County festival comes to town

Palouse Empire Fair starts today, boasts art, animals, entertainment



Visitors ride on the ferris wheel at the Palouse Empire Fair.

RACHEL KOCK, Evergreen reporter

As the warm summer weather of the region starts to decline, the community celebrates the sunshine with the Palouse Empire Fair.

This annual event, which acts as the Whitman County fair, brings people from across the Palouse to enjoy the entertainment and strong sense of community.

“It’s a community event,” Fair Manager Janel Goebel said. “It brings all of Whitman County together.”

The Palouse Empire Fair has a traditional country carnival feel, Goebel said. However, there are still more modern recent adjustments for the spectators’ benefit. 

“We have new food booths, we have new vendors [and] we have a brand-new grandstand,” Goebel said.

The fair will include an exhibit booth and livestock including steer, sheep, goats, chickens, pigs and ducks that the children of Whitman county have raised specifically for the event, Goebel said.

There will also be a variety of live performance events, such as rodeos and concerts. 

“We’ve got a hypnotist,” said Heather Netz, the Palouse Empire Fair’s event coordinator.

Netz added that the concerts will include Wylie & the Wild West and The Hankers. Both will take place after the rodeo.

She said that Wylie & the Wild West will play some western and yodeling-infused music.

The Hankers is a local band that is active in the community and has previous experience performing in local events, Netz said.

Netz said that WSU students should spend a full day at the fair on a weekend, rather than a half-day after they are done with all their classes.

“There’s free food, hometown entertainment, they can check out our local arts, […] some of the cool vendors we have and then you can catch The Hankers or Wylie,” she said.

The Palouse Empire Fair gives residents of Whitman County the chance to have fun and enjoy local culture.

“It’s a year-round process,” Goebel said, “kind of for everybody in Whitman County to get ready for.”

The Palouse Empire Fair will be open daily 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. from Thursday, Sept. 5 to Saturday, Sept. 7 at 322 Fairgrounds Road, Colfax. The fair will also be open from 8 a.m. to 4:01 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 8.