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 Thurston County Fair
 3054 Carpenter Road
 Lacey, WA 98503 Follow the Thurston County Fair on Facebook

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The Thurston County Fair and the World

A lot has changed in our world in the past 130 years.  While most of us were probably paying attention to wars, elections, inventions, and sports, the Thurston County Fair was changing right along with the rest of the world.  Check out these historical events and see what was happening that year at the Fair.

Year(s) World Event Thurston County Fair
1871-1881 Suffrage and Temperance Movement big news. Fairgrounds built at location where the Tumwater's Safeway now sits.
1876 Alexander Graham Bell invents the telephone. The Fair's first Premium Book is printed in the local newspaper.
1885 Pasteur develops rabies vaccine. No Fair is held.
1893 Henry Ford built the first car. No Fair is held.
1898 Spanish American War No Fair is held.
1901 President McKinley was assassinated. Fair Board continues to meet but no Fair is held.
1912 Titanic sinks in the Atlantic Ocean on the way to New York from England. 4-H formed in Washington.
1911-1921 World War I the big news. A County Fair is held in 1913 at the site of today's Lacey Post Office.
1926 Rudolph Valentino, a popular silent screen movie star, died. First official County Fair held in 13 years.  The elementary school in Tenino is the Fairgrounds until 1930
1927 Lindbergh flies solo across the Atlantic Ocean. Fair is held in Tenino.  The closing ceremony is a wedding, and the couple is given a $125 check from the county commisioner.
1937 World War II begins. Harvest Festival replaces the Fair.  It is held at American Legion Hall, and various granges and schools in the Thurston County Fair.
1941 Pearl Harbor bombed;  United States enters WWII. Lacey School is the site for the Harvest Festival this year, on August 26th and 27th.
1948 Berlin Blockade begins. Fair is difficult to hold during the war, but 4-H continues to compete at 4-H camp.
1953 Josef Stalin dies. There was no admission fee to the Fair, and approximately 7,000 people attended.
1956 Elvis tops the charts with Love Me Tender, Hound Dog, and Heartbreak Hotel. The Fair was held at the South Bay Grange with 350 4-H exhibitors.
1963 President Kennedy assassinated in Dallas, TX. The concrete restroom building opened on the Fairgrounds.
1968 Martin Luther King, Jr. assassinated. Pony cart in Lakefair parade with Viola Woods riding and Albert McMongile driving to publicize the Fair.
1969 Apollo 11 lands on the moon. Dairy Barn built, which is now the Benoschek Building.
1972 Summer Olympics in Munich - 11 Israeli athletes killed Carnival consisted of 5 rides, 3 kiddie rides, and 8 concessions.
1976 North and South Vietnam reunited. The play 1776 was performed twice during the Fair.
1979 60 US hostages taken in the US Embassy in Iran. A Park and Ride program from the South Sound Center to the Fair was established through IT.
1988 Pan Am Flight 103 explodes over Lockerbie, Scotland. The Apple Pie contest was introduced this year at the Fair.
1989 Tiananmen Square massacre; Berlin Wall comes down in Germany. The Berry Pie contest debuted.
1992 The Internet is chartered and 1,000,000 computers sign on. The Horticulture Building is built.
1999 Michael Jordan retires from NBA basketball. Built new grandstands for the Horse Arena.  The Kingsmen and Merilee Rush were headlining the entertainment.
2000 Charles Schultz, write of the "Peanuts" comic strip, died.  Lance Armstrong won his 2nd Tour de France. The Fair was, at long last, hooked up to a sewer system.  The Antique Division was added to the premium book after a lapse of several years.
2001 The Nisqually Earthquake shook the Puget Sound area on Ash Wednesday.  September 11th, terrorists attack New York and Washington D.C. Extensive landscaping and additional camping spaces were completed before Fair Week.  The 1st Fair Week shuttle service was started to encourage off-site parking.  It ran from Woodland Elementary to the Fair grounds.  Several Native American Tribes made their debut at the Fair.
2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah. The grand opening of the Thurston Expo Center.  Fly Tying Division was added in Hobbies and Crafts.  120 animals were in the Market Animal Sale.
2003 Katherine Hepburn, Gregory Peck, MR. Rogers, Bob Hope, and Johnny Cash died.  The war in Iraq starts. Pocket Pets was a new category in the 4-H building.  There was an exhibit of exotic frogs and toads in the Hobbies and Crafts Division.  A homemade dog biscuit contest was held.