The Grant County Fair & the Moses Lake Roundup

Written by: Leanna Cushman – @leannacushman

If the only thing you know about Grant County is the Gorge Amphitheatre, you may not know about the Grand Coulee laser light show, the healing waters of Soap Lake or the jam packed fun of the Grant County Fair.

carnival grant county fair, explore washington state

Let’s talk about that last thing. For someone who lived near Seattle, grew up in Tacoma, then moved to Spokane, Grant County was the stinky part of our road trip from one side of the state to the other. It’s stinky because they have a lot going on! There’s so much agriculture and farming (growing more potatoes per acre than Idaho) and big tech giants out here too (like Yahoo and Microsoft)!

The only recollection I had of Grant Country growing up, before living here, was spotting the Moses Lake water towers, and exiting to use the bathroom and get some food at one of the neon fast food signs flashing near the exit.

My husband got a job at Lamb Weston a year before we got married, and I knew I’d be moving out here when I was finished with school and after we’d tie the knot! We first got a rental in Ephrata, and the Grant County Fair was in Moses Lake, only 27 minutes away! We had lots of fun, enjoyed the food, were in awe of the rodeo and the demolition derby, and it’s free for everyone on opening day! We didn’t plan on buying a home the next year already, and the best fit for us was in Quincy! Although it became a 40 minute drive to Moses Lake, that hasn’t stopped us from going to the Grant County Fair and Rodeo every summer since we moved!

The Grant County Fair took place August 14-18 this year, and with work keeping us busy, we didn’t make it until the last day of the fair, but it never disappoints! Here are some of the highlights of our day.

Quincy group Ballet Sol y Luna grant county fair, explore washington state


We got there in the afternoon, and the first thing we watched was the Ballet Sol y Luna, a folkloric non-profit dance group based out of Quincy. It was mesmerizing to see young children dance so professionally, like adults would; very coordinated and so sophisticated when they danced in pairs. They also have bands and singers, magic shows, a hypnotist, stunt shows, and so much more! You MIGHT be able to see it all if you went all the hours they are open, every day they are open. There are also exhibits filled with artifacts by local talent.

deep fried oreo grant county fair, explore washington state


Not going to lie; you aren’t going to eat the healthiest at the fair, but your taste buds will thank you. Everything, from the classic huckleberry ice cream cone, to a refreshing mangonada, deep fried anything, a whole potato (they’re big out here) turned into curly fries, fresh-squeezed lemonade, elephant ears, kettle corn, liquid-nitrogen desserts, and the established Space Burger.

kettle corn at grant county fair, explore washington state
mangonada grant county fair, explore washington state
chicken grant county fair, explore washington state

The Animals

Who could forget the animals?! Remember earlier when I said Central Washington is a little stinky? It’s because of these quirky fellas. Some of the chickens had eggs in their pens, and anytime I tried to take a picture of the egg, they got in my face. Like this:

black chicken grant county fair, explore washington state
white chicken grant county fair, explore washington state
bunny grant county fair, explore washington state

It was crazy hair day for a few of the animals…

sleeping pig grant county fair, explore washington state

…and nap time for others…

fresh egg grant county fair, explore washington state
sleeping black and white cow grant county fair, explore washington state
carnival lights grant county fair, explore washington state

The Carnival

Not much to say about it, other than how nostalgic it feels to be around the sounds and lights of a carnival. You’ll just have to experience this part yourself.

two riders at the moses lake roundup, explore washington state

The Rodeo

I have to say, this is one of classiest rodeos I can ever think of attending. They’re so good at supporting talent, supporting cultures, and supporting our troops. I get goosebumps just thinking about this part of our annual visit to the fair. I didn’t think I’d like rodeos growing up since I was more of a city gal, but the Moses Lake Roundup forever changed my mind.

If you’re ever in Central Washington in the middle of August, make your way to the Grant County Fair! You won’t regret it.

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