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Countdown to the San Juan County Fair: It's OPENING DAY


Today is the day. San Juan County's first real fair since 2019 opens at 11 a.m. for four days of fun, food, fashion, and fundraisers. Enjoy. 



San Juan County Fair kicks off tomorrow, Wednesday, August 17. This countdown has highlighted many aspects of the fair, but there is so much more. The food court has a diverse assortment of delicious offerings. San Juan Transit is offering free rides from the ferry landing to the fair. The shuttle is timed with every interisland boat and helps make the event accessible to walk-ons.

Most importantly, REMEMBER to take your entries to the fairground between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. today, Tuesday, August 16. 


Weaving demonstration at 2017 fair.

There is so much to do at this year's fair in addition to the items covered so far in this Ten Day Countdown. Here's a list to give you an idea. Details can be found on the Fair's website. Some of the events occur on multiple days including Minecraft, Bingo, Zuke 500, Yoga, Matt Henry's Comedy Juggling Stunt Show, High Noon games, Matt Henry's Big Bubble Show, etc. 

Warping a Loom | Flow Collective (Yoga) | Matt Henry: Big Bubble Show | Crafts: Duck Box | Minecraft @ 2022 Fair | SALMON: Jess Newley & Katherine Dietzman  | Matt Henry: Comedy Juggling Stunt Show  | High Noon Games  | WHALES OF THE SALISH SEA with Tracie Merrill | Fleece Judging | Workshop: Make Sauerkraut | 4-H Peforming Arts | Crafts: Affirmation Rock Painting | WILD NEIGHBORS with Shona Aitkin | Spinning Demonstration | Z-500 Races | BINGO | Natural Dyeing Demonstration | Group Art Water-Balloon Mural | HISTORY OF PATOS LIGHT STATION with Catch Patton | ALL ABOUT OWLS with Shona Aitkin | TALKING TRASH : PANEL DISCUSSION  |  YOUTH ACTIVITY NIGHT  |  WHALE BEAD ACTIVITY with Brie Chartier | GOT WORMS - VERMICOMPOSTING AND ITS BENEFITS with Daniel LoBue |  FairPaper Craft Bowl Making | CAMAS! with Margo Thorp  | Paper Butterfly  | Potholder Making | COAST SALISH CLAM BASKETS with Sam Barr | Paper Marbling |  Island Rec 8.8k Loop Run | Sheep Shearing Demonstration | OLD MILITARY ROAD TRAIL - A NEW TRAIL TO CONNECT AMERICAN AND ENGLISH CAMPS with Dave Zeretske | BIOCHAR WORKSHOP with Kai-Hoffman | Trashion Fashion | 


The admission fee for the San Juan County Fair has increased to $30 for a four-day pass for adults and $20 for kids. There is a way to reduce the cost.

Youth ages 6-17 get FREE admission if they are exhibitors. In other words, enter something - cooking, art, flowers, fruit, vegetables, scarecrow, Zucchini Racer,  etc. (See the Premium Book for complete list and entry rules)  and you get a free pass for all four days of the fair. A generous anonymous donor has made this possible. 

Adult exhibitors get a discount on the four-day pass. It costs $20.

Exhibitor Passes will be sold at the Main Ticket Gate through Friday. An exhibitor tag stub must be shown to purchase an exhibitor ticket. Horse participants, bring registration receipt.

The Fair is open from 11 a.m. to 12 midnight Wednesday to Saturday. Specifically Exhibits & Entertainment are open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The carnival opens at 12 noon daily and closes by 12 midnight or before.

Admission tickets can be purchased at the Main Gate, School Gate, or online.


Adult: $30

Active Military: $20

Senior (65 and over): $20

Youth (ages 6-17): $20

Age 5 & Under: FREE


Adult $15

Active Military: $10

Senior (65 and over): $10

Youth (ages 6-17): $10

Age 5 & Under: FREE


Adult exhibitor $20

Youth exhibitor (ages 6-17): FREE


 Musical entertainment is always a major attraction at the county fair. This year performances will be on the Main Stage and Community Stage and showcases the best of the islands and world class talent. Get to know the bands by listening to a few of their hits on this Spotify Playlist:

Headlining Friday night is the Seattle based supergroup True Loves. Fronted by guitar player Jimmy James, the band combines elements of Curtis Mayfield with soul driven funk. Complete with a full brass section, the band is sure to rock some socks. (Pro Tip - don't miss True Love’s trombone player Greg Kramer on Thursday afternoon at The Community Stage.)

As any islander knows, travel during the summer months is anything but reliable. In that spirit, the “County Fair House Band” was born. Composed of professional musicians that call Reno, NV and Big Water, UT home, this crew is soon to be familiar faces. Watch for the County Fair House Band members on sets from Rachael McElhiney, Spencer Kilpatrick, San Gabriel, and The Sand Gators.

Not only was talent garnered from afar, but many island locals are included in the four-day lineup. From the newly formed sensation “MUDBATH!” to old and new favorites like Trashion Fashion, Shadow Basket, and the San Juan Island All Star Band, the local line-up has it all. Make a point not to miss Saturday afternoon on the Community Stage with Island honkytonks Jesus Chords.


