Lakefair is Here!

by Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty, Inc. on July 11, 2011

On Wednesday, July 13th, our annual Capital Lakefair festival begins.  This five-day community focused event is anticipated by all.  From the crowning of the Lakefair Queen, food booths, carnival, arts and crafts, Battle of the Bands to the Grand Parade and fireworks there is something for everyone to enjoy.  Thousands come to Heritage Park to taste the food, hear music, play carnival games and enjoy the rides.  During the week there are a number of activities including fun runs, kids day activities and boat races.  As we prepare to enjoy this annual event, we thought it would be fun to share some history of the festival.  More information and a schedule of events for this years’ festival can be found at

In 1957, to beat the heat and summer boredom, several civic minded Olympians sponsored a small carnival on the shores of Capitol Lake, on West 5th.  Heritage Park did not yet exist.  Local non-profit service clubs ran food concession booths set up on the south end of Water Street beyond the industrial firms.  Events during the carnival included a diving show, a hydroplane race and fireworks display at Steven’s Field.  State Baton Twirling contests were held during the day and teen dances at night and Square Dancers came from all over the Northwest to perform.

This was the start of an annual event.  The budget at the beginning was less than $500.  In 1959 a parade was added and the budget had grown to $1,400.

In 1961 Lakefair had its first float which traveled around the state representing the community and taking honors at the Seattle Seafair Parade.  There were 110 units entered in our “Grand Twilight Parade.”

The state’s Diamond Jubilee was celebrated in 1964 and Lakefair Buttons recognized this state event.  Over 75,000 viewed the Grand Twilight Parade.  During the late 60s and early 70s the main attractions were water oriented events.  They included water skiing, sailboat races, swimming competitions, log rolling and water polo.

In 1966 Lakefair had a world champion diver who climaxed his act by diving off the top of an 80 foot crane into eight feet of water.  Senator Henry M. “Scoop” Jackson was the Parade Marshall in 1970.  The Canadian Naval Training Vessels made annual visits during the 1980s.

An Arts & Crafts Show was added in 1986. In 1987 Lakefair added a Car Show.  In 1988 “Kid’s Day” was started at Sylvester Park and was an instant success for the youngsters of our area.

Beyond all the fanfare and crowning of a Queen, Lakefair stands out in our communities as a premiere festival.  Many local charitable organizations use the Lakefair food concessions as their main fund raising event of the year and thousands come to support them.

Today, Capital Lakefair’s budget is approximately $250,000 and it takes all year to plan, prepare and raise money for one of the area’s favorite festivals.  Many tourists come back year after year to enjoy Lakefair.

So, as you plan your activities for the week we recommend Lakefair and all it has to offer.  Have fun!

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