The Central Washington State Fair has been at State Fair Park, 1301 S Fair Ave, Yakima, since 1892, and it continues to grow in size and popularity. Over ten days in fall, up to 325,000 visitors converge on State Fair Park, home of the Yakima Valley SunDome and hundreds of annual events.
The facilities of the Central Washington State Fair are incredible. Visitors are free to wander the 110-acre park, and there are over 170,000 square feet of indoor exhibit space. A myriad of buildings and acres and acres of outdoor exhibit space make this a must-visit location. Every year, State Fair Park plays host to around 400 commercial exhibits and dozens of food vendors. Even parking is impressive, with 4,000 available spots for a range of vehicles.
The sheer size of the venue in a park-like setting makes the Central Washington State Fair not one to miss. Not only are there hundreds of accommodation options within a 1.5-mile radius, but guests will also encounter onsite camping for up to 180 RVs. Don't forget the many different tourist attractions and transportation methods within Central Washington itself when planning your trip.
If you’re clutching onto the last signs of summer, then say goodbye to it in style with a ten-day holiday in Yakima, Washington.
The Central Washington State Fair presents many different ticket options to suit your needs, including various pricing tiers for adults, youth, seniors, military, first responders, and children. You can buy tickets for single days or ten-day passes. If children, or children at heart, plan on playing any games or going on any rides, then you can also buy wristbands for these along with concert admission as well.
If you love getting a bargain and don’t we all, then you may even find online pre-fair discounts available in the days before the fair. Check out www.fairfun.com for current schedules and pricing.
With Washington a traditionally busy area, and additional traffic on the road, making your way to the fair may require a little patience. Allow extra time for travel, and consider traveling the day before to avoid much of the congestion. If you stick to the main highways, I-90 from Seattle and Spokane and I-84 from Portland and the Tri-cities, then you may make it to Yakima with plenty of time to spare. You can then enter through the main gates to State Fair Park at 1301 S Fair Ave., Yakima.
State Fair Park boasts sizeable parking areas that cater to more than 4,000 vehicles. However, if your RV is longer than 20 feet, there are limited paid parking areas available in the Stadium Lot. Otherwise, if you are setting up camp and have arranged your booking, you can make your way to the southeast end of the fairgrounds and set up camp.
If you have booked your RV in at a nearby park or resort, then you’re not short of public transportation options. Many campgrounds are within a short distance of the fairgrounds, so you can either walk, take a private ride service, or make use of the free shuttle service. Shuttles will be running all ten days of the Central Washington State Fair, with the first shuttle transporting fair-goers from mid-morning.
There are limited onsite camping opportunities for RV travelers. Up to 180 RVers can call the State Fair Park home for ten days, making use of electrical and water hookups, two dump stations, and full shower and toilet facilities. These sites are on the southeast end of the fairgrounds, a short distance from the main Central Washington State Fair entrance.
If you miss out on an opportunity to camp at the fairgrounds, then there are around 1,000 accommodation options within a short distance of State Fair Park, including plenty of RV camping locations. Given that over 300,000 people attend the fair annually, you will want to book weeks or months in advance. You can then take advantage of the shuttle service in operation in Yakima to take you to the fairgrounds daily.
Given the expansive size of the fairgrounds, you’ll be forgiven for not wanting to spend all day on your feet. Fortunately, State Fair Park officials come to the party with a whole host of transportation options. On the southwest corner of the Yakima Valley SunDome (near the blue gate), you can hire wheelchairs, electric wheelchairs, electric scooters, umbrella strollers, and wagons. You can book these in advance or hire them out on a first-come, first-served basis.
Even at the tail end of summer, you don’t need to pack for fall conditions just yet. The weather throughout Yakima during September has historically remained in the 60s to 80s, meaning you can get away with shorts and a t-shirt most days of the month. You may want to leave a vent open in your RV during the day, but you may like to pack a sweater and a pair of warm pants for when the afternoon sun brings with it a cold front.
If you want to sail through the main entry without remaining with security officials for too long, then bring with you the bare essentials. You can take soft coolers, duffel bags, and rucksacks, but these may all be subjected to gate searches. Leave your glass bottles, cans, drugs, alcohol, weapons, dangerous devices, laser pointers, and selfie sticks back at your RV. Pets are also best left with adult supervision at your RV.
The Central Washington State Fair has a lot of ground to cover, and ten full days of action at State Fair Park. Make sure you have everything you need to attend comfortably and safety. Bring your medical equipment and supplies, any prescription medication, and water to remain hydrated. There are also plenty of seating areas to rest your weary feet throughout the fairgrounds.
You may cook in your RV if you are camping on the fairgrounds. At other facilities, however, you may like to check with the hosts to find out whether outdoor cooking equipment is allowed. If you run out of milk, bread, or other essential ingredients, there’s a convenience store within two miles of the fairgrounds, or you can make your way to one of the larger grocery options in the area.
There are dining establishments galore in Yakima, meaning you won’t have any trouble satisfying those hunger pangs. You can dine in, take out, or treat yourself to delicious pizza as well. Both young and old will enjoy the offerings in Yakima, all within a few miles of the fairgrounds for convenience.
Dozens of vendors set up camp at the fairgrounds during the Central Washington State Fair. If all that walking and browsing makes you work up a thirst and hunger, then you’re not short of options. Get cash out at any of the ATMs onsite, and try out many different cuisines on offer. Food vendors are in the food court by the SunDome, and there are also beer and wine facilities by Oak Park.
Central Washington State Fair Park officials take security seriously. There will be security patrolling the grounds at all times, with a base set up by Gazebo Stage and Oak Park. Guards at the main entry will check bags, strollers, and coolers that enter through the gates. Make sure you leave your drones, drugs, alcohol, and other dangerous equipment and substances back at your RV. Security staff also want everyone to be on their best behavior.
Weather is typically mild throughout September in Washington, with the gorgeous summer sun still holding on by the skin of its teeth. Temperatures can fluctuate between 60 and 80 during the day, but drop down to as low as 40 overnight. Pack plenty of blankets in your RV, so you wake up well-rested and warm.
If you find yourself with a minor injury during your visit to State Fair Park, there are official medical staff on site to care for you. Make your way to the First Aid tent by Oak Park and the Barnville Petting Zoo. In an emergency, dial 9-11 or visit the hospital four miles from the fairgrounds. There is also a pharmacy within a ten-minute drive.