Central Washington State Fair opens Friday under mask mandate

YAKIMA, Wash. — After taking a hiatus last year due to the pandemic, the Central Washington State Fair is opening Friday under a statewide mask mandate and with new sanitation protocols.

“We’re going to do everything we can with all these additional protocols to keep our guests as safe as possible,” Central Washington State Fair president and CEO Kathy Kramer said.

Everyone must wear a face mask indoors and outdoors — unless eating or drinking — in compliance with Gov. Jay Inslee’s mask mandate, which requires people to mask indoors at all times and outdoors during gatherings of 500 people or more.

Kramer said masks will be provided at the gate to anyone who doesn’t already have one and staff wearing “mask up” t-shirts will be stationed throughout the fairgrounds to ensure people are complying with the mandate.

“We realize that some of our guests might not agree with this mandate, but it is crucial we adhere to this for us to open our gates to the fair and remain open,” Kramer said.

“People will have to wear a mask and if they refuse to do it, then at some point we will have to ask them to leave,” Kramer said.

Staff members will have extra masks on hand throughout the property in case someone loses theirs while out and about. Kramer said she doesn’t anticipate having issues with people refusing to wear masks.

Kramer said the fair has put additional measures in place to try to prevent community spread, including:

  • Adding more than 30 hand sanitizer stations across the fairgrounds
  • Instituting new protocols for employees requiring them to fill out a COVID-19 questionnaire and get their temperature checked prior to each shift
  • Increasing sanitation protocols: buildings with high-touch points will be fogged with disinfectant every night and carnival rides will be sprayed frequently with an eco-friendly solution.
  • Adding additional eating areas to encourage people to sit down with their food
  • Offering COVID-19 vaccinations at two locations on site

Kramer said they don’t know how many people to expect this year, but attendance has been close to 300,000 people in a 10-day period for the past several years. That excludes last year, when the fair was cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions.

More information about the fair can be found here.

RECENT HEADLINES FROM THE KAPP-KVEW NEWS STAFF:

RELATED: Central Washington State Fair works to address COVID-19 concerns prior to opening Sept. 24