Growing up here in Enumclaw, Tori Ammons has fond memories of “the scent of dill in the air and the pickle steam rising up from the huge vats” and of course, the The Rotary Club of Enumclaw Street Fair as it is now known.
Today, Tori joins Melissa Oglesbee as co-ordinators of this year’s fair.
Tori remembers the fair fondly as part of her childhood as vividly as she remembers the pickle factory. While the factory is gone from the town, the sign still stands on Pickle Factory Road.
Unlike the factory, the fair has continued on. “It was always the last weekend in July, and it was the place to go for back-to-school shopping,” Tori remembers. Not only could shoppers pick up the classroom necessities, but everything else they needed too.
Better than ever
The fair was launched in 1982 by Leo’s Clothing Store owner Mr. Arnett, his wife, and Mr. Johnson, manager of what was then J.C. Penny. Back then it was a sidewalk sale for all the downtown businesses to participate in, but it has grown into so much more.
Around 2000, the Enumclaw Development Program helped transform the sidewalk sale into the Enumclaw Street Fair when it was known as the Pickles and Ice Cream Street Fair, combining the two industries the town is known for, Farman’s Pickles, and the dairy industry. The Chamber of Commerce ran it for a few years after that, and then in 2013, The Rotary Club of Enumclaw took the helm with an eye to getting local businesses more involved.
Nowadays, the fair is less about the basics and more about some of the finer things in life. There are beer and wine vendors, local artists, food trucks, candle stalls, handmade clothing and signs, vintage stalls and many other delights at the fair, meaning there’s something to please just about everyone.
More than a fair
A favorite fixture is the much-anticipated car show sponsored by the Thunder Dome Car Museum, a local non-profit that supports the Epilepsy Foundation. Enumclaw has a big car culture and the folks at the Thunder Dome are passionate about what they do. This year, take in two car shows – Friday’s show features modern cars and Saturday is reserved for the classics.
Because of COVID, the 3-on-3 basketball tournament had to be missed this year, but a 5km running race has been added. Lace up your shoes and join in or cheer on the participants!
Community spirit and support
Proceeds from the fair go right back into the community. With its amazing volunteers, The Rotary Club of Enumclaw supports many necessary local programs. Everything from youth programs both in and out of schools, to food banks.
This year, the much-anticipated local event returns with fun for the whole family July 23 and 24.
Come on down and have some fun!