Pierce County Fair Rules & Regulations
The Pierce County Fair understands that safety is first and foremost on the minds of fair volunteers, exhibitors, and guests. It is the intent to provide a safe and secure environment for all. However, to do so, the Pierce County Fair needs the assistance of all volunteers, staff, and even guests to provide that environment.
If you witness unsafe conditions or activities, please contact a Security Staff member, or Fair Volunteer, or call 253-847-4754.
If you witness an emergency, please call 9-1-1 first and then make contact with the proper Fair Department.
The Pierce County Fair asks that Fair volunteers and patrons refrain from bringing items of great value that they simply may not need at the Fair.
General Public Rules
- No Personal Pets are allowed; for the safety of your pet and the Fair animals, please keep them at home.
- Do not smoke in or near any building or animal display. Animal Bedding is very dry and can easily ignite. Please limit smoking to 25’ outside of the Fair admission gates.
- Outside alcoholic beverages and items prohibited from public use/consumption are not allowed.
- Alcohol sold at the Pierce County Fair must remain in and be consumed within the designated area.
- Dangerous, illegal, and/or inappropriate behavior will be grounds for dismissal.
- Appropriate dress is encouraged.
- Remember to wash your hands after touching animals and always ask before touching any animals.
- Each exhibit area may have specific rules, please be courteous.
- Please follow the directions of the parking attendants.
- No laser pointers are allowed in exhibit areas.
- The exhibitors have worked hard on their projects, please be courteous and refrain from touching them.
Historically, the people involved in Agricultural Fairs have possessed traditional values and honor. At the Pierce County Fair, that tradition continues. However, the Pierce County Fair is open to the public, and those entering the fairgrounds may not necessarily possess the same values. Thus, we would like to take a moment to remind you, the Fair Exhibitor and guest, to take precautions against those who are looking to take advantage of others.
The best way to avoid problems is to provide a greeting, good customer service, and eye contact with those in your exhibit area.
- Wear comfortable shoes!
- Right before going into the fair….take out your camera phone and take a picture of your children! That way if you get separated from them, you will have a recent description of your kids and can remember EXACTLY what they are wearing.
- Be attentive to those approaching/entering your exhibit area.
- Keep personal items out of sight. Cameras, cell phones, and other electronic devices are easily concealed.
- At night, secure your exhibit as best as possible. Cover items with sheets or tarps. If in a building, please lock, but only use a lock that has been approved by Fair Management.
- Should you notice any safety issues or concerns, don’t hesitate to call the Fair office at 253-847-4754. Security will be dispatched to your location.
- Medical aid is on-site during fair hours. Should you need medical aid, dial 9-1-1, and then contact the Fair office at 253-847-4754. Our team will arrive and direct aid to your location.
- You may also contact maintenance by contacting the Fair office at 253-847-4754.
The Pierce County Fair strives to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations. It is committed to making the fairgrounds accessible to all its guests. In accordance with the ADA, most restrooms and buildings on the fairgrounds are accessible. If specific needs are required, please Contact Us
with your questions. Handicap parking is available.
Pierce County Fair Exhibitor Rules
These Fair rules pertain to all Exhibitors during the Pierce County Fair as well as any other Pierce County Fair event for which premium points, ribbons, and awards are allowed. The Pierce County Fair Rules are in effect during Fair Week.
This Fair is for all enrolled 4-H and FFA members in Pierce County and those showing in Open Class as described in the rules under each Open Class section.
All exhibits are judged by the Danish System. Each entry is judged on its own merit, taking into consideration the age of the youth, the degree of difficulty of the project, and the number of years in the project. All entries receive a ribbon unless the exhibit is disqualified. Some classes have additional ribbons/placings for outstanding or overall excellence.
Discount admission may be purchased for the Exhibitor, their parent/guardian(s), leaders, and eligible family members after the Exhibitor has entered their project(s) in FairEntry online. Registration will open in FairEntry June 1st.
Tickets for admission to the Fair is usually available on-line starting April 1st.
Rule 1: Entry deadlines are strictly enforced!
Enter all items in FairEntry.
Check the individual departments for entry deadlines on the Exhibitor page of the Pierce County Fair
The Pierce County Fair reserves the right to refuse or disqualify any and all exhibits that are not properly entered.
Rule 2: All exhibits at the Pierce County Fair are entered and displayed at the risk of the Exhibitor.
