THE FAIR IN THE COMMUNITY 71 years & counting

The Benton Franklin Fair is produced by a 501c3 organization, established in 1948. It is the only bi-county fair in the state of Washington. We all know the excitement of fair week, but here's a look at the fair's role in the community all year long.

Health & welfare:

  • Donated $168,000 in the past 12 years to area hospitals to assist with cancer prevention and care for uninsured women.
  • American Red Cross: sponsored a blood drive yielding blood donations with the potential to save 75 lives.

Feeding those in need:

  • Donated more than 100,000 pounds of food to 2nd Harvest over the past decade.
  • Sponsor of WSU Master Gardeners community food gardens, providing a raised gardening bed for a low-income resident to grow 100 pounds of food annually.

Art in the community:

• Sponsor of a traffic box mural in downtown Kennewick, supporting a local artist and the Downtown Historic Kennewick Partnership.

• Sponsor of a large mural at the fairgrounds, painted by students from area alternative schools and a local artist. Earned the 2014 Visual Arts Award from the Kennewick Arts Commission for this project.

• Supported and showcased the Painted Piano Project at the fair.

• Sponsor of the Boys and Girls Club of Benton and Franklin Counties Impact Percussion group.

Literacy & Education:

• Support Junior Achievement with an annual sponsorship valued at $5,000.

• Support the Children’s Reading Foundation of the Mid-Columbia’s annual fund-raiser.

• Support summer reading programs at the Mid-Columbia Libraries, the Burbank Library and the Richland Library.

• Celebrated the openings of two new elementary schools in Kennewick, providing fair tickets to all students.

• Provides anti-bullying assemblies to area schools with our rodeo clown (who also has a master's degree in education), bringing life lessons and awareness to more than 3,000 students annually.

• Participant and supporter of Farm Fair, a program that teaches more than 1,200 5th graders about agriculture.

• Provided more than $60,000 in scholarships to fair participants.

• Supports the Columbia Basin College welding program by providing fair-related projects and scholarships.

Supporting law enforcement:

• Donated more than $1,200 to the Kennewick Police Department Foundation to support the Community Cares Fund. The fund allows officers to provide immediate need to people in distress, from a tank of gas to an auto repair bill or a hotel room for a victim of domestic violence.

• Provides hundreds of youth tickets to area law enforcement agencies to use at National Night Out events and community outreach.

• Showcased Pasco PD's K-9 program at the rodeo.

Special needs:

• Host of Rascal Rodeo, providing authentic rodeo experiences to special needs athletes. Also supports the organization’s annual fund-raiser.

• Supports the annual fundraiser for Youth Outdoors Unlimited, which provides outdoor experiences for children with life-threatening illnesses or physical disabilities.

• Supports local therapeutic riding organizations.

  • Donated kitchen equipment to iMPACT! Compassion Center.
  • Granted Wishing Star wish to terminally ill child. Assisted Wishing Star with fund-raising efforts in Tri-Cities.

Economic impact and the community:

• The Fair spent just under $1 million with local businesses in 2018.

• The Fair’s payroll for the month of August was $105,980, providing jobs for 93 people.

• The Market Stock Sale generated $904,309 for the youth livestock exhibitors at the 2018 Fair.

• The Fair paid exhibitors and participants $240,090 in prize money in 2018.

• Service groups earned $42,391 for work done at the fair.

• Four service groups with food booths at the fair earned $105,320 in 2018.

• 1,536 youth and adults entered 10,258 items & 4,767 animal exhibits in the Benton Franklin Fair in 2018.

• Local food concessionaires grossed $385,820 at this year’s event.

The Benton Franklin Fair is governed by a volunteer board of directors. The Fair Board, Rodeo Committee, and the Market Stock Committee work year-round to make the event a success each year. It takes 500 additional volunteers to put on the annual Fair.

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