After trying out the bounce houses, making some crafts and watching a performance by baton twirlers, it was finally time for Tesa Manix and her daughters Kate and Emma to take a break at the Lacey Spring Fun Fair on Saturday.
And that meant eating drippy ice cream cones in the sunshine.
Manix said she enjoys the annual Fun Fair because almost everything that the kids want to do — even the bounce houses, a giant slide and pony rides — are free.
“It’s accessible for everybody,” she said. “Usually, we go every year.”
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Fun Fair continues from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday at Saint Martin’s University in Lacey.
Besides carnival rides, vendors and kids activities, Sunday’s lineup includes a classic car show, a lip sync contest and more entertainment.
The event typically draws 15,000 to 20,000 people during the weekend, said volunteer coordinator Altavia Jones.
“It’s one of the few free family events that they can attend in this area,” Jones said. “It’s not strictly for kids, but it is family orientated.”
The event’s goal has always been to give families a fun experience that’s free, while promoting local organizations, Fun Fair president Ruth Weigelt said.
“I hope they come and feel a sense of community,” Weigelt said.
The fair’s two stages feature performances by local dance groups, school bands and choirs. Kids can explore big vehicles and equipment from Lacey Fire District 3, Lacey Police and Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
The event is volunteer-run, community groups offer activities, and corporate sponsors help ensure that almost everything, including admission, stays free, Weigelt said.
Jeannette Urban of Olympia attended Fun Fair on Saturday with her two daughters and three grandchildren.
“I think it’s a great thing to bring the kids to and enjoy family time,” Urban said.
They had visited the fire truck, and were in line for the pirate boat.
After that, they planned to go to a face-painting booth, and possibly wait in line for pony rides.
Urban said Fun Fair turned out to be much bigger than she had expected, and her grandkids were having a great time.
“They’re loving it,” she said.