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Washington State Fair (Puyallup Fair) Information for 2019

Washington State (Puyallup) Fair - Official Fair website
August 30-September 22, 2019 except Tuesdays and 9/4; PNNA booth in Hobby Hall.

Message (Feb.-Mar. 2019) by PNNA Fair Chairman Rick Schulz:

A schedule has been posted with directions on how to sign up for a shift at the Fair.

The 2019 Fair is "Just Around the Corner." Spring is here and summer is "just around the corner" and it is time to start thinking about the Washington State Fair. In particular, it is time to start thinking about the Pacific Northwest Numismatic Association's (PNNA) display in the Hobby Hall of the Washington State Fair. As many of our readers know the PNNA hosts a numismatic display at the Fair every year. It has become a very popular attraction over the years which many visitors have made it a must-see during their trip to the Fair. As a coordinator for the display, it makes me very proud when I see all the work we do so appreciated.

Why do we do it? Our presence at the Fair gives us a chance to expose the fairgoing public to the hobby that we all love. Visitors get to see coins that are sometimes familiar and sometimes not so much. Coins, currency, tokens and medals from around the world and from times past are there for them to see. Our display often generates questions that we are there to answer. We also answer questions from folks with collections they've inherited and don't know what to do with. We help them figure it out. And then there's the kids, who love the games we play and the free stuff we give away and who love to create their own souvenir with our penny press. Thousands of kids visit our display every year. For many it is their first stop at the Fair. It's hard to say how many of these kids have become collectors after visiting us but I'd like to think there have been a few. The fact that they come back year after year to look at our display and play the games makes me believe that if they haven't been bitten by the collecting bug yet, they may just pick it up when they're older. All we can do is show what we have to offer.

The Fair now runs for more than four weeks which includes four weekends. This year opening day is Friday, August 30 and it continues through Sunday, September 22. Every day the Fair is open the Hobby Hall is open during which we are required to staff our display. To fill all this time we ask for volunteers to staff our display and interact with our visitors. As in past years our volunteers are asked to cover shifts of four hours. Many who have volunteered in the past report that they had a wonderfully fun time and jump at the opportunity to sign up again for one or two or even more shifts. For giving us a few hours of their time our volunteers receive passes for the fair so when they are not at the display they can "do the Fair."

All PNNA members and members of PNNA member clubs are welcome to volunteer to help us out at the Fair. In the past most volunteers come from along the I-5 corridor, from the Everett WA area to the Salem OR area. This makes sense because the fairgrounds in Puyallup lies between these areas. Working our display for four hours and doing the Fair the rest of the time can be a one-day excursion. I'd like to see some volunteers from other parts of the PNNA area but I understand that, for many, it can be quite a drive. What if volunteering for a four hour shift at the PNNA's Hobby Hall Display were just part of a mini vacation to Western Washington? Doing the Fair is a big deal. The Washington State Fair is one of the biggest in the country and offers a pro rodeo event, big-name entertainment, numerous free stage shows and tons of all the stuff you expect from a state fair. Go to the Fair web site, www.thefair.com - see the entertainment coming this September and all the other attractions the Fair has to offer.

There are loads of things to do in the Puget Sound area besides the Fair. You could spend a day or three, do the Fair and still have time to get reacquainted with the region. You would also get to meet some fellow collectors who you'd be at the display with you.

For the past couple years we've been asking local clubs to volunteer to take over the display for a whole day, thus making it their club's day at the Fair, complete with their own banner, handouts and giveaways. This gives them an opportunity to plug their club and, hopefully, bring in a few new members. We've had a number of local clubs take advantage of the offer, and look forward to doing it again this year.

Speaking of handouts and giveaways, we do it big at the Hobby Hall display. Every year we give away more than 10,000 pennies to kids of all ages. We invite kids, again of all ages, to search through our trays of loose pennies looking for their birth year. When it is found we place it in a 2x2 holder identifying it as coming from the Fair and the PNNA. We also supply copper cents to roll in our penny press for all "kids." Each year we have a new, dated, fair-themed elongated design to hand out. We also give away world coins and currency, as well as tokens and medals when we have them.

So you see, the Fair is a big deal for the PNNA and we look forward to it every year. It gives us a chance to support and encourage coin collecting in our region and to let people know that we are out there for them to answer their questions and support their interest in collecting.

A schedule has been posted with directions on how to sign up for a shift at the Fair. Whenever there are new volunteers added to the schedule it will be updated. Also, I will be visiting local coin club meetings in the Puget Sound area in search of volunteers. If you've volunteered for shifts at the Hobby Hall display in the past you already know how much fun it is. If you haven't signed up yet, you don't know what you're missing!

For more information about our Hobby Hall display you can contact me, Rick Schulz, at richardf53@yahoo.com, or call me at 253-535-0690.

See you at the Fair.

Washington State Fair (Puyallup Fair) Information for 2018


3rd Q 2018 Washington State Fair edition of The Nor'wester.
Paper copies were available at the Fair Hobby Hall.

It's Over - We'll see you again next year!
Still have a question? - email info@pnna.org.
Washington State (Puyallup) Fair - Official Fair website
August 31-September 23, 2018 except Tuesdays and 9/5; PNNA booth in Hobby Hall.

