Summertime is filled with seasonal festivities. Some kids go off to camp. Some families travel to coastal beaches or favorite camping grounds. Some even get a thrill when it gets time to dust off the air conditioner to stay cool.
Regardless of what is going on, summer is the most bustling time of the year and for the East Grays Harbor County region. That can easily be seen with the yearly county fair.
The Grays Harbor County Fair in Elma will kick off its yearly festivities in August and will be filled with a vast array of activities for the whole family to enjoy. Kids’ entertainment, live concerts, carnival games, and food vendors are just some of the highly anticipated attractions of the county fair. Grays Harbor County Fair is no stranger to the Olympic Peninsula as its history can be traced back to the early 1900s.
Media members across the Olympic Peninsula and the Puget Sound area were invited to sit down on Thursday, July 14, with the Grays Harbor County Fairboard to discuss the events planned for the four-day festival.
Ericka Corban, who is set to play the first night of the fair with her band Humptulips, described what it was like to be playing for the county fair.
“We love playing at the fair because this is my hometown, and we always get a good crowd to come out and it’s good to see everybody. It’s also a good opportunity to have some fun and give back to the community,” Corban said. “This is our fifth year in a row playing for the fair and I honestly just can’t wait to be up on that stage playing music with my friends.”
Corban, who has played for venues nationwide in almost all 50 states, pointed out that she began singing and playing when she was 14 at her local church before deciding to take the step of touring later in her early adulthood.
Live music by different artists will be featured every night at the fair. One of the most anticipated artists that were set to play at this year’s fair was Wynonna Judd. However, after Wynonna’s 76-year-old mother Naomi committed suicide on April 30, she canceled her planned performance at the fairgrounds.
Rod Easton, who serves as the event coordinator for the Grays Harbor County Fair, said although it was unfortunate to lose Wynonna’s performance to a tragedy, the fair will be featuring another popular musician to supplement.
“At first we didn’t know what we (were) going to do when Wynonna had to drop out, but when we worked with our agency group, Romeo Entertainment, they were able to help us pin down Easton Corbin to come and perform for us,” Easton explained.
According to Easton, the main concert attractions for this year’s fair will be Humptulips, Easton Corbin, Heart by Heart tribute band and Escape. Attendance is expected around 65,000 people for this year as that was just around what the total was for the 2021 fair.
All proceeds made from the fair go back into the fair to produce a quality product. Given the fairgrounds are a special revenue government agency, the goal is to maintain a healthy cash balance to increase the entertainment factor of the fair every year.
“For the price of admission, you can spend enough time at the fair and you can walk around and see a lot of things for your $10 without paying for anything more,” Easton pitched. “Are there other costs in the fair, yes; but as for entertainment compared to what it would cost to go to something like a movie, it’s full of family-oriented fun you won’t get anywhere else.”
The Grays Harbor County Fair will be in action from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 10, through Saturday, Aug. 13, at 32 Elma-McCleary Road in Elma. For more information, people can check out the Grays Harbor County Fair website at www.ghcfairgrounds.com.