Northwest NEWS

June 5, 2000

Home & Garden

Critter Crowning Contest at Fair

   Have a pig that's a ham? A chicken that's not afraid of the camera? Then the King County Fair's Critter Contest is too good an opportunity to pass up. The winner of the Critter Crowning Contest will gain fame and glory as the King County Royal Critter, the official mascot of the 2000 King County Fair.

   Everyone is invited to take part in this fun contest by submitting a photo of themselves and their favorite pet or farm animal. In addition to great prizes, the winning critter (and critter's owner) will be honored at the 137th anniversary edition of the King County Fair, July 18 through 23 at the King County Fairgrounds in Enumclaw.

   "The Critter Crowning contest is the pinnacle for pets and farm animals all over the region. To deny them the chance to compete would be cruel," said King County Executive Ron Sims. "This year's winner will take its place in our Critter Hall of Fame with other 'Royal Critters' like Grumpy the Potbellied Pig and Eli the Donkey. So make sure you send your photo in."

   Members of 4-H and Future Farmers of America are especially encouraged to enter the contest. Thirteen finalists will be chosen by a panel of King County Fair Board members. All photos entered will be posted at the Critter Gallery and will be on display during the King County Fair. Photos of the 13 finalists will also be posted on the King County Fair website at www.kingcountyfair.com.

   The 13 finalists and their critters will compete in person for the grand prize at King County's Luther Burbank Park on Thursday, July 13. The winner will be chosen by a panel of elected officials and other dignitaries, and will best exemplify the spirit of the King County Fair. The Royal Critter will be invited, along with his or her owner, to visit the King County Fair as a special guest of the King County Park System.

   Cowboys, cowgirls, and all the country fixin's will return to the King County Fair in 2000. Following a successful revisit to its historic country roots of the 1800s last year, the King County Fair will stay with that popular country/western theme again this year.

   The King County Fair has a long country tradition dating back to 1863 when it was founded--it is the oldest county fair west of the Mississippi. The King County Fair is known for its old-fashioned fair atmosphere and traditional fair entertainment, such as agricultural displays and big-time rodeo.

   Also returning to this year's Fair will be the well-loved logger's competition and the old-style, western-themed melodrama that debuted last year. The melodrama is performed twice daily by actors dressed in 19th Century period costumes at different locations throughout the Fairgrounds, building mystery and suspense with each episode. This year, the melodrama is called The Lone Stranger.

   Applications for the Critter Crowning Contest are available at King County Park System facilities everywhere. For more information or to receive an application by mail, please call the King County Fairgrounds at 206-296-8888 or 360-825-7777, or send e-mail to tomp.long@metrokc.gov.