Washington State Fair Tickets on Sale Now! 

The Washington State Fair starts in just five weeks! Tickets are now available to purchase. Get early bird deals online, through Aug. 26 on gate admission (including season passes), rides (including unlimited Dizzy Pass bracelets – a guest favorite!) and exhibits.

All of the Columbia Bank Concert tickets are also on sale, with huge headliners this year including Blake Shelton, Seattle’s own Ann Wilson of Heart, Nelly, Dierks Bentley, Shaggy & TLC, The Doobie Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd and more!

Lots of Fair favorites return this year, and new food will be added into the mix. The Puyallup Rodeo will award an unprecedented $1 million purse!

More fun info and updates will be sent as we get close to opening the gates!

For more info and to purchase, visit thefair.com.

The Washington State Fair is one of the biggest fairs in the world, and the largest in the Pacific Northwest. It started in 1900 in Puyallup, and welcomes more than a million guests to the single largest attended event in the state. Star-studded entertainment, the Puyallup Rodeo, rides, exhibits, food, flowers and animals are mainstays of the 20-day event that kicks off the Friday of Labor Day weekend. For more information about the Sept. 2-25, 2022 Washington State Fair (closed Tuesdays and Sept. 7), visit thefair.com.

Sophie’s Scoops Opens A Storefront Location

Any day is a good day for Sophie’s Scoops. There are so many reasons why Sophie’s hyper-local gelato is a taste sensation. Each small batch is lovingly made with ingredients sourced from the community. Owners Sophie Landis and Chris Proctor unite their culinary and business skills with great attention to detail and a whole lotta love.

“We make everything,” they both say. Sophie’s Scoops pasteurizes the milk which gives incredible freedom to make its own gelato base and flavors. TUNaWerth Creamery in Tenino supplies the milk. “Our gelato is farm fresh,” emphasizes Sophie. Other ingredients are sourced from nearby farms such as Johnson Berry Farm. Cookies are made by the Bread Peddler and coffee comes from Olympia Coffee.

The new storefront, with significantly more space than the original location, gives Sophie’s Scoops an expanded operational kitchen. It’s where Chef Chris gets to do gelato magic. With years in the restaurant business, he appreciates the creativity that goes into each batch. With in-house pasteurizing, it’s possible to use small quantities of seasonal ingredients for a unique blend. A friend’s garden supplied mint which became Free-Range Mint. Naming gelato is almost as much fun as eating it.

Two customers were seated inside savoring their cups of gelato. One was temporarily lost in a memory of the recently made Key Lime Pride, featuring Sophie’s lime curd and graham cracker crumbs topped with a vanilla whip. It was zingy, tangy, and wonderfully balanced. “You can get order envy,” one says. That’s when you wish you ordered what your friend got after you taste it. Don’t worry. You can always take a container home for later. 

Sophie’s Scoops has its own truck for mobility as well as use at special events. There are also two bikes complete with umbrellas. Sophie had fun using the bike at Oly Fed’s golf tournaments and uses it for other outside activities. “It’s fun to interact with people,” says Sophie.

Sophie and Chris invite you to visit their new digs. You can also order a coffee drink and check out the fun t-shirts and reusable totes. Sophie’s Scoops is truly a community business. Scoop a little deliciousness into your life. 

Get more details on the Sophie’s Scoops Facebook page. .facebook.com/sofiesscoopsgelato

Sophie’s Scoops 

510 State Street

222 Market Street

Mary Ellen Psaltis

Pierce County Fair’s 75th Anniversary Year

Celebrating Yesterday, Today, & Tomorrow

Eager to celebrate its 75th Anniversary, the Pierce County Fair Association is planning a 2022 Fair filled with entertainment, exhibits, livestock shows — and of course — delicious food. It will be fun for the whole family, from Thursday, August 11 through Sunday, August 14 at Graham’s beautiful Frontier Park.

