Fair History

Yakima Valley Fair & Rodeo History

Celebrating 90 Years!

This year will be the 90th year of festivities at the Yakima Valley Fair & Rodeo (YVFR) in Grandview. It will be the 28th anniversary at the current location, Country Park on Wallace Way.

1927 The fair started with canvas-covered booths lining the downtown streets of Grandview.

It became known as the “Harvest Festival” and in the early years, the first Team Pull was held in the streets of Grandview.

1931 The fair was CANCELLED because of the polio epidemic.

1943-44 The fair was CANCELLED due to World War II.

1945 The first Livestock Auction took place.

1948 The fair was built on Second Street property that is now Yakima Valley Community College.

1951 The Harvest Festival became Yakima Valley Junior Fair.

1954-55 Home Economics quonset building and a long shed for livestock were added at the downtown fairgrounds.

1970’s Entertainment highlighted the nights of the fair. Barbara Mandrell performed, along with other country musicians and stage performers. Carnivals were popular.

1988 The fair outgrew itself in town and moved to the current location on Wallace Way.

2001 The name was changed to Yakima Valley Fair & Rodeo and the first three years were a successful part of the ProWest Rodeo circuit, then joined the PRCA for several years.

2007 Foundation for the Yakima Valley Fair & Rodeo began…celebrating 10 years!

2010 Returned to the Pro West Rodeo, involving more local participants.

Currently The Yakima Valley Fair & Rodeo continues to grow and develop each year, with tremendous community support. The YVF&R Foundation has spearheaded the arena bleacher project and other improvements. Livestock facilities are continually maintained and updated by volunteers and supported by donations to the Livestock Improvement Fund. A major fund-raising event for the fair is the Farm Equipment Auction held annually on the third Saturday of March. The funds raised have allowed purchase of property on Wallace Way, which is being developed. A dedicated board of volunteers works diligently to improve the quality of the Fair & Rodeo.