Grays Harbor County Fair Delivers Heaps of ‘Red, White and Moo!’ Fun, Food and Festivities

For lovers of a classic county festival, the Grays Harbor County Fair is their indispensable summer entertainment. This year’s theme is “Red, White and Moo!” That cool phrase fully captures the welcoming annual county event that pairs four days of traditional and new exhibits, rides, food, booths, festivities and performances at the fairground in Elma August 2-5, 2023.

Grays Harbor County is the home of this popular and successful gathering, with more than 73,000 people attending last year. “We are a small fair with big entertainment,” says Fairgrounds Events and Tourism Director Mike Bruner. “We are really happy about the fair we have put together.”

Just like in past years, the 2023 fair delivers heaps of variety and fun for all ages.

two littles, one with a cowboy hat, sit on a green concrete flower bed with an eagle statue behind them
Dixie Hogue and Harley Quimby are two of the many 4-H club members who are excited to participate in the Grays Harbor County Fair this year to show their animals and projects. The fair is August 2-5 in Elma. Photo credit: Nancy Krier

Entertainment Shines at the Grays Harbor County Fair

The fair is showcasing great musical talent again on the main Pepsi Stage. Country star Warren Zeiders is on for Wednesday, August 2 at 8 p.m. and multi-talented rising country act Alexander Ludwig performs on Thursday at 8 p.m. Local music artists Alex Mabey, Ericka Corban and The Six Band appear on Friday. On Saturday, top Creedence Clearwater Revival tribute act Creedence Revelation will be entertaining attendees. First come, first served free bleacher seating at these musical events is included with paid fair admission. Golden Circle reserved tickets are still available by separate purchase for Alexander Ludwig. Reserved seating for Warren Zeiders is now sold out and all seats are free with paid fair admission for Friday and Saturday nights’ shows.

Free daily entertainment includes the classic Celtic band Lions of the North, as well as Jugglemania and the Reptile Lady. A cheerleading presentation is on the Dennis Company stage on Friday. On Saturday, fairgoers can enjoy the clay track action of car races, beginning at 4 p.m.

little girl on a pony ride at a fair smiling
It’s horses and more at the Grays Harbor County Fair. Details of the many fair activities are on the fair’s website and Facebook page. Photo courtesy: Grays Harbor County Tourism

The Grays Harbor County Fair Means It’s Time for Animals and Exhibits

It’s a county fair tradition to showcase local talent who raise animals, bake, garden, grow crops, craft and are gifted with other creative and hands-on skills. And 2023 is no exception at the Grays Harbor County Fair.

All year, local 4-H club members Dixie Hogue and Harley Quimby have been working hard to train, feed and groom their horses. Quimby says she likes to meet new people at the fair so she can show and talk about her horses. Hogue agrees she likes to ride and show her horses. “I love horses, and I absolutely love 4-H,” Hogue says.

corn, peppers, potatoes, apples, nectarines and tomatoes on a table with a blue ribbon that says 'Grays Harbor County Fair' on them
The Grays Harbor County Fair showcases the talents of local gardeners, bakers and artisans who can earn ribbons for their skills. Photo courtesy: Grays Harbor County Tourism

Members of 4-H, FFA, and other fair participants have lots of animals and exhibits to show you. Stop in to check out cows, pigs, sheep, goats, poultry, rabbits, produce, handcrafted items and vendors’ booths.

Fair Food: Another Tempting Reason to Attend the Grays Harbor County Fair

What’s a county fair without decadent fair food? This year, the food vendors will be serving old favorites and new options. Those include Philly cheesesteak sandwiches, gyros, Greek seafood, Mexican dishes, Asian food, deep-fried options, elephant ear pastries, funnel cakes, lemonade, churros, corn dogs and shaved ice. Can’t wait!

Grays Harbor County Fair Hours, Admission, Discounts and Rides

The fair is open Wednesday through Friday, August 2-4, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Saturday, August 5 from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Daily admissions are:

  • Adults (16-61) – $11
  • Seniors (62+) – $8
  • Youth (6-15) – $8
  • Children 5 and under – Free

In addition, the fair is offering these great discounts:

  • Thursday, August 3 is “Kids Day” with $2 off.
  • Friday, August 4 has “Free Admission Hour” from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., when there’s no gate fees. Fairgoers must be through the gate by 11 a.m.
  • On all days, attendees with a military ID receive a “Military Appreciation Discount” of $2 off.
people swinging in the area on a giant swing carnival ride, one girl waves to the camera
Carnival rides for kids as well as adults are on hand this year at the Grays Harbor County Fair. Photo courtesy: Grays Harbor County Tourism

“We want people to know anyone can participate in the fair,” Bruner says. “Our goal is to make the fair affordable, so all people can do something at the fair. And that’s why we are trying to get back to a free admission hour on one day of the fair.”

Carnival ride wristbands are $35 presale and $40 the day of the fair. The wristband provides unlimited rides, per session. Ride sessions are:

  • Wednesday, August 2 from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Thursday, August 3 from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Friday, August 4 from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Saturday, August 5 has two, the first from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. and the second from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Note: Fairgoers who purchase unlimited ride passes for the first session on Saturday will have an option to exchange their wristbands for the second session for a discounted price of $15.

Parking is $5 per day.

Grays Harbor County Fair August 2-5 is a Community Effort

Bruner thanks the fair staff, Fair Board, County Commissioners, sponsors, vendors and volunteers who work hard year-round to bring the fair to life each summer. While some communities have had to scale back their county fairs, in Grays Harbor you’ve still got it all: great fun, food and festivities. You won’t want to miss the Grays Harbor County Fair August 2-5. For more information, see the fair website and Facebook page, or call the fair office.

Grays Harbor County Fair
32 Elma-McCleary Road, Elma


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