Eating a scorpion is like eating a sunflower seed.
At least, that’s how the workers behind the counter at Fresh Burgers and Exotic Meats at the Washington State Fair describe it.
But fair-goers can decide for themselves this year, as Manchurian Scorpions are one item on the menu, along with chili-roasted grasshoppers, barbeque crickets, alligator burgers and kangaroo sausage.
“We expect it to be very popular,” said booth runner Michael Fort, who added that they ran out of all of their alligator patties last year.
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Raspberry scone ice cream and ale
Looking for something a little more conventional than insects?
The new Fisher raspberry scone ice cream made its debut when the fair opened on Friday, and can be found at nine dessert booths around the fair — but not at the Fisher booths.
But don’t expect the ice cream to be available after the fair just yet, said public relations manager Stacy Howard.
“Right now, it’s exclusive to the fair,” she said.
Along the lines of raspberry scones — a Raspberry Scone Golden Ale, brewed by the Puyallup River Brewing Co., made its debut Monday.
Fair-goers can also try cookie dough and cake batter at Scoops!, fruit at Stu’s Fresh Fruit and paella at Paella Pro.
The six piglets came as a surprise. They were born only a few days before the fair.
Susan Becker, owner of the sheep, goats and alpacas at the fair, remembered finding them at the farm they came from.
“We heard ‘squeak, squeak, squeak’ and we went in the corner and she was having babies,” Becker said.
Now a week old, they can be found at the Fair Farm across from the Blue Gate.
Snowshoeing and fishing
There might not be any snow, but you can still go snowshoeing at the fair — as long as you know where to look.
The Northwest Outdoors building, located near the Blue Gate, features free events and activities for families.
Volunteers from the National Park Service can be found strapping snowshoes on visitors to walk through straw, which is the closest slippery, crunchy alternative to snow.
Fishing is also a possibility inside NW Outdoors, where a tank full of 750 rainbow trout can be caught and then are released. The fish, supplied by the Puyallup Fish Hatchery, were raised for this activity.
NW Outdoors volunteer Mike said that as many as 560 fish have been caught in a single day.
“When you get 500 smiles going through here a day, it’s worth it,” he said.
Giant Insect Adventure and Big Washington’s Imagination Workshop are two new paid exhibits this year. The Superhero Headquarters exhibit returns this year with free admission. A new kids ride, Circus Jumbo, involves flying elephants, while the carousel celebrates its 100th birthday.
The fair is open from 10:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays; 10:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Fridays; 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Saturdays; and 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Sundays. It is located at 110 9th Avenue SW, Puyallup. Tickets range from $10.50 to $14, while kids under 5 get in free. For more information, visit thefair.com.
Washington State Fair Hours
▪ Monday, Wednesday, Thursday: 10:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
▪ Tuesday: Closed
▪ Friday: 10:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
▪ Saturday: 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
▪ Sunday: 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.