Though the skies over Langley were gray Thursday, that didn’t deter carloads of fairgoers from showing up for one of the year’s most anticipated events on Whidbey Island.
Following a year’s hiatus because of COVID-19, visitors from all ends of the island gather to take their turns on the carnival rides, consume pounds of curly fries and watch beloved 4-H animals compete.
Maegan Donier, 10, is part of the Artsy Animals 4-H club. Standing in the poultry barn on the fairgrounds, she holds one of her hens, named Scramble.
Donier has a total of five chickens that she is showing at the fair this year. One of her chickens was plucky enough to win the grand junior poultry prize.
Her favorite chicken is Astrid, a black star hen who lays beautiful brown eggs.
Nearby in the poultry barn, a freshly hatched duckling sitting in an egg incubator draws the attention of several small children.
Out on the midway, while holding a scone, 2-year-old Carter Jones dances and sways to the music of a cover band performing on the main stage. This is the youngster’s first time at the Whidbey Island Fair.
The busiest lines are, by far, for fried food items. Teenagers frantically slice potatoes to keep up with the growing demand for curly fries.
Booths offer everything from tie-dyed clothing to personalized signs to even COVID-19 vaccines.
Over by the pole building, “Bubble Guy” Matt Henry advised the crowd of kids tripping over each other to chase his bubbles because they are a “no-contact sport.”
The performer is a regular fixture at the Whidbey Island Fair. With a flick of the wrist, his iridescent bubbles can grow to be up to a few feet long.
Even if he won the lottery, Henry said he would still come to the Whidbey Island Fair.
“It’s awesome. I see a lot of the same kids from year to year,” he said. “They have a crazy amount of entertainment here for a small fair.”