The Times 

2021 Walla Walla Fair & Frontier Days Unveiled


WALLA WALLA—Walla Walla Fair & Frontier Days have officially kicked off their 155th Fair season. At the annual Showcase fundraiser held Saturday, June 5th, 2021, Frontier Days Foundation board members, Walla Walla Fair & Frontier Days board members, and manager Greg Lybeck unveiled the 2021 fair theme. The lineup for 2021 featured concert artists and grounds acts, and the annually recognized Rodeo Legends, Parade Marshal, and Distinguished Sponsor.

The Fair announced its theme for 2021, “Stars & Stripes and Country Nights,” honoring the first responders during the pandemic and recognizing the 20th anniversary of the September 11th attacks.

“This year’s fair theme ‘Stars and Stripes & Country Nights’ has such special meaning after all that our community and our nation have been through this year. It seemed fitting to honor those from 9/11 and all emergency workers who sacrificed so much to get us through COVID. It is now time to celebrate as a community because we have all earned it and have been through so much,” said Greg Lybeck, Fairgrounds General Manager.

As the 2020 Fair was canceled due to COVID-19 closures, last year’s planned Chicago concert has been rolled over to Wednesday, September 1, 2021. Hailed by many as one of the most influential bands in music. The legendary rock and roll band with horns, Chicago, is the first American rock band to chart Top 40 albums in six consecutive decades.

Country musician Lainey Wilson will be performing Thursday, September 2, on the Inland Cellular Many Waters stage. Lainey Wilson has fast become one of Nashville’s most buzzed-about newcomers thanks to a fiery live show and prolific songwriting. Wilson’s current single “Things A Man Oughta’ Know” was highlighted in NPR’s Best Music of 2019.

Additionally, several other musical entertainment acts are scheduled for the free concert nights on the Inland Cellular Many Waters Stage, including The First Annual Walla Walla Fair; Frontier Days Battle of the Bands Championship; Fast Lane, an Eagles Tribute Band; Storm Rider, a Western Washington band paying tribute to Santana and The Doors; and local band Whiskey Creek. More entertainment along with a full lineup of Latino bands for Sunday evening are being scheduled and will be announced soon.

The 2021 Fair will also bring new grounds acts including Hypnotist and Comic Justin James and Sarrafina, the world’s youngest hypnotist (at 9 years old) and DockDogs®, an exciting nationally recognized competitive dog sport.

DockDogs® consists of 3 different sporting disciplines: Big Air – the first sport and the most popular, this is the Long Jump of canine aquatics; Extreme Vertical – introduced in 2005 it is considered the High Jump of canine aquatics; and Speed Retrieve – launched in 2008 this is a timed sport involving the combination of run, jump, swim and retrieve.

In recognition of their hard work and efforts, exhibitors at the Walla Walla Fair & Frontier Days may enter competitive categories and compete for a ribbon and possible premiums. In 2019, exhibitors included almost 6,000 youth exhibitors in 4-H, FFA and Open Class and a total of $48,826.40 was paid in premiums. Washington State Department of Agriculture provides Fairs with funding for premiums based on the previous year’s premiums paid out. Since there was no Walla Walla Fair & Frontier Days in 2020 nor premiums given out, no funds were expected for 2021. However, WSDA provided Walla Walla Fair & Frontier Days and all Washington Fairs with $3,000 to be used toward premiums for exhibitors.

At its annual Showcase fundraiser event this last weekend, funds raised from the Raise Your Paddle portion of the auction were earmarked for premiums for exhibitors. In previous years, the Frontier Days Foundation raised funds for various projects such as a trailer for the historic Stagecoach or the new electronic reader board which will be installed on 9th street in July 2021.

“The Walla Walla County Commissioners, Walla Walla Fair & Frontier Days Board of Directors, and Fair Management are committed to ensuring exhibitors receive their premiums this year. We were amazed at the outpouring of generosity from our Showcase attendees and we want to send a heartfelt thank you to those who have made donations for premiums to exhibitors,” said Greg Lybeck, Fairgrounds General Manager.

While a large portion of the premiums for exhibitors was raised at the Showcase event, there is still a need for additional funds to cover expected premiums to be paid at the 2021 Fair. To make a donation for exhibitor premiums, checks can be made to Frontier Days Foundation, PO Box 2224, Walla Walla, WA 99362.


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