Contact: Karen J. LaFlamme, (253) 841-5024; or cell (253) 691-2005;

PUYALLUP, WA - For many people in the Pacific Northwest, the arrival of spring commences when the Puyallup Spring Fair opens its gates. This is the 16th year of the tradition, which draws approximately 100,000 guests. The Puyallup Spring Fair is slated for April 14-17, 2005 at the Puyallup Fairgrounds in Puyallup, Washington.

Since its start in 1990, families, seniors and teens have found lots of free fun once inside the gates. NEW is celebrity character SpongeBob Squarepants, making personal appearances each day. The Puyallup Spring Fair is the new home this year to the 15th Annual Washington State Christian Talent Contest, held Friday-Sunday. Also new is a free country concert upon gate admission featuring Josh Gracin, of "American Idol 2" fame, in conjunction with KMPS 94.1 FM.

Highlights include KidZone, featuring children's activities, baby animals, Western and Wildlife Art Show, midway rides, and delectable Fair food. Puyallup School District's science fair, "Science Explorations 2005" will be back, featuring projects and experiments by student scientists, as well as presentations by the Pacific Science Center on Saturday and Sunday.

Each year the Garden Show grows bigger and better. In addition to the floral display contest featuring local floral artists, garden exhibits, displays, demonstrations and workshops will be held. Garden shops and nurseries will show and sell handy gardening supplies and accessories, while numerous organization representing rhododendrons, giant pumkins, orchids, tree fruit, bamboo, natural plants, Ikebana, dahlias, beekeepers, primroses, rock gardens, bonsai and roses will be on hand.

The Northwest Junior Livestock Show and Sale draws the top 4-H and FFA students in this area to show and sell their hogs, steers and sheep. It is held Thursday-Saturday, finishing with the annual auction on Sunday. Proceeds of the auction benefit student agriculture programs.

The Creative Kids Exhibit draws strong participation from children in the area. It features entries from children, ages 8-15 years in a range of categories, from photography to creative writing. Entries are due Thursday, April 7 and Friday, April 8 from noon to 7 p.m. Entries are free, and each entrant receives a free gate pass to the 2005 Puyallup Spring Fair. Call (253) 841-5017 during business hours to obtain a list of categories and rules, or visit, and click on Spring Fair, and Things to Do.

Entertainment will again be free for everyone to enjoy. Take in the colorful dancing of Joyas Mestizas, the soothing sounds of Quichua Mashis, the competitive actionof Swifty Swine Pig Races, and the rib-tickling fun of Let's Pretend Circus. Local a capella group, The Coats will appear on Sunday at 5 p.m.

Over 300 exhibitors will be selling a range of items, from trinkets to spas. Pottery and weavers will be spinning exciting new creating, and chainsaws carving one-of-a-kind pieces.

The Midway will be at its spinning best, complete with the Extreme Scream, Giant Roller Coaster, and assortment of other rides. Of course, pint-size riders will love the wide range of Kiddyland rides. Advance ride coupons will be available.

The Puyallup Spring Fair would not be complete without food! Onion burgers will be grilling, cotton candy spinning, and scones baking, ready to be filled with butter and raspberry jam.

Adult admission is $8, Youth (6-15 years) $6, and five years old and under are free. Advance tickets will be available. Parking in the fairgrounds parking lots is free.

Hours are:

April 14 (Thursday) 3:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.

April 15 (Friday) 10:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.

April 16 (Saturday) 10:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.

April 17 (Sunday) 10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.

For further information, visit the Fair's website at or call the 24-hour hotline at (253) 841-5054.