Made possible through the generation donation of sponsors and more than 150 volunteers including its hard-working board of directors, the Pierce County Fair is an annual celebration of rural life and agriculture that dates back to 1947 when it was held in Sumner. Moving to its current location in 1968, the county fair is one of only a few fairs in the state to take place in a park setting.

“The location sets our fair apart from other fairs around the state that take place primarily on asphalt,” said Shelly Bennett, manager of the Pierce County Fair. “Our visitors have a more personal experience and the park setting and hometown feel create lifelong attendees.”

Given the significance of the 75th Anniversary, the Fair Association is making sure the four days are packed. Performances will include the always popular Extreme Dog Show, Olympia’s The Olson Brothers Band, Elvis tribute performer Danny Vernon, and, new for 2022, a Mexican Rodeo event.

While the fair is always about fun entertainment, it is also a chance for local 4-H students to show livestock they have raised or enter a quilt, flowers, or delicious recipe they have perfected in various categories judged for their quality. These opportunities for 4-H students allow increased educational exposure and even scholarships and college funding. The fair also features an open class, giving an opportunity for the general public to show off their sewing, flowers, photography and more.

This year, a new partnership with the Graham Kapowsin JROTC will showcase how a volunteer organization like the Pierce County Fair can benefit while young men and women gain valuable experience. The JROTC students will assist with set up, cleaning, and tear down of the fair.To learn more about the Pierce County Fair in Graham please visit piercecountyfair.com.

Always Something to See at the Thurston County Fair!

Guess who is turning 151 this year?

If you guessed a five-day, fun-packed, family outing known as the Thurston County Fair, then you are right! The dates for 2022 are July 27 to 31. The Fair will have all of the favorites, animals, carnivals, vendors, entertainment and the traditional tasty fair food.

“We have special discount days during the fair week–One Buck Wednesday admission will be $1 with a donation for the Thurston County Food bank and Tuesday is Kid’s Day with $2 admission for all kids under 18,” says Theresa Reid, Thurston County Fair’s manager. “We also serve many military families, so Friday is Military Day when all retired, active and reserve personnel and family members are only $2 per person.”

Located near Long Lake in Lacey, the fair is a pint-sized version of the Washington State Fair held later in September; many of the kids showing off their livestock will compete for a placement that will allow them to enter at state level. From pygmy goats to well-heeled golden retrievers, you can watch as the animals and their handlers strut their stuff in the presentation competitions. Children as young as 5 years old are allowed to enter the animal competition –they are called Cloverbuds. You can also catch the Thurston County Market Animal Sale on Saturday at 6pm.

Entertainment for 2022 includes Professor Bamboozle’s Magic Show, Reptile Isle with the Ring of Torti, and The Grizzly Artwork show and chainsaw carving competition. Community singers, dancers and bands will perform, along with all of the 4-H and FFA exhibitors showing their animals and projects. Other exhibits also on display include Home Arts, Quilts, Hobbies and Crafts, Fine Arts, Photography and Floral. So if you’ve taken up a new hobby since the start of the pandemic, this could be a good opportunity to learn from some award winners.

The Thurston County Fair has a history that goes back over 150 years, and was held at different locations such as the South Bay School and Grange, until settling in at the current fairgrounds in 1958. The Thurston County Fair continues to thrive and gives our community a place to celebrate, educate, create and support our local businesses!

For Additional Information
Thurston County Fair


Lacey Spring Fun Fair

Lacey Spring Fun Fair

Proud to be a Sponsor!

 May 21 and 22 2022 10:00am

St. Martin’s University

5300 Pacific Avenue SE
Lacey, WA 98503

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The annual, two-day fair features dozens of free, family-friendly activities from Kids’ World to local school and area band performances to the fan-favorite car show.

One of the best things about the fair is that it’s free. No cost to park, no entry fees, no tickets required to go on the rides, nada. “All you have to do is wait in line. Kids can go on all the rides and do all the activities they want and it’s all free! Most of the people leave with a bag full of crafts that the kids have made or goodies they’ve won playing different games,” Jeannette says. “The only thing you’ll have to pay for is if you choose to buy something from one of the food vendors or one of the commercial or arts and crafts vendors.”

