Joyce McDonald
WA State Fair

September 2015

September is here, our children are heading back to school and the Washington State Fair will be in full swing soon. My family and I have enjoyed the fair for over 20 years now so when I was asked to participate in PCTV's Washington State Fair segment I did not hesitate! It brings family fun, builds the economy and puts Puyallup on the map as a destination city. Check out my website to see the interview in its entirety.

Farm Tour

Summer is a busy time of year for our local farmers in Pierce County as well. I recently had the pleasure of visiting Haugen Dairy Farm, Knutson Farms, DeGoede Brothers Plant Nursery, and Blossoms and Bees Beekeepers to learn more about the farmers’ hard work. I enjoyed visiting the cows, sampling fresh rhubarb and getting up close to the bees! It was fascinating to see all the fresh products grown in our own backyard.

In this issue you will also find a free offer from Puget Sound Energy, and information on Dash Point's Fun Run, the Mt. Rainier concert series held at Ashford Park, and many more free, family events. Enjoy!

Please remember, if there is anything in Pierce County government that I can assist you with or if you would like to share your concerns and ideas, my staff and I look forward to hearing from you.

Warm Regards,

Big Washington

The Washington State Fair

Get ready to PARTY BIG at the Washington State Fair in Puyallup, September 11 - 27. For 17 glorious days enjoy delicious food, wild rides, dazzling entertainment and fun for the whole family. It's the biggest party in the state and you don't want to miss out!

Military Appreciation Days

Gate admission is FREE to all active, reserve, and retired military and National Guard and their dependents, plus disabled veterans, when each shows valid military ID at any fair gate on Monday, September 14, and Monday, September 21, 2015. More Washington State Fair deals and discounts can be found at

Rising Star

Catch a Rising Star Talent Competition

Singers, dancers and musicians, this is your time to shine! Don’t miss your chance to perform at the 2015 Washington State Fair and be a star. Solos, duos, trios, and groups ages five through adult can enter for a chance to win $1,000 in prizes in this fantastic competition!

Professional judges will choose from two semi-final competitions held at the Showplace Stage on Thursday, September 24, and Friday, September 25, at 7:00 p.m. Finalists will compete on the Showplace Stage on Saturday, September 26, at 7:00 p.m.

Age categories are 5-11, 12-17, and 18-up. A first-place cash prize is offered for each age category!


  • 1st Prize, Age 18 and up - $350
  • 1st Prize, Age 12-17 - $325
  • 1st Prize, Age 5-11 - $325

Download the registration form here!


Washington State Fair guests are invited to come watch the live competition and cheer on their favorite acts! You'll be amazed by the talent people possess in the state of Washington.  Shows are free with fair admission. For more info visit

Free fridge or clothes washer from Puget Sound Energy

For a limited time, you can replace an old, inefficient appliance with a money-saving, ENERGY STAR®-qualified refrigerator and/or clothes washer. From the pickup of your old unit to the delivery of your new one, it won't cost you a penny.

Click here to see if you qualify for this Puget Sound Energy offer, or visit Puget Sound Energy's website for more rebates and offers.

Dash Point State Park

Dash Point State Park is situated on Puget Sound in Western Washington and is a popular destination for water recreation. This 398-acre camping park features 3,301-feet of saltwater shoreline. The beach provides unobstructed views of the Puget Sound and opportunities for sea-life study. The sandy beach at the park is a relaxing beach getaway near the cities of Seattle, Tacoma, and Federal Way.

Dash Point State Park is located at 5700 S.W. Dash Point Road, Federal Way, WA 98023. Campsite and group accommodations can be made at 888-226-7688. Summertime hours are 8 a.m. until dusk.

Dash Point Run

Dash Point State Park 10K and Half-Marathon

September 5, 2015 in Federal Way, Washington
Online pre-registration is open until September 3 at 11:59.
Dash Point State Park provides lots of opportunities to observe wildlife such as coyotes, foxes, ducks, eagles, and of course, plenty of marine animals. The upper trails of the park have beautiful views of Maury and Vashon Islands, the Olympic Mountains, and spectacular sunsets.