SUMx3   3:45 to  4:30 pm

San Juan Island Allstar Band  5 to 5:45 p.m. 

County Fair House Band 6:15 to 7:15 pm 

DJ SET - San Gabriel 6:15 to 7:15 pm  

Kate Dinsmore  7:45 to 8:30 pm

Whalien 9 to 10 pm


Jeshua Marshall  2 to 2:30 pm

Greg Kramer  5:15 to 6 pm 

DJ SET - San Gabriel 6:15 to 7:15 pm  

Rachael McElhiney 7:30 to 8:15 pm

Forest Ray 8:45 to 10 pm


Music By Paul 2 to 3 pm 

Spencer Kilpatrick 6 to 7 pm

Low Hums 7:30 to 8:15 pm

True Loves  8:45 to 10:15 pm 


Tears For Beers 1 to 1:30 pm 

Mudbath 1:45 to 2:30 pm

La Fonda 4 to 4:45 pm

Chris King & The Gutterballs  7:15 to 8pm

BOLERO  8:30 to 10 PM


Something new this year: This year’s theme is a bingo reference - “Two Little Ducks; Quack, Quack!” – which refers to when B-22 is called during a bingo game. In honor of the theme, nightly bingo games will be held every evening at the Community Stage. It’s free to play and exciting prizes await.


2017 Fair competition. Photos by Matt Pranger

4-H members have a packed schedule for the fair. Pigs, goats, cows, rabbits, and more are on display in the barns. There is a demonstration contest in the Ag tent. Cat show, dog show, beef, swine, and goat show are just some of the events on the schedule. The Horse Games at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday in the Main Arena are a crowd favorite. Check out this slideshow of the 2019 Horse Games.

2017 Livestock Auction Photos by Matt Pranger

The 4-H activities culminate with a livestock auction at 1 p.m. Saturday.  4H SCHEDULE


Have you found your perfect zucchini yet? Islanders of all ages bring their zucchini racers to the race track (in the Skate Park) every day for the popular races. Half the fun is seeing what the zuke racers look like. Islanders don't lack in imagination.

There are two categories -

1. Custom: any zucchini component allowed

2. Stock: ­ a zucchini must be used as the body of the racer.

The most important rule to remember is if your racer doesn’t fit on the track, you will not be able to race. The track is 12 inches wide. 

Races begin every day at 5 p.m. Participants must register by 3 p.m. 

Details about the Zuke 500 are posted on the fair's website. Check out this slideshow of the 2017 races

Stock category racers. 

 Custom category racers 

Custom category racers

Stock category racers


Trashion Fashion is one of the crowd's favorites. Entrants create outfits trash/recycled items and model them during a fashion show  at 5:15 p.m. Saturday August 20 in the Main Stage Area. Mandatory rehearsal (not in costume) on Monday, August 15 by the Main Stage area, yes that’s before the Fair starts. Check out this slideshow of the 2017 Trashion Fashion show

Trashion Fashion 2019 San Juan County Fair

Applicants are invited to create wearable artwork/fashion using recycled, repurposed, reused and/or found materials. Pieces must be durable enough for wearing in the show. Vintage or used clothing will not be accepted unless it has been significantly repurposed and redesigned into something substantially “new.” Use duct tape and newspaper sparingly in your design.

Consider following the theme “Two Little Ducks; Quack Quack”  More details on page 44 of the Premium Book.


Nine days until Opening Day of the four-day San Juan County Fair. The popular Scarecrow Contest is Back. Entries will be judged in these categories: Most Creative | Recycled | Traditional | Best use of theme “Two Little Ducks; Quack Quack”

Be sure to visit the Scarecrow garden by the gazebo and vote for your favorite in the following categories (voting is on the ballots on the kiosks with the “Best Of” awards)

Scarecrows in the 2017 San Juan County Fair.


Check-In at Fair Office located just inside the Main Gate, Scarecrow locations will be assigned upon arrival. All scarecrows must be entered on the Fair’s general entry day Tuesday, August 16 (the day before the fair) between the hours of 9 am and 6 pm. Scarecrows may be picked up on the Fair’s official pick-up day, Sunday August 18 from 9 am until 12 noon.

All scarecrows entries must be the following:

-Free-standing/Anchored*. Weather hearty (Consider rain and wind—all scarecrows will be displayed outside)

-All scarecrows must be suitable for viewing by all members of the community.

-Only entries created in the current Fair year will be accepted

-Cannot exceed width of 4ft.

-One entry per household.

-Animatronic/electric parts not permitted.

-Any limbs, accessories, etc. must be securely fastened.

*Exhibitors are required to provide own anchor such as stakes, rods, pins, etc.


It's 10 days until Opening Day of the 2022 San Juan County Fair. Do you have your entry ready? Check out the online Premium Book or use the direct links to each Open Class Department on the Fair's website. 

Entry Day is 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, August 16.

Pick Up Exhibits from 9 a.m. to 12 noon Sunday, August 21

Last modified onWednesday, 17 August 2022 00:49

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