Even though on-site parking is free, it can be a bit limited. To help with this, you can catch one of the free shuttle busses

Free parking with shuttle service will be available from South Sound Center’s Flag Pavilion parking area from 10 a – 6 p, Sat., May 6.
(South Sound Center’s Flag Pavilion parking area: Sleater-Kinney Road at Interstate 5)
Shuttles run every twenty minutes.

Rainy Day Fun: Explore the Hands On Children’s Museum

Located on Olympia’s beautiful East Bay waterfront, the award-winning Hands On Children’s Museum is the largest and most visited youth museum in the Pacific Northwest. Explore 150 (plus) interactive exhibits and a half-acre Outdoor Discovery Center. Kids will be excited to investigate two floors of interactive fun. Parents will appreciate that each activity is designed to stimulate curiosity, creativity, and learning through hands-on exhibits like a two-story climber and stream slide, Ballcano water table, Emergency! exhibit, Airways Maze and various building projects. Creative activities include the Arts & Parts Studio and MakeSpace.

In the Outdoor Discovery Center, kids can build confidence and problem-solving skills while free climbing on a giant boulder. They can also captain a vintage schooner, dig for dinos, climb the lighthouse lookout, dig in the gravel pit, tend to the Children’s Garden, and discover the wonders of nature in the Naturalist Cabin.

When the kids get hungry, the Museum’s Play Day Café offers a variety of healthy, affordable sandwiches and snacks such as grilled cheese and quesadillas. Visitors can also bring food from home to eat in the café. Due to COVID-19, seating is limited but there are also several family-friendly restaurants in the area and the Museum honors in/out privileges.

HOCM is a “Museum for All” and believes that children have the right to play regardless of their ability to pay. The Museum has a robust free and reduced Access Program that serves over one-third of its visitors. Families with an EBT card can enjoy free daily admission for the first two visitors. Each additional person pays just $2. On the first Friday of the month admission is just $1 to play from 4-8pm.

The Hands On Children’s Museum offers several highly regarded educational programs including half and full-day camps, preschool, and parenting workshops. Preschool is offered from September to May. Free PowerParenting workshops and PlayWise classes for both parent and child are held monthly.

Hands On Children’s Museum

Ballet Northwest Present The Nutcracker

Ballet Northwest’s The Nutcracker, Olympia’s holiday favorite for 37 years, is returning to The Washington Center in December with breathtaking sets brilliantly created by local artist, Jill Carter. Ballet Northwest (BNW) is thrilled to be returning to live performances this season, with health and safety measures in place. The Nutcracker was last seen live in 2019. Last year due to the pandemic, BNW produced a film version of the holiday classic.

The Sugar Plum Fairy’s Cavalier will be danced by professional guest artist Lucas Horns who danced professionally with Ballet West in Salt Lake City. Ballet Northwest company dancers Elina Brein and Nina Ivanenko will be alternating in the lead role of the Sugar Plum Fairy. Both have attended Oregon Ballet Theatre’s summer intensive in Portland. Brein is 20 years old and lives in Centralia. Ivanenko is 17 years old, lives in Lacey, and is enrolled in Running Start.

“Audiences from all over South Puget Sound have come to love our Nutcracker production in the beautiful Washington Center,” said Ken Johnson, co-artistic director at Ballet Northwest, the oldest dance company in the State of Washington. “Our dancers and audiences have been through so much these last couple years with the pandemic, so we’re excited to bring back this community tradition for all to enjoy at the holidays.”

Josie Johnson, co-artistic director for Ballet Northwest said, “We know that attending The Nutcracker at The Washington Center is a holiday tradition for many families in the South Sound, and we try and keep the choreography fresh and exciting. This year we have a few other surprises in store. Plus, the magic between audience and performers is something special that we’ve all missed.”

