Clayton Fairgrounds gears up for a busy season

Farmers Market – June 4 – Sept | Rodeo – July 21-22 | Community Fair – August 25-27

By Arneth Beck

The Clayton Community Fairgrounds is preparing for a busy season with the Farmers Market on Sundays starting in June, the Clayton Rodeo in July, and the Community Fair in August. The Clayton fairgrounds are located in southern Stevens County, west of highway 395 on Wallbridge Road. It is a fenced area of twenty acres with three open barns and three closed barns, along with a 130-foot by 260-foot horse arena.


Clayton Rodeo


The annual Clayton Rodeo will be held at the Clayton Community Fairgrounds on July 21-22, in conjunction with Deer Park Settlers weekend. Entries are now open and those interested can register online at claytoncommunityfair.com.


The Clayton Rodeo is good, honest fun and a great event for the family to come and watch. There will be vendors offering great food along with a recently added beer garden. Vendor forms are available at claytoncommunityfair.com. Rodeo tickets will be sold at the gate and are $15 for adults, $12 for children 6-12 years old, and free for children under 6 accompanied by an adult. On Friday night, July 21, they are offering a special military and senior discounted ticket for $12. Come have fun and be a part of the rodeo spirit while supporting the fairgrounds.


The Clayton Rodeo’s sole purpose is to raise funds for the Clayton Community Fair which takes place in August (keep an eye out for the 2023 fairbooks). The Deer Park Fair Association dba Clayton Community Fair is a 501c3 non-profit organization. It operates independently from the county or state and all proceeds go toward funding the fair and maintaining the fairgrounds. Everything is strictly run by volunteers, including the 12 volunteer members on the fair board.


The Clayton Rodeo had its start in Deer Park, where the fair association leased property from the city. When the city decided to develop that land in 2005, the Association purchased land in Clayton (where the fairgrounds are now located) and had its first fair the following year. In 2007, they started the annual rodeo, which has continued ever since. The Clayton Rodeo is primarily managed by Dwayne Strong and his wife, Jan, who got involved with the Fair Association in the 1990s, and who have continued to manage it on a volunteer basis.
The Clayton Fairgrounds can be rented for events such as family reunions or weddings. The arena is also available to host equine events. They have a kitchen on site, a huge parking area, picnic tables, announcer’s booth and bathrooms. Contact Dwayne Strong for more information on volunteering, the rodeo, or renting the grounds at 509-951-7379. Everyone is welcome to attend the fair meetings which are held the fourth Tuesday of every month at the fairgrounds (May through September) and in Deer Park (October through April) starting at 7 p.m. at Pizza Factory.


Clayton Farmers Market


The Clayton Farmers Market will be at Clayton Fairgrounds starting the first Sunday of June. The market is open Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.. Vendors and farmers offer locally grown and crafted items, such as vegetables, handcrafted items, and also livestock. To participate as a vendor, you must live in Stevens, Spokane, Ferry or Pend Oreille county and all items must be locally grown and/or raised. The Clayton Farmers Market follows the Tri-County Health District rules.


At the Clayton Farmers Market, you can expect to find: locally harvested honey, fresh, home-grown vegetables, jams and other canned goods, and homemade soaps, plus other unique crafts, tools and goodies.
Contact Stephanie Littrel, market manager, with any questions, vendor form, and further information at claytonfarmersmarket2017@gmail.com or 509-951-4207. You can also follow them on Facebook.com/Clayton Farmers Market and Small Farm Animals.


Clayton Community Fair


The Deer Park Fair Association dba Clayton Community Fair is a non-profit organization. Their goal is to preserve agricultural heritage through the annual Clayton Community Fair. This year’s fair will take place August 25-27, 2023. The theme is Stars, Stripes and Summer Nights and the fair’s 2023 color is navy blue. Note: There is a special category in the photography section with extra awards for pictures that capture the fair’s color.


Sarah Cotter manages the Clayton Fair and has been volunteering in this position for about ten years. Cotter is a fair royalty mom and her kids show livestock as well. She volunteers her time because she said, “It’s a good thing for the community and my heart.”


New changes are coming to the 2023 Clayton Fair. There are various language signs at all the buildings and they are considering adding new languages in 2024. They are also planning to possibly have a covered sales ring this year.


What makes the Clayton Community Fair different from other fairs? “We don’t have carnival rides,” Cotter said. “That would be the biggest thing when you drive up. We work hard to keep this a community event, and that starts with keeping all prices low…from the gate to get in, to not charging a lot for the vendors, which means they can pass on some savings in their food prices. We also try to have free activities for the kids like build-it-kits and a hay maze or straw pile to climb.”


Volunteers Needed! The Clayton Fair has been around for quite some time, and it has continued to grow, but they still have challenges with having enough volunteers and raising enough money for grounds maintenance and improvements. They would love more help in the Arts & Crafts barn, also known as the Green Barn. They are also desperately seeking help for the car show during the fair, and need a vendor coordinator.


Fundraising – The Clayton Rodeo is their biggest fundraiser along with having a soap sale and hosting a benefit dinner on Sept. 9 this year. The proceeds from renting out the fairgrounds also help with fair expenses.
“It is a good old country fair where you can eat ice cream, see what projects everyone has been busy with and visit with your neighbors,” Cotter said.


The Clayton Community Fair is about early mornings, late nights, cleaning stalls and showing in the hot August sun, but it is great for creating memories for the whole family.


See the Clayton Fair’s website or facebook page to keep updated on upcoming events and changes.


Website: Claytoncommunityfair.com
Facebook: Clayton Community Fairgrounds
Email: claytoncommunityfair@gmail.com
The Fairgrounds number (509) 276-2444