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Puyallup businesses hit hard by pandemic banking on Spring Fair

Businesses that went days and even weeks without customers are hoping the Spring Fair will increase foot traffic.

PUYALLUP, Wash. — Puyallup businesses hope the extra foot traffic from the Spring Fair will give them the boost they need after a difficult year due pandemic restrictions.

That includes Live & Rory Clothing Boutique, a small store that Kylieanah Gilroy took over in October. 

Gilroy said she came on as the new owner excited and optimistic. But the pandemic slowed business to the point where she almost had to close. 

She isn't alone.

"We had weeks with zero customers...," Gilroy said. "I'm just really hopeful that, even if [the Spring Fair] brings a couple of people in, it's new faces."

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A spokesperson for the city of Puyallup said the fair, which runs April 7-11 and April 14-18, is crucial to local businesses and bringing new visitors to the area. 

This year, tickets must be purchased in advance from the state fair website. Unlike the traditional fair, guests of the Spring Fair will drive through the grounds, while being allowed to get out of their vehicles at designated points.

The Washington State Fair, which is typically held in September, was canceled last year for the first time in 80 years due to the pandemic.

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