Foundation Projects & Programs

  • 2022 History Experience

    2022 History Experience

    Look for more information coming soon!

Project Outline

We are looking to reinvent our current Fair Museum by creating a History Experience and working towards a goal of $1.1 million dollars for this project. The Fair History Experience will be a permanent exhibit showcased during the Washington State Fair in September and Spring Fair in April.

The primary focus of the History Experience is to celebrate the rich history of the Washington State Fair and it local community. The current museum is housed in a stand alone building, approximately 3,000 square feet, on the southeast end of the grounds. It consists of several glass display cases, large artifact areas and a center display for special topics or exhibits. The Fair would like to reimagine the Museum as an interactive, story-telling exhibit of the Fair, showcasing its connection to the state and its people. It will be relocated to another building on the fairgrounds, gaining an additional 2,900 square feet. This relocation also allows for the future possibility to open it to the public on a year-round basis.

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Project Areas

120 Years: Evolution at the Fair

This large-scale dimensional display system will present the Fair’s cultural lineage—food, fashion, and entertainment—from its founding to the present.

  • 120 Years will feature remarkable items and photography along with layered interpretation, transporting visitors to Fairs gone by.
  • Fair artifacts may be displayed within casework, mounted vertically, or suspended overhead to generate visual interest.
  • Applied floor graphics will bring an even greater presence to this installation

120 Years: Wayback Machines

Visitors can peek into the Fair’s past at The Wayback Machines—four peep-hole stations incorporated into “120 Years” timeline casework.

    • Whimsical, intimate viewing portals will display curated sets of photography, such as a survey of the Fair's "Better Babies" since 1900.
    • Content albums may be curated and updated according to that year’s Fair theme, providing new experiences for visitors.
    • Mechanical interaction (cranks, dials, or similar) will lend a whimsical physical means to browse through assets.

120 Years: History Tunnels

Immersive media experiences will serve as playful passageways along the journey through “120 Years.” Visitors can step inside these sculptural elements to explore visual highlights from the Fair’s history.

  • The History Tunnels will be fully responsive environments with playful A/V applications— an array of displays, lighting, and audio will come to life when a visitor steps inside.
  • Cultural stories from the Fair—told through image and video—will be quickly digestible to encourage throughput.
  • Nostalgic, evocative soundscapes will capture iconic sensory moments of the Fair.

Washington State Fair Archives: The Library

Best and Brightest - This grand physical-meets-digital display, situated at the entrance to the Washington State Fair Archives, will capture the novelty, excitement, and innovation on view every year at the Fair.

  • Inventions and attractions from the Fair’s history (ranging from early farm tools, to prized livestock, to recent gadgets) will be displayed in large-scale casework.
  • Striking illuminated imagery from past Fairs will be displayed alongside artifacts for further historic context.

Share Your Story

Visitors can add themselves to the History Experience by sharing their stories and images from the Fair. Instagram posts from Fair-goers will be displayed at a dedicated digital wall installation surrounded by whimsical framed photos.

  • Visitors will use their own devices to capture and share images to Instagram. Their associated story, entered as a caption, will be shown alongside their photo at the digital display.
  • The display will pull visitor photos from Instagram by its hashtag. When a visitor uploads their photo, they’ll see it appear on-screen, then fade back to reveal their caption.

Step Right Up

Three unique and playful backdrops invite visitors to recreate classic Fair moments, such as serving the first Fisher Scone in 1915 or competing in mutton-busting.

  • Backdrops and props may be customized based on the Fair theme, encouraging yearly visits.
  • These one-of-a-kind photo bays will encourage social media sharing.

Washington State Fair Archives: The Library

This separate exhibit space will be devoted to the collection, preservation, and display of Washington State Fair artifacts and ephemera.

  • The Fair Archives will store the collection in displays and open casework, allowing visitors to interact with objects where appropriate.
  • Featured items on view may change periodically to showcase different themes.
  • Visitors may submit their own historic object and write its accompanying collection label with anecdotal details.
  • Before opening in 2022, evocative and enticing wall graphic signage will let visitors know what’s coming, and encourage them to contribute.

Goals for the History Experience:

  • New Experiences- Bring attention to the Fair’s historical role as the place to experience new things.
  • Connections- Emphasize the Fair’s interconnectedness with Washington State.
  • Engagement- Balance engagement to satisfy both fair loyalists and new audiences alike.

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