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Do the Washington State Fair

Luminasia, concerts, farm animals, rodeo, and yes, the fair food

Luminasia has taken the traditional form of Chinese lantern making and modernized it into the 21st Century.

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Every year, more than a million people pour into the Washington State Fair (previously the Puyallup Fair) not only as a tradition, but also for the fresh and innovative experiences the fair offers, like this year's feature, Luminasia - described on the fair's website as "an exquisite take on the timeless tradition of Chinese lantern making, combining high-tech material and state-of-the art lighting and production techniques."

"It really is one of the most amazing attractions we've had in years," said Karen LaFlamme, media relations representative for the fair. "We have 40 artisans from China working on it. The theme is "East meets West," so there will be dragons and pagodas and things like the Space Needle, a ferry boat and totem poles ... it really is a magical 2-acre event."

LaFlamme emphasized that Luminasia will run for three weekends following the fair.

"It's new to the fair and new to the area," she said. "It's an attraction people will be disappointed if they don't see."

Other new highlights are the Bavarian Beer Garden and SillyVille Soda Shoppe. Also for the kiddies are two free interactive experiences: Tractor Tracks, where kids pedal antique tractors through a maze, and Crazy Worlds 5D Adventure, where participants navigate through an imaginary world while wearing 3D glasses.

The latest ride to show up at the fair is Rainier Rush, which LaFlamme described as a looping inversion coaster and "a nice contrast to the classic wooden roller coaster."

This year's music selection includes country stars Trace Adkins and Craig Morgan performing after the rodeos, and Cheap Trick will rock two classic albums live with an orchestra: At Budokan and Sgt. Pepper Live.

Ceelo Green, Carrie Underwood, Carnival of Madness, Kid Rock, Alabama and Al Jarraeu and the Tacoma Symphony are just some of the other acts playing this year. Larry the Cable Guy will also take the stage.

"It's a real diverse line up this year," LaFlamme said. "That's what makes it so nice for guests."

Luminasia, the awesome concert and event line ups, the charm of the farm animals, the rodeo, and yes, the fair food, too, are all part of the adventure.

So grab some friends, come on down and "Do the Puyallup."

WASHINGTON STATE FAIR, Sept 6 to 22, Washington State Fairgrounds, 110 Ninth Ave. SW, Puyallup. Cost is $9 to $12.50; 5 and younger free. For more information, visit

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