It’s been a Pierce County tradition for 70 years, and a Graham tradition for 60 of them. This Thursday through Sunday marks the return of the annual Pierce County Fair at Frontier Park.

This year’s theme is, “You’re a Hero!” with the tagline, “You Gotta Go to Graham,” and includes many of the same attractions eager fairgoers have come to expect.

Fair manager Shelley Burnett says its the event’s kid-friendly offerings that help set it apart.

“First of all, I love fairs in general, and the Pierce County Fair is one of my favorites because of its size and location, and it’s so focused on the youth,” she said.

As in years past, there’s no shortage of kid-centric activities, perhaps most interestingly “mutton busting.”

Kids that weigh 55 pounds or less (typically between four and seven years old) can also take part in the event, similar to bull riding, in which children ride sheep, with safety gear provided. Personalized ribbons, trophies, and buckles are awarded, with the top performers invited back Sunday to take part in a mini-rodeo.

Unlimited ride bracelets are available for $30, giving attendees unfettered access to the bevy of carnival rides.

Pony rides are a separate $5 fee, provided by Old McDebbie’s Farm, along with an exotic farm animal petting zoo open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Returning this year is the Royal Court — absent from the fair since the 1980s — with the queen crowned from the three princesses on Thursday at 6:15 p.m. on the main stage. That stage will also play host to a wide selection of entertainment over the course of the fair, including Olympia country/rock duo The Olson Brothers (5 p.m. and 8 p.m. Thursday) and country singer/songwriter Jonathan Harris (5 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday).

Of course, there’s also plenty for the adults — the young at heart — to enjoy as well.

Attendees can also choose from a wide array of food options, from barbecue and teriyaki, to the more traditional elephant ears, scones, and curly fries.

A large element of the annual fair is the participation of 4-H, which Burnett described as a a hands on education program that build responsibility and hard work to help them succeed in life.

“You see them develop as adults,” she said. “It’s a huge impact on their life.”

Burnett said the best thing about the fair is everyone who helps carry it out each year.

“The amount of volunteers that put this fair together to make it happen,” she said. “It grows out of 4-H, FFA, people who attended the fair and enjoy it so much and want to make it better are the volunteers.”

Tickets are $3 when purchased online ($5 at the door), with special $1 admission for children ages 6 to 15 on Thursday only. Children under six get in free. Disabled veterans can get in for just $2 Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, while Sunday is free for all members of the Armed Forces with the presentation of their military ID.

The fair is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

For more information on the Pierce County Fair, visit