Rule 3: Exhibits must have been canned, raised, grown, or made by the Exhibitor during the current year. 4-H and FFA members must be enrolled in the represented project area. All judging and public presentation contestants may only compete in the project areas in which they are enrolled. Per the 4-H Policy and Procedure Handbook, animals must be under the 4-H member’s regular care and management for the following periods of time prior to the official county exhibit activity:
- Equine—90 days
- Market Beef—120 days
- Breeding Beef—90 days
- Llama/Alpaca—90 days
- Dairy (except Dairy Heifer Replacement)—90 days
- Dairy Heifer Replacement—60 days
- Goat—60 days
- Sheep and Swine (Breeding and Market)—60 days
- Cats—60 days
- Cavies—45 days
- Dogs—60 days
- Rabbits—45 days
- Poultry—45 days
Rule 4: Entry tags will be generated from FairEntry and will be given to Superintendents prior to check-in at the Fair. It is recommended that entries for still life include a 3”x5” card with the Exhibitor’s name and club/chapter name. This card will be replaced by an entry tag at check-in. The FairEntry tag is two parts, and Exhibitor can tear off the lower portion of the entry tag and keep it for identification of the exhibit at the conclusion of the Fair.
Rule 5: If an Exhibitor is unable to show up after the entry deadline, please notify the department Superintendent prior to animal entry/vet check on Wednesday.
Rule 6: Only one entry may be made by an individual in any one lot, except where noted in each department. Where Lots are not given, the rule then applies to Classes- one entry per class.
Rule 7: All Exhibitors showing animal projects must enter a fitting & showmanship class with their animal. Exhibitors are not required to enter confirmation or type classes except in the rabbit, cavy, cat, poultry, goat, and dog projects. Exhibitors must fit and show their own animal. Exhibitors not caring for or arranging for proper care of their animals will be disqualified and asked to remove them. Each Exhibitor is responsible for fitting their own animal. A parent or junior leader must not do this for the Exhibitor. Holding an animal for grooming is permissible.
Rule 8: ANY YOUTH ENTERING ANIMAL PROJECTS IN FFA AND 4-H IS INELIGIBLE TO ENTER THE SAME ANIMAL IN BOTH ORGANIZATIONS, i.e., A YOUTH MAY SHOW THE SAME SPECIES AND IN THE SAME CLASS, BUT THEY MUST HAVE SEPARATE AND DIFFERENT ANIMALS FOR 4-H AND FFA.
Rule 9: The Pierce County Fair recognizes the following 4-H classifications as defined by Washington State 4-H Policy. 4-H age is determined by the member’s age on October 1st of the current 4-H program year.
- Cloverbuds: 5 to 7 years of age
- Junior: 8 to 10 years of age
- Intermediate: 11 to 13 years of age
- Senior: 14 to less than 19 years of age
Rule 10: At the Fair, the exhibits must be checked with the department Superintendent. Animal Superintendents must check the entries as they are brought in against those same entries as they are listed in FairEntry.
Rule 11: Pierce County Fair Trophies (for animal science projects) will only be awarded to fitting and showmanship classes. All other classes will receive ribbons and premium points based on the blue, red, or white placing using the Danish system of judging, a method of evaluating exhibits according to standards developed for that class or contest.
Rule 12: Exhibitors are expected to dress neatly and wear clean, appropriate clothing. Individual project areas may have specific clothing/dress code requirements. Exhibitors will also observe good rules of conduct in regard to the use of language and general attitude. Exhibitors must wear shoes at all times in stall and exhibit areas.
Rule 13: ALL EXHIBITS, INCLUDING DECORATIONS, POSTERS, ETC., MUST REMAIN IN PLACE UNTIL 6 P.M. SUNDAY, AUGUST 13, 2023.No exhibit may be removed earlier. Failure to follow this policy will be cause to forfeit ribbons and premiums awarded to the Exhibitor during the Fair. All stalls and cages must be cleaned prior to leaving the fairgrounds Sunday evening. All building exhibits must be removed as soon as possible on Sunday, August 13th, 6 p.m.-7 p.m. Barn livestock must be removed no later than 10 p.m. Sunday, August 13th. To reduce the temptation of pilferage, all non-essential items should be removed from the fairgrounds. The Fair management will not be responsible for exhibits left. Any item left after Wednesday, August 18th will become the property of the Pierce County Fair.
