‘Jammin Jungle’ comes to Jeff Co

Posted 8/7/19

With cougars, deer and the occasional coyote roaming around, Jefferson County is its own kind of jungle.

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‘Jammin Jungle’ comes to Jeff Co

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With cougars, deer and the occasional coyote roaming around, Jefferson County is its own kind of jungle.

But the Jammin’ Jungle is coming to the fairgrounds on August 9, 10 and 11, as the theme for this year’s Jefferson County Fair.

Picking a theme for a fair isn’t totally necessary, said fair board secretary Sue McIntire, but it does make it more fun.

“If you throw a party, do you have a theme?” she said. “I always think of the fair as throwing a party for (thousands)of our closest friends.”

But there is more to picking a theme than meets the eye. The fair board has their theme picked out one year ahead of time, and sometimes have the next five years of themes planned out, McIntire said.

“We look through other themes for other fairs across the country to find themes that might be easy to decorate,” she said. “Whatever strikes our fancy, we’ll put it on the list.”

In 2014, the theme was “Ahoy there!” followed by “Aloha!” in 2015, “All Aboard!” in 2016, followed by the 2017 “Supertastic!” super-hero theme.

Last year’s bug themed fair was titled “Bug up!”

The themes aren’t usually tied to any particular county-related culture, although one year they did do a sailing theme, said fair board treasurer Laurie Hampton. They have also considered doing a Victorian theme, but since Port Townsend already has a Victorian Festival, a Rhododendron Festival, and a Wooden Boat Festival, they like to find themes that are a bit different and fun for kids to participate in.

“For me, being a 4-H leader, I like finding themes that kids are excited about,” Hampton said. “It’s also good to have stuff that different ages and hands can work on to create decorations.”

Most 4-H-ers create their own decorations and the fair board provides the rest, searching all year for fun decor that’s on sale and inexpensive.

“We’ve done a safari theme before, so jungle seemed like a fun thing to do,” Hampton said. “I think it’ll be bright, colorful, fun and we knew we could really run with it.”

This year’s fair will have handmade jungle-themed decorations brightening up the weekend and providing for some fun competitions, such as the cat cage decorating competition, Hampton said.

“They’re going all out with their cages with the jungle theme,” she said. “It’ll be fun to see how it turns out.”

Meanwhile, McIntire and the fair board have a whole host of hands-on events planned for the weekend.

“There will be lots of entertainment,” McIntire said.

Rhododendron Festival will be hosting carnival games, while visitors to the fair can play around in “bumper balls,” which McIntire described as large inflatable balls that you can walk inside (think hamster ball).

Zoologist Don Riggs’ will be visiting and bringing along his “ring of torti,” which is a ring of turtles of all shapes and sizes. There will also be crafts such as succulent plaque making, painting, wood carving demonstrations, and weaving.

And while all these activities are happening, members of the fair board are already planning for the future.

Next year’s theme has been chosen already, McIntire said. To give a hint, it will be out of this world. Meanwhile, once fall rolls around, they’ll be choosing themes for 2021. Hampton already has an idea to pitch.

“I’m not going to tell you what it is, though,” she said.

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