Arts & Entertainment

Yakima Valley Fair & Rodeo focuses on farming, family

GRANDVIEW -- An old-fashioned event focused on farming and family is what's planned for this year's Yakima Valley Fair & Rodeo set Aug. 6-9 at Country Park in Grandview.

The Valley fair doesn't have frills like music concerts or a carnival. Instead, its main attraction is a traditional one: a venue for the youths of 4-H and FFA to show their livestock and other projects.

"This little town has done a real nice job to make it a small, nice family event," said Mike Bradshaw, a former president of the fair's organizing board.

This year's fair board president, Judi Smasne, said the fair also is an important social outlet for area farmers.

"I've always seen it as a a pre-harvest (gathering) and all the farmers are visiting," she said.

But the fair schedule consists of much more than farming and livestock.

The Yakima Valley Fair kicks off Aug. 6 with the typical array of animal shows. The fair's following three days continue to have similar animal shows, but also are peppered with other events.

The annual Grandview Community Parade starts at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 7. A variety of community members will march in the parade, which starts at the intersection of West Second Street and Hillcrest Avenue and typically ends with attendees walking to the fairgrounds.

Young adult participants in the Yakima Valley Band & Cheer Day workshop will perform in the parade and again at 8 p.m. at the fair that same day.

The Aug. 8 schedule of events includes everything from a watermelon contest at 1 p.m. and a 6:30 p.m. diaper derby crawl competition for the little ones to a science fair put on by Seattle's Pacific Science Center at 4 and 7 p.m.

A two-night professional rodeo starts with a children's sheep-riding competition at 7 p.m., followed by the actual rodeo at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 8-9.

An annual car show starts at 10 a.m. Aug. 9, followed by a scarecrow dressing contest at 5 p.m. and more of the previous day's science fair at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.

* Franny White: 582-1542;