For a number of years the Washington State Society of American Foresters (WSSAF) has worked to reach out to the public about the forestry profession at the Washington State Fair. The Puyallup Fair, Western Washington Fair, officially The Washington State Fair (often now just The Fair), is consistently in the top 10 largest fairs in the world. In recent years the annual attendance has been in the 1.0 to 1.2 million people through the gates over a 17-day run.
Over the last few years, the peak days have been as high as 140,000. Obviously, not all these people will be in the Expo Hall where the Washington State Society of American Foresters booth is located, but the crowds are definitely larger than any other fair in the state.
Most exhibitors at The Fair pay a substantial amount, but after many years of working with The Fair and the longtime dedication of many people such as John Bergvall, and the building superintendent who is a fellow SAFer, we have been invited back each year without a fee. Others in the building include Wash. State Trappers, Washingtonians for Wildlife, Tacoma Water, Rails to Trails, Boy Scouts, and others.
We utilize portions of previously designed Wildfire in Washington as well as other displays used in the past at the Fair. These displays are used at other venues in the state as well as traveling to a number of SAF National Conventions. As part of the display there are several tree rounds including one that invites interactive participation and provides a good gateway of contact with the public. Following up an earlier successful introduction, plans call for an area for children’s hands-on activity with model raw material loading equipment as well as for adults to engage in conversation with professionals staffing the booth.
How You Can Help
WSSAF needs volunteers to help staff the booth and provide outreach to the public for our profession. In return for your time, volunteers receive free admission to The Fair and access to free parking. This document lists the currently available shifts, and contact Gene McCaul at mccauls1234(at)msn.com to sign up.