Welcome to Puyallup message by PNNA Fair Chairman Rick Schulz:

Welcome to the 2018 edition of the Washington State Fair. This year the third quarter Nor’wester is dedicated to the Fair. Why, you ask? The story starts over 25 years ago when the Pacific Northwest Numismatic Association first started setting up a coin collecting display in the Hobby Hall of the Puyallup Fair. Years passed and eventually the Puyallup Fair was renamed the Washington State Fair. Over the years the PNNA’s presence in the Hobby Hall also grew. Last year’s display saw more visitors and gave away more souvenir coins, medals, etc., than ever before. The Fair has become one of the biggest events of the year for the PNNA.

For years we’ve been engaging kids with birthdate penny search games and giveaways of world coins and currency. The hope has always been that young boys and girls might be attracted to the hobby of coin collecting. The past few years we’ve expanded the definition of “kids” to include kids of all ages. Moms and dads and grandmas and grandpas all can search for their birthdate. We keep some of the older dates behind the table for some of the older kids. We try to have everyone’s penny. The first day of the Fair last year a 100-year-old kid visited our display and was presented with a 1917 penny in a specially stamped holder. There is no hard evidence that shows how many new coin collectors we’ve made, but over the years new faces have shown up at local coin club meetings that first heard about them at the Fair.

Our visitors have become generational in another way. Young parents bring their kids to our display because they remember us from when they were kids. We don’t know for sure but it’s possible we’ve seen at least three generations of kids searching through our penny trays.

The kids are wonderful and we have a great time interacting with them, but there is another function served by our display. We answer questions. It seems everyone knows something about coins and currency and collecting and they’ll ask related questions. We’re there to answer our visitor’s questions and occasionally correct misinformation. Our most frequent question though often goes something like this, “I just inherited a coin collection and I don’t know what to do with it.” People are afraid to take their newly acquired collection to a coin shop for fear they will be taken advantage of by unscrupulous dealers. It doesn’t matter if this fear is well founded or not, it’s there. Our volunteers will try to steer these folks in the right direction, offering various options they can pursue. This, quite possibly, is our most important function at the Fair.

Editor’s note: If you have coins to sell (perhaps from an estate), the PNNA recommends that you carefully consider your options and gather information before selling. Attending a coin club meeting or a coin show may help you learn what some of your coins are worth before selling. A list of local coin shows and coin clubs is available on this website.

We would never be able to do what we do at the Fair without the dedication of our volunteers. The faces behind the table at our Hobby Hall display are all volunteers and many cover several shifts during the run of the Fair. We have volunteers and benefactors behind the scenes as well. Volunteers help set up and tear down the display and much of the material in the display has been loaned or donated by local dealers and collectors. To all the people who have given their time, energy, smiles and donations to our effort, thank you. As I said earlier, we wouldn’t have a display without you.

Does any of this sound like something you’d like to be part of? There are shifts available, even after the Fair starts. If you are a PNNA member or a member of a local coin club or are thinking about joining one of the above, why not join the fun? You can contact me by email at outreach@pnna.org and I’ll send you a list of open shifts. Keep us in mind for next year too. You can find more information about PNNA events on our website, pnna.org. For volunteering, you’ll get free passes to the Fair, so on the day of your shift you can “Do the Puyallup” when you’re not behind our table in the Hobby Hall. Come join us and have a lot of fun.

If you are reading this before you go to the Fair, be sure to come see our display in the Hobby Hall. If you’ve already been to the Fair this year come see us again. And I hope everyone has a great time at the Fair.

Additional Fair Information

  • Thanks to all the local coin clubs assisting with the Fair Hobby Hall booth. These include the Tacoma-Lakewood Coin Club, the South Hill Coin Club (based in Puyallup), the Olympia Coin Club and the Boeing Employee’s Coin Club.
  • In addition to the birthdate “pennies” and other giveaways, there will be souvenir elongated coins, and you can make your own with the PNNA’s “penny press.”
  • Want to take in a concert while you're at the Fair? Check this link for concert info: http://www.thefair.com/concerts.

If you'd like more information about the Fair, the PNNA Hobby Hall display or you're interested in volunteering, call PNNA Fair coordinator Rick Schulz at 253-535-0690 or email him at outreach@pnna.org. Thanks.

Washington State Fair (Puyallup Fair) 2014-2017

Beginning in 2016, the Fair includes four weekends, but is closed on Tuesdays and on the first Wednesday. Official Fair website.

The 2018 Fair ran from August 31-September 23, 2018.
A report was printed in the 4th Q 2018 edition of The Nor'wester.

The 2017 Fair ran from September 1-24, 2017.
A report was printed in the 4th Q 2017 edition of The Nor'wester.

The 2016 Fair ran from September 2-25, 2016.
A report was printed in the 4th Q 2016 edition of The Nor'wester.

The 2015 Fair ran from September 11-27, 2015.
A report was printed in the 4th Q 2015 edition of The Nor'wester.

The 2014 Fair ran from September 5-21, 2014.
A report was printed in the 4th Q 2014 edition of The Nor'wester.