KENNEWICK, Wash. – The Benton Franklin Fair is celebrating 75 years in the community today.
It’s a major milestone for a nonprofit organization formed by a visionary group of prominent community members on May 25, 1948. Seventy-five years later, that same 501c3 nonprofit operates the largest event in the Tri-Cities, the Benton Franklin Fair & Rodeo.
The Fair has evolved over its more than seven decades but at its heart, the event is always about kids and community. While the Best Week of Summer is the undisputed highlight of the year, the Fair is a part of the fabric of the community year-round, donating to service organizations and nonprofits, championing youth organizations, participating in and sponsoring events, and supporting other nonprofits with fundraising efforts.
The Fair Association 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. One thing many people don’t know is that the Fair does not own or operate the fairgrounds in Kennewick. The Fair is a tenant for a few weeks a year, leasing the facility. That means the entire event is set-up and torn down in a matter of weeks. That massive undertaking is performed by a small staff and a whole lot of volunteers.
Each August, the Fair brings more than 117,000 people to Kennewick in five days with an economic impact to the community of $18.5 million. People travel from 30 states to the Fair, filling hotels and spending their dollars in the Tri-Cities. In Washington alone, the Fair has ticket buyers from 171 cities bringing people from every corner of the state.
The Fair will be celebrating its 75 years of service to the community all summer long, culminating with the Best Week of Summer August 22-26. Make sure to follow the Fair on social media for exciting announcements and opportunities.