The Start/Finish area has many stations for picnic and BBQ, and it is right by a nice long stretch of sandy beach. This is a great location to bring out the whole family for a fun day by the water. The trails at this park are non-technical, cushy and well maintained, and it is an excellent place to use your minimalist shoes if you so desire. We took some photos of the beach, the picnic area and the trails a few years ago and you can find the shots here.

We offer 10K and Half-Marathon (13.1 miles) distances. There will be plenty of aid stations and the courses are well marked with signs at intersections. As always, there will be a good selection of grub at the Finish to fuel you up. For more information click here.

Lahar siren

Lahar siren test September 7

The Lahar warning siren in Puyallup Valley will be tested at noon on September 7.

Pierce County Emergency Management will test the siren equipment and monitor sound coverage throughout the Puyallup River Valley. At 12 p.m. the warning sirens will be heard for up to two minutes.

For more information, contact Tulika Makharia at

Ashford Park

Mount Rainier Concert Series at Ashford Park

Come to Ashford for the Mount Rainier Concert Series at the Ashford Amphitheater on Saturday, September 12, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., at the beautiful new Ashford County Park, located at the base of Mount Rainier in Ashford.

This family-friendly concert venue is a natural grassy amphitheater with plenty of room for your lawn chairs, blankets, and dancing!

Farmers markets and garden festivals

Orting market
The Orting Valley Farmers Market is located right on the popular Foothills Trail (and Hwy 162) and offers an outstanding view of nearby Mount Rainier. The market features:
  • Local produce and fruit (farm products)
  • Plants, flowers, and garden starts
  • Live farm animals
  • Local foods, snacks and hot, ready-to-eat items
  • Locally handcrafted artisan products
  • Entertainment, educational sessions and more!
The  Orting Valley Farmers Market is a great place to kick off your weekend. Stop in, shop, meet up with friends, have a picnic in the park, and enjoy some free entertainment and demonstrations. EBT/debit/credit accepted! Proudly sponsored by the City of Orting and Pierce County! The Orting Valley Farmers Market is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

To become a sponsor or make a tax deductible donation, please contact us at or call (360) 893-4359.
Puyallup Market

A whole new approach to the traditional farmers market, the Sunset Market will bring together your favorite LOCAL farmers, growers, processors, artisans, downtown merchants and food vendors accompanied by live entertainment, demonstrations and more each Thursday evenings from 4:00 to 8:30.

Pt Defiance Festival

The Point Defiance Fall Garden Festival will be Sunday, Sept. 20, 2015, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission is free and will take place at the Point Defiance Pagoda, 5400 N. Pearl St, Tacoma.

Please join us as we share local, sustainable and earth friendly gardening and creative ways to grow! The event is free to the public and will offer educational's from understanding pesticides to how to prepare your soil to learning innovative garden designs and beyond. It's garden discoveries and learning for all ages. The Garden Marketplace will feature plants, garden art, tools, bulbs, and all the goods to make your garden grow. Grab a quick snack at the foot truck court, and learn more about the restoration of the Japanese Gardens at Point Defiance Park.

Play to learn

Play to Learn in the Community

Play to Learn is a FREE collaborative program for children ages six and under and the adults who care for them. Thematic curriculum invites individual play, engaging activities, songs and a whole group circle time for children and adults to enjoy together!  Play to Learn is a FREE drop-in program facilitated by Children's Museum of Tacoma.

Play to Learn takes place Tuesday's from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., September 22 through December 8 in the Library's meeting rooms. For more information on Play to Learn at the Puyallup Public Library, click here or contact (253) 841-5454 or


September 26 is Free Parks Day, where entry to all national parks - Mount Rainier and Olympic National Park included - is free! Go early to avoid lines and find parking.

September 26 is also Free Museum Day, where entry to one of 30 museums across Washington State is free with a ticket that can be found here.

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