Rule 14: Herdsmanship is required of all Exhibitors who bring animals to the Fair. Department Superintendents shall set the minimum requirements for project completion.
- Animal pens, stalls, cages, and exhibit areas must be cleaned by 10 a.m. daily.
- Failure to meet the minimum standards of care as defined by the department Superintendent shall be cause for filing a Herdsmanship/Exhibitorship violation statement to the Fair Office, no later than 12 noon the Monday after Fair. The following are the potential ramifications of such a violation.
- Loss of 25 premium points from premium point total.
- Forfeiture of all premiums and awards, including placements.
- Loss of eligibility to show at Pierce County Fair events.
- Loss of representation rights for further competition (State Fair).
- Herdsmanship/Exhibitorship in youth project areas is the responsibility of the youth Exhibitors, not parents.
- All animals must be un-blanketed (from 10 a.m.-9 p.m.) each day of the Fair except on the day the animals are washed prior to judging. In the event of extremely bad weather conditions, blanketing may be permitted when authorized by the superintendent.
- The Fair is open to the public for viewing until 9 p.m., and the animal exhibits are an exceptionally popular favorite for them to see.
- Herdsmanship/Exhibitorship will run 10 a.m.-9 p.m. (between 9 a.m. - 9:30 p.m. there must be at least one person present for safety reasons) each day except Sunday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Herdsmanship/Exhibitorship ends on Sunday when the exhibit area has been cleared of all animals and/or displays and cleaned.
- Clubs with members exhibiting in the Grange Building and Frontier Lodge are encouraged to work on Exhibitorship duty.
- Signs up for a given period of time in blocks of 2 to 4 hours. Members must dress appropriately, meet, and interact with the public, keep a watchful eye on exhibits, maintain exhibits, and keep exhibit areas clean and attractive.
- Each attendant will wear the Exhibit Attendant Badge and apron. Report to the Superintendent or their assistant at least 5 minutes before the shift starts for instructions.
- An adult will also be assigned to aid the attendant when needed.
- Groups must sign up for the time schedule in which they plan to participate. Small clubs can work together.
- Each 4-H member participating showing in Still Life exhibits at the Pierce County Fair is encouraged to complete Exhibitorship.
- No animal will be admitted to the fairgrounds before 4 p.m. or after 8 p.m. Wednesday, August 9th, and must not be put in stalls, pens, or cages before the animal(s) has been inspected by a Fair approved veterinarian.
- Stalls, pens, and cages will be assigned by the Department Superintendent. Failure to comply will result in the loss of ribbons and premiums.
- The fairgrounds will be secured starting at 6 p.m. Saturday, August 6th.
- For transportation logistics, animals arriving prior to vet check must remain in trailers in the parking lot until vet check.
- No horses or livestock will be allowed on the fairgrounds prior to vet check at the fairgrounds.
- Swine projects will be vet checked in the trailer and then driven to the swine barn.
- Sheep projects will check in at the parking lot. DO NOT UNLOAD! Once checked in, you will be directed to the sheep barn for vet check and unloading.
- Due to safety concerns, vehicle traffic may be restricted on the grounds during the hours of vet check.
Rule 16: Animals not properly fitted for showing will be rejected. Dairy animals with horns cannot be shown except junior calves.
Rule 17: Fair veterinarian’s decision is final. Animal entries may be disqualified at vet check or any time during the show.
Rule 18: Pens/stalls/exhibit areas must be cleaned by 10 a.m. daily.
Rule 19: The Fair will provide rabbit, swine, and poultry bedding. The type and bedding material available for each department will depend on cost and availability and will be at the discretion of the Fair Board. For safety reasons, no hay storage is allowed in stall areas. Please open only the amount of hay, straw, or feed that will be used at one time in your barn or pen. Straw is not provided for use as decoration or to be used to separate animals or herds. Any left-over shavings, straw, or feed is the property of the Pierce County Fair and is not to be removed from the grounds. Open bags or bales may be taken home with permission from Fair Management. Contact the Fair office to purchase unused feed, straw, or bedding.
Rule 20: Veterinary care costs of any animal at the Pierce County Fair are the responsibility of the Exhibitor. The Pierce County Fair does not provide veterinary services.
Rule 21: Any animal leaving the fairgrounds before 6 p.m. on Sunday, August 13th (with the exception of routine dismissal times), must present an “animal release form” to the attendant at the gate. For security reasons, the Pierce County Fair reserves the right to search stock trailers.
