HANFORD — Sometimes the best part of the Kings Fair is the entire fair itself.
“I like the Ferris wheel because you get to see a view of the whole fair,” Roosevelt Elementary School student Brian Barajas said on the opening night of the fair Thursday.
The night sky above the midway was lit up by the Ferris wheel, the Jumanji funhouse and all the familiar and nostalgic thrill rides you’d expect from a carnival environment.
The breeze carried the smells of cinnamon rolls, funnel cakes and corn dogs throughout the fairgrounds on the cool night that by the fair’s closing at midnight had dipped into the high 60s.
On the Kings Outdoor Theatre stage, hypnotist Tina Marie convinced volunteers they were freezing or that they’d been sign language interpreters for decades in a humorous display of the power of suggestion.
An elementary-school aged girl bucked gender stereotypes by begging her dad to go into the Prehistoric Dinosaur Adventure museum with her. Inside the museum, children stared wide-eyed at dinosaur fossils and a replica velociraptor.
People gathered around a race track on the walkway between the midway and the concessions that was advertised with a banner that read, “You never sausage a show.”
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All-Alaskan Racing Pigs held three races per night, as four-legged, floppy-eared swine competed to see who would be the fastest – and cutest.
“You’ve got to see it. It’s pretty cute,” pig racer Tony Urie said. “Kids love the baby pigs because they’re pretty unpredictable.”
The racing pigs, formerly Alaskan and now based in Eugene, Oregon, are 2 months old and are trained to run for the promise of chocolate-chip cookies.
“They’re paid in cookies. And they’re paid well,” Urie said.
The company, which was founded over 30 years ago, even performed at a Seattle Seahawks halftime show last year.
The pigs are an endangered English breed known as 5the Gloucestershire Old Spot, which Urie said are notable for their “big goofy” ears and friendly disposition.
The All-Alaskan Racing Pigs will perform at 6:30, 8 and 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday evenings. The show is free with fair admission.