Hop to it: Lacey Fun Fair awaits

LACEY – This weekend’s 24th annual Lacey Spring Fun Fair promises free family fun, live music from local musicians and a chance for fairgoers to practice their bunny hop.

Fairgoers can expect many of the same favorites they have come to love, including the circus train that meanders through the Saint Martin’s University grounds, trout fishing and the petting zoo. Between bites at the 20 food booths, kids can saddle up for a pony ride, play free games, get their faces painted and make crafts.

“It’s a free, fun-filled family extravaganza,” said event coordinator Valerie Fluetsch.

Throughout the weekend, two stages will host 25 entertainers, including jazz and blues musicians, dance troupes, martial arts practitioners and crowd favorite Freckles Brown Band from Olympia.

The entertainment will appeal to the wide variety of age groups and tastes, said entertainment coordinator Cyndi Noski. “We’ve got a little bit of everything,” she said.

More than 17,000 people are expected during the two-day fair. On Saturday only, those who don’t want to battle for parking spots near the university can hop on a free round-trip shuttle from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the South Sound Center flag pavilion parking lot. Shuttles will run every 20 minutes.

Saturday’s parade begins at noon, and community members are encouraged to join in wearing “wacky” hats and playing instruments of all varieties. Greg Cuoio, retiring Lacey city manager, will be the grand marshal.

All the fun won’t be familiar. New after this year’s parade, organizers have scheduled a practice run for the world’s largest bunny hop. Organizers hope to get 4,000 people bunny hopping next year to land a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records to celebrate the fair’s 25th anniversary. The Mariner Moose and other mascot celebrities will take part in the practice hop.

“This year, we’ll get the willies out,” Fluetsch said.

On Saturday, the Safety Kids Coalition will sell bike helmets for $10. The Classic Car Show on Sunday features cars from around southwestern Washington and gives visitors a chance to vote for their favorite ride.

For those looking to do some shopping, local artists and commercial vendors will offer goods through the weekend.