Rule 22: No animal shall be brought to the Fair and placed on exhibit that is not intended to be shown except for a special exhibit. Special exhibits must be approved by the Fair Board/Manager at least one week prior to Fair.
Rule 23: Exhibitors will not stay overnight in the exhibit barns. The Fair Board and Superintendents will provide adequate watch for the animals overnight. Please remove all valuables from exhibit areas.
Rule 24: A curfew will be enforced every evening at 12 midnight during the duration of the Fair (including pre-fair activities). Anyone found loitering on the grounds other than authorized Fair personnel will be disqualified and removed from the fairgrounds, forfeiting all premiums and prizes as well as face any potential criminal proceedings.
Rule 25: A Superintendent will not hold up a Class because an Exhibitor is exhibiting in another department.Speak with your Superintendents if you have specific timing issues.
Rule 26: Because of the limited parking and camping space, Exhibitors are required to remove stock trailers from the main parking lot. See your Department Superintendent for alternate on-site parking. There is no overnight parking in the main parking lot, vehicles are subject to impound.
Rule 27: Use of illegal controlled substances, violation of criminal statutes, violation of Fair rules, or any actions against good order shall be grounds for the loss of all premiums and awards and expulsion from the Pierce County Fair.
Rule 28: Use of Electronic Devices: Electronic devices such as cellular phones, tablets, and personal two-way radios can create a distraction when utilized in and around judging areas, display buildings, and contest arenas. To provide everyone with a positive learning experience, the Pierce County Fair requests that Exhibitors and patrons exercise good judgment in the use of such devices. Furthermore, Department Superintendents, at their discretion, may further restrict usage in and around their areas of control, such as contest arenas and judging areas.
Rule 29: Any appeal for interpretation of the Fair rules shall be made in writing and submitted in the following order: Department Superintendent, 4-H or FFA General Superintendent, Fair Manager, Fair Board of Directors.
Rule 30: The Pierce County Fair Association reserves the right to create, augment, delete, or suspend existing or additional Fair Rules based on an overwhelming need during the existing Fair Season.
Rule 31:Pierce County Fair Premium Check Policy
- Premium checks will not be considered “abandoned” property under R.C.W. 63.29 but will be considered a donation by the payee to the Pierce County Fair. Premium account checks will NOT be issued or reissued after December 31, 2023.
- Please cash checks as soon as possible; checks are void after 90 days.
- Department Superintendents who have determined that an Exhibitor is to be disciplined for infractions of the Pierce County Fair Rules by either dismissal, loss of premium points, loss of ribbons, or loss of awards must complete form PCFR 101 no later than by 9 p.m. on the last day of Fair.Any decisions regarding 4-H Exhibitors must include and be supported by 4-H Staff.
- Exhibitors with total premiums that equal a combined monetary amount below $1 will not receive a payment distribution.
- Questions about premiums may be directed towards the Fair Bookkeeper, Erika Nelson firstname.lastname@example.org
Rule 32: Open Class and FFA Premium Checks
- Premium money for Open Class Exhibitors may be paid as noted in each area.
- Premium money may be paid to those FFA members who are enrolled in the FFA organizational programs in Pierce County.
- Open Class and FFA premium checks will be mailed to the Exhibitor’s address, as it appears in FairEntry, beginning the first week in September (maybe sooner).
- Exhibitors with total premiums that equal a combined monetary amount below $1 will not receive a payment distribution.
- It is the responsibility of the Exhibitor to make sure their address is correct in FairEntry.
Rule 33: 4-H Premium Checks
- If a 4-H member enters in 4-H and Open Class, they will be issued one check.
- 4-H premium checks will be mailed out the first week of September (maybe sooner). It is the responsibility of the Exhibitor to make sure their address is correct in FairEntry
Rule 34:Superintendent Expectations:
- Superintendents will submit judge’s names by the posted deadline or report the inability of securing required judges.
- Superintendents will turn in all the “end of Fair” paperwork no later than 12 noon of post-Fair Monday.
Move-Out Procedures: The Pierce County Fair is open until 6 p.m. Sunday, August 13th. Vehicles and persons entering the grounds up until that time are subject to entry charges. All displays are to remain in place until closing. Hand-carried items may be removed starting at 6 p.m.
