It's almost time to “do the Puyallup.” The Washington State Fair kicks off its 114th year on Sept. 5 and continues through Sept. 21 at the Washington State Fair Events Center, located at 110 Ninth Ave. SW, in Puyallup. That's two and a half weeks of live entertainment, pulse-pounding rides and, of course, mouth watering scones and Krusty Pups.
There are loads of new features and attractions this year including Chambers Bay's U.S. Open Exhibit, which will preview the 115-year-old events first stop in the Northwest next year; the Classic Coaster Park, an ideal place for parents to relax while their kids are running around the midway; and the Vision Dome, which offers 360 degree views of some of man's biggest achievements, from the pyramids at Giza to the Apollo 11 moon landing.
And, as usual, the Fair is also the last hurrah for summer concert season. Local acts will rotate through the Mountain Mist stage, the likes of Sweet Kiss Momma, the Olsen Brothers and Redhead Express this year; and the 11,000-seat grandstand will again draw some of the biggest names in pop music and comedy. Here's who's on tap.
Washington State Fair Rodeo (1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Sept. 5 and 6, 1 p.m. Sept. 7): The annual Washington State Fair Rodeo Parade and Cattle Drive precedes all the barrel racing, bronc-bucking playoff action action, with steer and revelers heading down Puyallup’s Meridian Street at 10 a.m. Admission is $5 to $35 for rodeo matinee rounds. The late shows include concerts by ...
Clay Walker (9 p.m. Sept. 5, $40): The “What’s It to You” singer will headline the first of two “Dancin’ in the Dirt” parties following the rodeo playoffs. Expect it to be standing room only on the turf, and maybe don’t wear your shiniest boots for this one.
Colt Ford (9 p.m. Sept. 6, $30): The biggest “hick-hop” star since Cowboy Troy hit pay dirt in 2012, breaking through with his first country-charts-topping CD, “Declaration of Independence.” He’ll also showcase newer cuts from last month’s “Thanks for Listening” disc – including lead singles “The High Life” and “Workin’ On” – in the second “Dancin’ in the Dirt” show.
Jennifer Nettles (8 p.m. Sept. 8, $30 to $75): Local Sugarland fans flocked to Joint Base Lewis-McChord on Fourth of July to see Kristian Bush, the duo’s less vocal half, preview material from his forthcoming solo album. Now it’s his perky band mate’s turn to showcase her own solo joint, “That Girl,” which topped Billboard’s album chart in January. Brandy Clark will warm the crowd up, and maybe share the stage for their duet, “His Hands.”
Chicago and REO Speedwagon (5 p.m. Sept. 9, $40 to $80): From Chicago’s prog roots through its power-ballad-fueled run in the ‘80s, the “rock and roll band with horns” is among the most prolific acts of the rock era. The band has teamed up with fellow Reagan Era hit makers, REO Speedwagon, for a show that’s sure to stir up prom memories in all the Baby Boomers in the house. A little “Take It on the Run,” anyone?
Tickets for the 5 p.m. pre-show dinner party are $55.
Cody Simpson, MKTO and Coco Jones (5:30 p.m. Sept. 10, $20 to $45): Some of the previous night’s revelers will be taking their kids (or grandkids) to this teen-oriented pop showcase. Expect Simpson to wax up his “Surfboard,” MKTO to dust off a “Classic” and Jones to “Holla at the DJ.” It’s the monster hits of Radio Disney and Nickelodeon, y’all!
Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone (7:30 p.m. Sept. 11, $20 to $50): Part of the British Invasion, Herman’s Hermits scored with “Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter,” “I’m Henry the Eighth, I am” and other hits in the ‘60s, en route to selling more than 60 million records worldwide. Original band member Noone leads this incarnation of the band, not to be confused with former band mate Barry Whitwam’s version. The Grass Roots and The Buckinghams round out this nostalgic, power-pop bill.
Fall Out Boy (7:30 p.m. Sept. 12, $45 to $55): This emo-pop quartet – led by bassist Pete Wentz and singer-guitarist Patrick Stump – was among the hottest commodities in music in the early aughties when they were packing arenas with quirkily titled hits like “A Little Less Sixteen Candles, A Little More Touch Me” and “This Ain’t a Scene, It’s an Arms Race,” and its mounted a pretty solid comeback with its new, chart-topping album, “Save Rock and Roll.” Up-and-coming trio New Politics will add support.
Keith Urban (7:30 p.m. Sept. 13, $40 to $100): The Australian country and reality TV star is on the road in support of last year’s “Fuse” album now that he’s between seasons on Fox-TV’s “American Idol.” Tickets to the 5 p.m. pre-show dinner are $55.
Teen Hoot (1 p.m. Sept. 14, $20 to $25): The live version of this popular online talent search, created by producer and songwriter David Malloy, will feature performances by Dylan Holland, Alabama Capital, Reed Deming, Alexi Blue, Grant Landis, IM5, with co-hosts Jake Boys and McKenzie Gaston.
Fiestas Patrias (7:30 p.m. Sept. 14, $20 to $27 adults, free for kids 12 and younger): This celebration of Latino culture is usually the most heavily attended concert at the Fair. This year’s show features three titans of Mexican music Vicente Fernandez, Jr., Antonio Aguilar, Jr. and Mariachi Azteca.
Florida Georgia Line (7:30 p.m. Sept. 15, $40 to $90): Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard are among the hottest duos in country, thanks to a string of recent hits that includes “Cruise,” “Stay” and this year’s “Dirt” and “This is How We Roll.” Dallas Smith will open. The pre-show party will start at 5 p.m., with tickets for that set at $30.
Lindsey Stirling (7:30 p.m. Sept. 16, $20 to $35): This “America’s Got Talent” alumnus has become an international sensation by blending classical violin with electronic dance music and slick choreography.
Michael W. Smith and Amy Grant (7:30 p.m. Sept. 17, $30 to $50): Two of the biggest names in contemporary Christian pop team up to deliver their hits. Smith is out in support of his latest effort, “Hymns,” while Grant just dropped the new remixes album, “In Motion.”
Jeff Dunham (7:30 p.m. Sept. 18, $40 to $75): The popular ventriloquist is back with his Disorderly Conduct tour. Expect talking jalapenos, skeletons and whatever Peanut is supposed to be. The pre-show dinner party will start at 5 p.m., with tickets for that set at $55.
The Music of Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd (7:30 p.m. Sept. 19, $20 to $45): The classic rock bands’ most iconic songs will be brought to life by a 30-piece orchestra featuring conductor Brent Haven and vocalist Randy Jackson.
Toby Keith (7:30 p.m. Sept. 20, $40 to $95): The country bad boy will draw from his deep well of hits – party anthems like “Beer for My Horses,” “A Little Less Talk and a Lot More Action” and “How Do You Like Me Now?” Pit tickets are sold out, but you can still pick up grandstand seats and $30 tickets for the Red Cup pre-funk, which kicks off at 5 p.m.
Pentatonix (7:30 p.m. Sept. 21, $30 to $50): The a cappella quintet, best known for winning NBC-TV's “The Sing-Off” in 2011, will be previewing its forthcoming EP, “PTX, vol. 3.”