A Successful Central Washington State Fair

State Fair Park staff pose for a staff picture after a successful fair.

Despite smoke from local forest fires, 304,769 people attended this year’s Central Washington State Fair, making it the third year in a row for 300,000+ attendees.  Toytopia, Barnville, A Walk on the Wild Side and Coastal’s Fair Farm were just a few of the featured attractions.  Headliner acts were enjoyed by thousands along with grandstand attractions, rodeo-style events and motorized events.  A highlight of the fair was a mini-parade through the fairgrounds to honor Dale Carpenter, a community champion and volunteer.

 The “original and only Washington State Fair” was first held in Yakima at the current fairgrounds in 1893.  Nearly 120 years later, the Central Washington State Fair continues to be an autumn tradition, a celebration of harvest and a place for people to gather.  Plans are already underway for next year’s fair, slated for September 20-29, 2013. For more information visit their website.

Yelp Social Media Workshop

The Yakima Valley Visitors & Convention Bureau is hosting a workshop for businesses and organizations on using the social media website Yelp. The session is 11:00 a.m. November 1, 2012 at The Seasons Performance Hall, 101 N. Naches in Yakima.

Morgan Remmers and Darnell Holloway from Yelp’s corporate office in San Francisco will teach business owners how to use their Yelp listing to market themselves. They will also discuss best practices for using Yelp’s free review response tools.

Yelp is a popular business review and social media site. According to Yelp, every second a consumer generates directions or calls a local business from their mobile app. Yelp had an average of 78 million monthly unique visitors in the second quarter of this year. Yelp users have written more than 30 million local reviews for businesses, attractions and events.

The session is designed in an informative rather than interactive format. Attendees are welcome to bring their smartphone, iPad and/or laptop but they are not required for the session.

Cost for the workshop is $10 for Yakima Valley VCB members and $20 for non-members. A light lunch is included. Registration is available online at YakimaYelpWorkshop.bpt.me, by phone (509) 575-3010 or  email Reesha@VisitYakima.com.

Pirate Plunder Adventure Race a Muddy Success

They came, they saw and they plundered…the mud that is.

More than 870 contestants (many dressed in Pirate garb) participated in the first Pirate Plunder Adventure Race in Yakima yesterday.  Contestants slogged through 4 miles of dirt, water, sand and mud while battling 17 obstacles.  Check out this on-the-course video done by a member of the local Cross Fit team.

In addition, Pirates greeted, encouraged and taunted the contestants as they made their way through the course. With a lively party atmosphere that included live music, beverages and food, participants and their families enjoyed the mild fall weather.

And while fun and adventure were the main motives, it’s hoped that the race will become a magnet for adventure racers from across the U.S. Preliminary data showed that nearly 15% of the contestants came from beyond the Yakima Valley, including Montana , Idaho, Oregon and Western Washington State. Those participants boosted the local economy in a muddy way!

Here’s a few local media stories about the adventure:

Yakima Herald story, plus video and pictures.  Yakima Herald Editorial

KIMA news piece    KNDO story on weekend events

The event was organized and staged by the Yakima Valley Sports Commission and Whiplash Sports, with presenting sponsor Steve Hahn Volkswagen~Audi~Kia and with the help of many other sponsors and volunteers. For more details on the event visit PiratePlunderRace.com and be sure to like the Pirate Plunder Race Facebook page.

See you next year mateys!