Over 150 people make up the cast, which features local dancers as young as 8 years old plus Ballet Northwest company dancers. Ballet Northwest’s dance company is comprised of over 60 dancers age 12 and older, drawn from Thurston, Pierce, Lewis, and Mason counties.

For patrons 12 and older, the Washington Center is currently requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negtive COVID-19 test provided by a lab within 72 hours for entry to the Washington Center. Patrons age 18 and older must also show a photo ID.

WHEN: 7:30pm on Dec. 10 and 17; and 2pm on Dec 11, 12, 18, and 19.
WHERE: The Washington Center for the Performing Arts, 512 Washington St SE Olympia, WA 98501
HOW: Ticket Office – 360-753-8586 or order online at www.washingtoncenter.org.
PRICES: Tickets are $14 to $35, plus $4.00 service fee. Student, senior, and youth discounts available.

New Children’s Museum Opening Soon!

The Children’s Museum at JBLM, which broke ground in November 2018, converted the base’s old skating rink into a satellite facility of the Children’s Museum of Tacoma, the first of its kind on a military installation.

The Children’s Museum at JBLM is the result of a partnership between Greentrike, whose programs include the Children’s Museum of Tacoma and Play to Learn Pierce County, and the JBLM Child and Youth Programs. The museum will serve the children of military families with an emphasis on early learners and those experiencing special needs.  At a recent visit to the facility the First Lady of the United States, Dr. Jill Biden, noted, “What a beautiful gift this is to the children here. The partnership with the Children’s Museum of Tacoma shows what can happen when communities both inside and outside the gates come together to support military families.”

The Children’s Museum at JBLM is situated on Lewis Main adjacent to the JBLM splash park, skate park and the bowling alley.  

The museum features multiple playscapes, including a water area, and art studio, and a climber. All playscapes are designed with an emphasis on STEAM activities for children 12 and under, inspiring creativity and imaginative play. 

JBLM has about 40,000 service members and about 63,000 family members. About 5,100 military families live on JBLM, and about 1,500 of the on-base families have children ages six and under.

This project is part of the Greentrike’s More than a Museum Campaign, to broaden its reach beyond the walls of its Tacoma-based museum and engage children and families throughout Pierce County in playful explorations together. 

Tanya Durand, Greentrike executive director said, “We are so excited to come alongside our longtime partners and make this museum a joyful, playful place for families living on Joint Base Lewis-McChord.”

After seven years of collaboration and building renovations to bring this project to its opening, JBLM Garrison Commander Col. Skye Duncan said, “We are incredibly thrilled to reach this day. We have thousands of kids with their families at JBLM, and there’s no better place to create the first on-base children’s museum than Joint Base Lewis-McChord.” 

The Children’s Museum at JBLM is made possible in partnership with The Boeing Company, Bamford Foundation, The Norcliffe Foundation, Institute of Museum and Library Services, Joint Base Lewis-McChord Command, and MWR.

Boeing and its employees provided a combined $1.5 million to support the development and launch of the museum. “Military families deserve spaces like this to connect with each other, to explore new ideas and to inspire dreams,” said Bill McSherry, Vice President, Boeing Commercial Airplanes Government Operations. “Boeing is deeply committed to supporting our military families and communities. This includes employee hiring and retention efforts as well as investing in innovative partnerships like this first ever children’s museum on a military base.” 

For more information about the Children’s Museum at JBLM, visit www.playJBLM.org

22nd Annual Model Train Festival

Welcome to a journey through the miniature world of model trains! The Washington State Historical Society’s 22nd Annual Model Train Festival chugs into town December 22, 2017 and is open through January 1, 2018. The festival takes place at the History Museum in Tacoma. The state’s largest permanent model train layout is always featured at the museum, operated by Puget Sound Model Railroad Engineers; the Model Train Festival brings other railroad clubs from around Puget Sound to share their amazingly detailed layouts. Visitors can travel among the many displays, watch dozens of tiny engines rolling across trestles and through tunnels, talk with the operators, and make their own train creations in the TNT Activity Room.

