The “Best Week of Summer” is this year’s theme for the Benton Franklin Fair & Rodeo, and we agree with that slogan.
The fun kicks off with a street dance at 7 p.m. Aug. 19 and the Grand Parade at 10 a.m. Aug. 20, both in downtown Kennewick. Bring a lawn chair and enjoy the parade, which typically includes high school marching bands, trotting horses, dancing groups and convertibles with tops down so politicians can wave at registered voters.
Gates at the fairgrounds open at 4 p.m. Aug. 22 for the Demolition Derby, but it is the next day when the fair officially begins. Hours are 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Aug. 23-26 and 9 a.m. to midnight Aug. 27.
The fair is a community highlight. It brings together families, couples, teens in packs, parents with strollers, the young and the elderly, and it offers something for everyone.
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Gardeners likely will be interested in perfect-looking tomatoes, oversize pumpkins and flower displays. Those who enjoy artwork can admire sketches, paintings and photography. Seamstresses can appreciate the quilts and handmade clothing.
And when there are big blue or purple ribbons attached, it makes those displays particularly impressive.
You can watch sheep get sheared, learn about goats and be impressed by the patience of a mama pig.
Children who have never been to a farm can pet a cow and learn where their milk comes from (it isn’t the store). Want to look at home improvement ideas or see the latest kitchen gadget? You can do that too.
The fair is also a good excuse to eat something sugary and fattening. After all, how often do you get the chance to eat elephant ears, cotton candy and chocolate-covered bananas? Next week is your chance.
The major concerts are always a huge attraction in the evenings. But there is entertainment to be found throughout the fairgrounds, especially at the Tri-City Herald Stage, where local groups get a chance to perform, as well as touring professionals such as the hypnotist who amazes the crowds every year.
For many folks, the fair is a chance to run into old friends and visit a bit. For families, this the last hurrah before school starts.
Check out the Explore section of the Aug. 19 Tri-City Herald for more information on the fair schedule, or check us out online. You also can find more at the Benton Franklin Fair & Rodeo website, www.bentonfranklinfair.com.
Fair time is a great time in the Tri-Cities. Make plans now so you don’t miss it.