Bag checks, metal detectors coming to Washington State Fair

PUYALLUP, Wash. -- Fair-goers heading to Puyallup for the Washington State Fair this year will have their bags searched and be screened by a metal detector before they can enter, organizers said.

It's the first time in the fair's 119-year history that these heightened security measures will be in place.

"We work year-round on our security planning, as we are the largest event center in the state and have events other than our Fairs. We are constantly looking at our plan, working with our first responder partners and adjusting accordingly," organizers said.

Another heightened security measure -- in direct response to the recent spate of mass shootings -- will be the presence of a police officer at every entrance while it's open, fair organizers said. Previously, the gates were staffed by volunteers, though police officers and private security officers have always been a part of the fair's safety plan.

According to The Tacoma News Tribune, Puyallup police officers participated in an active shooter drill at the fairgrounds last week.

The Washington State Fair -- among the largest state fairs in the United States -- runs from Aug. 30 - Sept. 22.