WA State Fair starts with masks required

PUYALLUP, Wash. — On Friday, the Washington State Fair opened in Puyallup. The health department required the fair to impose a mask requirement indoors and outdoors for everyone age 5 and older.

“We were basically told that you have to wear a mask or you can’t open the gates,” said Stacy Van Horne, public relations manager at The Washington State Fair.

While many people wore masks at the fair, enough people were choosing not to mask up that concerned fair goers approached a KIRO7 crew about the lack of enforcement.

Dirk Haughton and his husband went to the fair because they expected people to wear masks, and they were disappointed it wasn’t more strictly enforced.

“They’re doing it like they’re making some grand statement,” described Haughton, “They’re walking around, there’s no attempt, there’s no mask around their necks, there’s no indication they have the intent of doing the right thing,”

The fair says private security will be enforcing the mask rules.

“It was said it was mandatory, so I felt it was safe to come to the fair today, but now that we’re out here, and I’m seeing so many people not wearing masks, I’m wondering, should we have come?” questioned Monica Colby.

Many people had their masks on and were glad to be back at the fair for the first time in two years.

“We missed the fair last year, and the girls were really upset. If we have to wear the masks in order to have fun, it is what it is,” said Melissa Collier. She has two young daughters who aren’t old enough to be vaccinated.

The Berganio family got to the fair early. They had their masks and noticed many people with their masks off as they were eating, which is allowed. They got their fair scones to go.

“We’re happy to wear our masks and follow the guidelines. There were a lot of people eating, so we chose not to eat inside and kept our masks on the whole time,” said Aime Berganio.

The health department did not limit the attendance at the fair. It lasts for 20 days, and Van Horne said there is enough room to space them out. Fair organizers did remove 10% of the rides to help with social distancing. Inside the ShowPlex, the vendors were cut down by 25%, and there were curtains between displays.

“We are so happy to open our gates to people who are ready to join us,” said Van Horne.