When life gets crazy, it’s tempting to retreat to couch, pajamas and social media. But it’s healthier for mind, body and spirit to be outside in the fresh air, enjoying family, friends and community. Thanks to the free annual Lacey Spring Fun Fair, you can do it all while giving back to those in need.

2019 Lacey Spring Fun Fair community
This is the 32nd annual Lacey Spring Fun Fair held on the grounds of Saint Martin’s University.
Photo courtesy: Lacey Spring Fun Fair

2019 is the Fair’s 32nd anniversary and it’s shaping up to be the best one yet. For the first time, organizers are partnering with the North Thurston Public Schools’ Compassionate Community Project to raise awareness and recognition of amazing students, teachers, families and supporters.

“This is the first time we’ve done this type of thing,” admits Lacey Parks and Recreation Supervisor Jeannette Sieler. “We’re building on the city, school district, and Chamber’s initiative as a ‘compassionate community’ and goal of 100,000 compassionate acts. The Lacey Spring Fun Fair Committee decided to provide an opportunity for the community to show compassion by bringing food donations with them. We plan to have a large vehicle and want to fill the truck.”

With more than 16,000 estimated attendees, that’s a tremendous opportunity. The Project’s goal is to document 100,000 compassionate acts in and around Lacey. As March draws to a close, more than 75,000 have been submitted so far.

Food items gathered go right back to needy local families. “Many of our families rely on the Thurston County Food Bank and free and reduced lunch,” explains NTPS Community Relations Manager Cortny Martin. “Lacey Spring Fun Fair provides the opportunity for them to have fun spending time together without having to spend any money. A big reason Lacey is such a strong community is because local organizations, such as the Thurston County Food Bank, City of Lacey, North Thurston Public Schools, and so many more have positive relationships and work together to benefit the greater good.”

2019 Lacey Spring Fun Fair food drive
Partnering with the North Thurston Public Schools’ Compassionate Community Project they hope to fill this truck with donated food. Photo courtesy: Lacey Spring Fun Fair

Martin is excited for this partnership. “Families can donate cans of food to the Thurston County Food Bank’s booth and it will be tracked towards the 100,000 compassionate acts goal,” she says. “I think this might very well get us to our goal and if not, pretty close!”

“The Lacey Spring Fun Fair is all about community and with the focus on Lacey as a ‘compassionate community’ it made sense to provide a way for people to help their neighbors,” says Sieler. “The Lacey branch of the Food Bank is under construction so making people aware that this resource will soon be in Lacey is another way for the Fun Fair to educate folks to either give or receive, and it will also give families a chance to talk to their children about compassion.”

Pack up your non-perishable donations and clear the weekend of May 18 and 19 on your calendar. This Fair is unique in that nearly everything is free. “The rides, the kid’s activities, the entertainment: all free,” says Sieler. “You only pay for food or products from vendors and we have some amazing vendors at the Fair! We encourage folks to support our great vendors with purchases as they help make this annual event free. Fun Fair is a uniquely Lacey event as many community businesses, organizations, non-profits, and groups come together to entertain, provide kids activities, and connect with their neighbors.”

Returning fan favorite rides will be joined this year by the Star Gazer Ferris Wheel and 2017 highlight the giant slide. Come ride a pony, swing on massive aerial swings, or try your luck at games. Want to be the next Idol…but for charity? Then practice your favorite song and sign up for Sunday’s Lip Sync Contest.

2019 Lacey Spring Fun Fair free rides
All rides and activities at the Fair are exciting, free, and open to everyone. Photo courtesy: Lacey Spring Fun Fair

“The popular Lip Sync Contest sponsored by TwinStar Credit Union this year is adding a cool category: individuals or groups can sign up to compete to win $500 for the charity of their choice,” says Sieler. “This is another way of celebrating our compassionate community in a fun way. Performers can be members of an organization, a business, or just some friends that want to get together and plan a lip sync performance that keeps on giving. We will also still have the regular performance category where contestants will compete for cash prizes.”

Vendor applications are open until April 18 or until spots fill up. Apply online while space is available. Businesses or non-profits wanting to host an activity for children can also apply. Fill out an application and submit details on the Kids World portal.

The Fair takes place on the gorgeous grounds of Saint Martin’s University and runs from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 18, and 11:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 19. Find a full schedule of events, sponsors, car show details, and more at the Lacey Spring Fun Fair website or on the Lacey Spring Fun Fair Facebook page.

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