County’s Livable Communities Fair April 8

Pierce County is among the state’s fastest growing counties, and the effects of population growth are evident. More than 200,000 additional persons will be residing among us by 2017. Can something be done to preserve our quality of life? Part of Pierce County’s response is a community fair bringing together organizations that offer helpful information, resources and services for citizens.

The third Pierce County Livable Communities Fair will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 8 at the Puyallup Fairgrounds. Admission and parking are free. Attendees are encouraged to donate canned goods to the Tacoma Rescue Mission, which will have a truck parked near the Gold Gate. “The fair is aimed at raising awareness about projects and programs that make communities more livable,” said fair manager Diane Braaten of the County Executive’s Office.

The event, held every two years since 2002, is free to the public. More than 150 booths will feature such topics as parks and open space, salmon recovery, natural resource conservation, transportation issues, environmental services, neighborhood emergency preparedness, farm issues, community safety and education programs. “The community and the people who live there is our focus,” Braaten said.

Garden expert Ciscoe Morris will host his 710 KIRO “Gardening with Ciscoe” show from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on a stage near the carousel. A Putting Challenge will offer trophies for holes in one with all proceeds benefitting the Emergency Food Network of Pierce County. A bloodmobile from Cascade Regional Blood Services will be on the grounds. Local farmers will be selling their products in a special “Farmers’ Market.” After-school and reading programs for kids and continuing education programs for adults will be included.

Other attractions include the Reptile Man, Smokey Bear, FIN the Migrating Salmon, Kids Trout Pond, Rock Climbing Wall, Carousel Rides, Bert the Salmon, Tacoma Rainiers’ Mascot Rhubarb, Ezra Meeker’s Wagon, EnviroChallenger Van, Home Depot Workshop for Kids, Arts & Crafts, Native Animals and Raptors. Local businesses have donated prizes for the kids scavenger hunt and prizes for an hourly drawing for adults.

The county’s Livable Community Fair vision is to educate as many citizens as possible by moving the fair around the county from year to year. The first LCF at Gig Harbor in 2002 was attended by 5,000; the second, at Pacific Lutheran University in Parkland in 2004 drew 10,000. More than 15,000 are anticipated this year.

Additional information, including a list of sponsors and fair participants, is available at or 253-798-7477; or (county intranet for employees) .