GRANDVIEW - You might say fairs are in Paul Creighton's blood.
His father was superintendent of the grounds and facilities at the Central Washington State Fairgrounds in Yakima during WWII. The family moved to Grandview and went into the trucking business, but fairs weren't done with them yet.
When Creighton and his father learned that the Department of Agriculture had a fair fund set up that used the proceeds from horse racing, they decided to take advantage of it. The pair took the Grandview Harvest Festival, a street fair, into the big-time and renamed it the Yakima Valley Jr. Fair.
"One year dad would be president of the fair, and I would be the manager," said Creighton. "The next year we would reverse the roles."
Eventually the fair became the Yakima Valley Fair and Rodeo, and Creighton went on to be involved in many other fairs, including the 1962 World's Fair in Seattle.
"I have been involved in the senior management of eight world fairs in the USA and abroad," he said. "And a senior consultant in nine foreign countries and 34 foreign cities."
Creighton has written a book called "Fairs are Fun" and plans to return to Grandview for a book signing.
Appropriately, he'll be selling his book and signing copies at the Yakima Valley Fair and Rodeo August 9-11, Thursday through Saturday. One half of all proceeds from the sale of the books will go to the Fair Foundation to support the local fair.
Now retired, Creighton wrote the book about his 70 years in the fair and exhibition business.
"I started when I was 11 years old," he said. "It all really started in Grandview."