Pancake breakfast gets fair off to running start (with video)

Annual event drew about 14,000 people

By Erik Hidle, Columbian staff writer


Updated: August 2, 2013, 7:03 PM


 Photo Gallery: 2013 Clark County Fair opening day

The Clark County Fair opened Friday with a pancake feed.

If you go

What: Clark County Fair.

Hours today: 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Where: 17402 N.E. Delfel Road, Ridgefield

Admission: Adults, $10; seniors 62 and older, $8; kids 7-12, $7 ($6 today, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.); kids 6 and younger, free; parking, $6; C-Tran shuttle, $2 per person round trip from area park-and-ride lots; children 6 and younger ride free. $1 discount on admission with a bus fare stub.

Carnival: Opens at noon; unlimited rides today, $30.

99.5 The Wolf Grandstands: Blue Oyster Cult, 7 p.m.

Other highlights: Pretty Baby Contest, registration at 10 a.m., contest at 11 a.m.; Diaper Derby, registration at 1 p.m., race at 1:30 p.m.

Pets: Not permitted, except for personal service animals or those on exhibition or in competition.

More or call 360-397-6180.

Online: Download the mobile app for the Clark County Fair at:

The rides, the animals, the exhibits, the games and, of course, the pancakes.

The 2013 Clark County Fair must be open for business.

It’s a fair tradition to open the gates in the early morning on opening day for the thousands of people willing to wait for free pancakes and sausage links before they check out the rest of what the fair has to offer.

John Morrison, the county’s fair director, said folks were milling about the entrance as early as 5:30 a.m.

At the front of the line was Walter Lewis, who said he’s been among the first to dine at the pancake breakfast every year for the past two decades.

“It’s kind of a tradition,” Lewis said. “Me and my dad used to come out here all the time, but he passed away five years ago, and he don’t make it anymore. But me and my wife try to keep the tradition going. It’s been over 20 years.”

Lewis said the fair workers have come to expect him at the front of the line each day.

“I give them a lot of heck over here,” Lewis said with a smile. “I pick on ’em. Oh, I tease them all the time. We have a lot of fun.”

Thousands of people queued in the line that wound through the fairgrounds, past lunchtime promises of turkey legs and “bricks” of curly fries.

By 11 a.m., when the pancake breakfast ended, the fair had ushered 14,154 people through the gates.

“And folks from (the sponsor) Fred Meyer, they feel they served more this year than in the recent past,” Morrison said.

Morrison said the pancakes give the fair an early “spike” in the numbers, calling it a “very definite draw.”

“That is a very good start for the fair,” Morrision said. “I’ll have more numbers by the end of the day, and then we can compare, but that is a good start.

Erik Hidle: 360-735-4547;;

View a video of the pancake breakfast at the Clark County Fair on The Columbian's YouTube Channel.