Lakefair - an Olympia, WA community tradition will be opening up this year on Wednesday, July 14th. The food booths will be drawing hungry folks downtown, the carnival rides will be spinning & roller coastering along with the lake and the Capitol dome in the background, the game booths will be tempting you to try to throw that ring around the peg - hey you could win a stuffed animal!!
Lakefair brings back a lot of memories for me of all the years we have attended, clear back to when our son was tiny and we took turns holding him on our shoulders during the parade - the very, very, VERY long parade if you have a toddler on your shoulders! There are elaborate floats from many of the other towns & cities across the state; marching bands and drill teams; antique cars & motorcycles; horses (& the "clean-up crew" following along behind). It really is a very cool parade - and Saturday evening will be parade central downtown! My favorite "only in Olympia" aspect is that there will be lawn chairs lining the parade route streets days in advance - everyone wants that comfy front row viewing spot!
As our son got older, the carnival booths and rides became a big attraction - moving right along from the days of the merry-go-round with me standing next to him for courage, to the teenage years where the idea was to go on the fastest, scariest ride possible - no moms needed for courage! And those carnival booths - we had SO many goldfish in their tiny watery plastic bags!! Some even lived for a month or two!!
And did I mention the food at Lakefair?? Many community groups staff a booth as a fundraiser, and it may be the only time of the year when stalwart Republicans slink into the line for a yummy, loaded with onions Demo Burger! (Possibly with a congressman or city council member or candidate flipping burgers too!) The strawberry shortcake is another of my favorites - or the mud pie - yum, chocolate heaven!! The grassy area lining Capitol Lake becomes picnic central for swarms of people once they load their plates with all their favorite treats. And if you venture down there hungry after the parade, you might want to rope your group together because we are talking BIG crowds of people!!
Many other Lakefair events have been fun to participate in or watch over the years. There is the traditional road race for all you joggers (walkers welcome too). There is a wide variety of musical entertainment on stage as well as dance performances from a local dance school. There is the traditional ceremony to crown the Lakefair queen - each year they come up with a new way to announce the winning girl, from a dramatic fly-by banner with her name, to the carnival ride with the name showing up once the crowd has waited with growing anticipation to see what will happen THIS time to make the big announcement.
This year it will be fun to watch the next generation - our son's little almost three- year- old daughter - experience the rides, games, food, parade etc! (And he's got strong shoulders for her viewing seat for the parade!!) A fireworks display over the lake Sunday night will signal the end to another Lakefair - And I know I'll be thinking I should have had one more Demo burger!!
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