Submitted by the San Juan County Fairgrounds.

The San Juan County Fair is back in person, Aug. 17-20, for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. With new food vendors, thousands of entries, a carnival, and an estimated 8,000 attendees, the event is a celebration of our county’s talents, interests, and unique qualities.

“Every sector of our community has come together to share interesting agricultural and still life exhibits, delicious fair food, and incredible entertainment all week long,” said Parks and Fair Director Brandon Cadwell.

This year’s theme is a bingo reference – “Two Little Ducks; Quack, Quack!” – which refers to when I-22 is called during a bingo game. In honor of the theme, nightly bingo games will be held every evening at the Community Stage. It’s free to play and exciting prizes await!

The fair showcases over 27 open class and 4-H departments include baking, food preservation, cattle, fiber and textile arts, photography, and many more. The Carnival opens around 12 noon daily and the food court is stocked with something for everyone.

Local favorites including high noon games, Trashion Fashion, Fair Feud, and the Zucchini 500 are all coming back to the fair. Attendees can meet Matt Henry, a world champion juggler also known as “The Bubble Man,” at the Community Stage every day or sit in on dozens of educational talks at the Agricultural Awning and the Green Village.

“The music line-up this year incorporates great regional bands from San Francisco, Reno, and Seattle to name a few,” said Caleb Turner, the organizer of this year’s musical acts. “We have world-class musicians playing alongside local talent.”

Jam out to the various musical acts every evening at the Main Stage. On Wednesday, discover the County Fair House Band and Seattle-based band Whalien – an eclectic, high-energy rock-fusion band. Thursday features psychedelic rock band Forest Ray and Friday gives attendees a chance to get funky with the True Loves. On Saturday, folk band Bolero! takes the Main Stage. The four days also feature local acts like River Rye, San Juan Island All-Star Band, and Mudbath.

Thanks to San Juan Transit, fair goers from other islands can ride a free shuttle to the fairgrounds. The shuttle is timed with every interisland boat and helps make the event accessible to walk-ons.

“The Fair is the biggest and brightest event that showcases the best of the islands,” said Cadwell. “I hope everyone can come out to celebrate the community.”

For more information about the fair, visit www.sjcfair.org.

Contributed photo by Ted Strutz
Food preservation showing off those canning skills.

Contributed photo by Ted Strutz Food preservation showing off those canning skills.

Contributed photo by Ted Strutz
Fair carnival!

Contributed photo by Ted Strutz Fair carnival!