Vehicles will not be allowed onto the main fairgrounds until pedestrian traffic has reached a safe level, with 7 p.m. as the targeted time, but due to high traffic at times, this has been much later. Move-out is not
“First Come, First Served.” Fair Management will determine move-out order. Vehicles will follow a counterclockwise traffic pattern, regardless of the location of their exhibit.
ANIMAL HEALTH REQUIREMENTS
Individual health certificates are not required for entry. Fair veterinary staff will inspect all animal species that are entered or will reside on the Pierce County Fairgrounds during the duration of the Fair and will determine that all animal species are free from contagious disease and ectoparasites. Fair veterinarians MUST AND WILL reject any animal with infectious or contagious disease or ectoparasites. Fair veterinarians may also reject an exhibit animal in a state of poor health. Exhibitors should be aware that RINGWORM, WARTS, PINKEYE, STRANGLES, CONTAGIOUS ECTHYMA, SCABIES, LICE, TICKS, AND FLEAS, all fall into these categories. Any animal rejected by veterinarians is not eligible for show and must be removed from the grounds. The Fair veterinarian’s professional decision as to the health status of an animal is final and shall be upheld by the Fair Board of Directors. No animal from any quarantined area or premise will be permitted to enter any Fair.
In addition, the Pierce County Fair reserves the right to specify additional requirements to control infectious and/or contagious diseases to improve the aesthetic quality of each livestock, poultry, or companion animal exhibit. Animals exhibiting disease symptoms during the course of the Fair will be asked to leave by the Department Superintendent or Fair staff.
SHIPPING FEVER: Vaccination is not required, but is strongly recommended that all cattle, sheep, and goats be vaccinated with a dose of mixed bacterin (preferably Pasteurella Corynebacterium) not later than 10 (ten) days before the opening of the Fair, anti-serum within 10 (ten) days of the Fair. All female dairy cattle over 12 months of age require Brucellosis vaccination. Brucellosis vaccination is required of all female beef cattle over 12 months of age born after January 1, 1983. Those female beef cattle which were not vaccinated must have proof of a negative Brucellosis test within 90 days prior to the Fair. It is strongly recommended, but not required, to have cattle vaccinated in the current show year against respiratory diseases.
SHEEP: Sheep are not allowed in any other project area or show arena other than that assigned to them. Sheep Exhibitors are to check in at the main vet check area and then proceed when directed to the sheep barn, where they will receive vet check at the barn.
HORSES: Vaccination for flu and Rhinopneumonitis is strongly recommended. All out-of-state horses must have a negative Coggins test within six (6) months.
DOGS: Exhibitors must present an approved Pierce County Dog Project Health Form as part of the vet check. The form must have Rabies Certificate attached. The form must provide an annual certification that the dog is current on all vaccinations and must be signed by an accredited veterinarian. An accredited veterinarian must have administered vaccines. Tags are not sufficient proof.
CATS: All cats must be vaccinated against distemper, feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, and Calici Virus. They must be free of ear mites and any evidence of external skin disease or abnormalities. All cats must be vaccinated against rabies. Veterinary proof of vaccination must be presented at the time of vet check.
POULTRY: All poultry must be U.S. Pullorum-Typhoid clean or equivalent or tested negative for Pullorum-Typhoid within (90) days of the exhibit.
NATIONAL SCRAPIE ERADICATION PROGRAM
The USDA, APHIS National Scrapie Eradication Program went into effect on November 19, 2001. The identification requirements of this program will enable the tracking of scrapie-infected animals to the flock of origin.
Scrapie is a fatal, degenerative disease affecting the central nervous system of sheep and goats. Scrapie is classified as a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE). Other TSE’s include bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE; a.k.a., “Mad Cow Disease”) and Chronic Wasting Disease in deer and elk.
After November 19, 2001, the following categories of sheep and goats must have identification in order to move in interstate commerce (this includes sales, exhibitions, shows or slaughter) or to move in livestock markets in Washington (Shows/exhibitions are considered interstate commerce if any out of state animals attend).
- All sheep over 18 months of age (ewes, rams and wethers).
- All sheep and registered goats that are sold for breeding purposes regardless of age (including sheep less than 18 months of age).
- All sexually intact sheep (rams and ewes) and all sexually intact goats (bucks and does) going to a show, demonstration or exhibition.
- All goats that are sold and used primarily for milk production.
- All scrapie exposed, suspect, high risk, and test positive sheep and goats.