a tractor driving contest at the fair at 10 a.m.
Fitting and showing for sheep, swine and dairy cows will be at 8 a.m. Friday, Aug. 13.
A diaper derby is planned for 7 p.m. Friday night.
Saturday morning, dog and cat showing will be featured beginning at 8 a.m.
The 4-H and FFA livestock sale is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday morning, which will be followed by a buyers barbecue at noon.
Tickets for the fair will be available at the gate. Tickets are priced at $5 per day for an adult or $16 for a week-long admission.
Student (ages 6 to 13) and senior citizen tickets are $4 per day or $12 for an all-week pass.
A one-day family pass for two adults and two students is $15.
. Melissa Dekker can be contacted at (509) 837-4500, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Daily Sun News file photo
PRCA rodeo action will entertain fair-goers Friday and Saturday at the fair. The rodeo is set to begin at 7:30 p.m. both nights.