“It’s certainly the most wonderful time of the year at the museum,” said Molly Wilmoth, the museum’s lead program manager.  “Every available nook and cranny is activated by trains, enchanting kids of every age with intricate, realistic layouts. And the hands-on Activity Room is stocked with toy trains, Legos and Lincoln Logs; it is always a highlight for families.”

Santa is making a stop at the Model Train Festival, too. Come to the museum on Friday, December 22 or Saturday, December 23, from 11:00 AM through 3:00 PM to greet this cheerful visitor from the North Pole and take advantage of a free holiday photo opportunity.

“The Historical Society really enjoys hosting the Model Train Festival. The festival has become a popular holiday tradition for families and their guests because it delights the child in all of us. Everyone has fun watching the model trains and just enjoying the festive atmosphere, not to mention learning a bit about the history of railroads while they’re here,” said the museum’s director, Jennifer Kilmer.

In addition to the model trains, in the Great Hall of Washington History visitors can see artifacts and find out more about how the railroads influenced growth and development in Washington State. The Telegraph – Morse Code Club will present an interactive display chronicling the history of the telegraph as it relates to railroading. Visitors can also stop by Operation Lifesaver’s exhibit, educating the public about safety at railroad highway crossings and the dangers of trespassing on railroad property. Their current focus is the new Amtrak route between Tacoma and Nisqually.

The Tacoma Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society (NRHS) will be on-site to celebrate and promote the 20th anniversary of Rail Camp, which gives teens the opportunity to spend a week with other teens who share railroad interests. The NRHS crew will also honor the end of an era: Since 1914, at least one train per day, almost every day, carried passengers from Portland to Tacoma, rolling along the Puget Sound shoreline and Commencement Bay. That passenger service ends on December 18, 2017. NRHS will share photos and stories of the route’s 103-year history.

Bring the railroad buffs in your life to the Washington State History Museum, 1911 Pacific Avenue, Tacoma, for this annual celebration of holiday cheer and history. Details at www.ModelTrainFestival.org.

The museum will be closed on December 24, Christmas Eve, and December 25, Christmas Day.

Get your glow on

With Jack Frost nipping at your nose now is a perfect time to bundle up and head outside to enjoy the frosty weather with family and friends for a special holiday escapade featuring traditional and new Tacoma attractions.

First, lace up your skates and glide across the ice at the new Frozen Fountain Ice Skating Rink.  Relocated from Tollefson Plaza this winter, the community-focused ice rink makes it’s debut appearance at Tacoma’s latest hot spot– Point Ruston. A few turns around the ice is a healthy way to get some exercise on these nippy days and will bring a glow to your cheeks that will warm you from head to toe. Take a break and grab a bite to eat at any one of the great new restaurants.

After your ice skating adventures head up to Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium to enjoy the spectacular light displays at Zoolights. With over half a million twinkling bulbs everyone will love the humorus 3-D glowing creations brought to life. This year’s animal light displays feature hammerhead sharks and sea turtles (coming in next year’s new aquarium) as well as carnivorous plants with their insect prey, a majestic polar bear family, a gorgeous giant Pacific octopus and a whimsical 30-foot-wise underwater landscape. Add a ride on a camel or the carousel to your outing to make it a holiday to remember.

After a chilly evening of skating and dazzling lights you’ll be ready to sip some cocoa and snuggle in for a long winter’s sleep.

The Indigo Frozen Fountain Ice Rink

Frozen Fountain

Regular Hours:

Mon-Thurs: 4pm – 9pm
Fri: 4pm – 10pm
Sat: 10am – 10pm
Sun: 10am – 9pm
*All Hours Subject to change

Holiday Hours:

Winter Break | Mon. – Thurs. 10am – 10pm
Christmas Eve: 10am – 9pm
Christmas Day: 10am – 9pm
New Years Eve: 10am – 1am
New Years Day: 10am – 10pm
*All Hours Subject to change


Point Defiance Zoolights
Opens Daily 5-9 pm; Closed 12/24