Lies and rumors could hurt local fair and rodeo - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Lies and rumors could hurt local fair and rodeo

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ELLENSBURG, Wash.-- The Kittitas County Fair and Ellensburg Rodeo get underway soon, but widespread rumors and some outright lies have created a lot of confusion for people interested in attending the fair.

Kittitas County Sheriff's detectives are investigating a man who they believe has been sending out bogus emails, and setting up fake website's saying the Labor Day weekend fair and rodeo are canceled.

But, it's not, and organizers want people to know they have a weekend full of fun planned.

"There was an email that was sent out saying that the fair and rodeo was canceled largely in part to the Taylor Bridge fire," said Matt Anderson, facilities manager for the fair.

"We get this every year for the past few years," said Kittitas County Undersheriff, Clayton Meyers.

Meyers says this kind of rumor spreading isn't new for the Labor Day weekend festivities.

The Kittitas County Chamber of Commerce says they know the longtime Ellensburg resident spreading the rumors and this year they say he's gone as far as impersonating public figures. 

"Anytime bad information goes out like that it's always going to be a factor but we've done our best to try and correct that as soon as the email came out, getting on top of it and getting out the correct information," said Anderson.

He just hopes that everyone knows the fair and rodeo are still happening.

Last year, they saw 70,000 people come through their gates, and with the great weather this year, they're hoping for even more people, and more money that comes in with the yearly event.

"I think that its been addressed promptly by both the media and by the members of the fair board and the rodeo board, and the Chamber of Commerce. So I really don't think that it's going to have an impact, but it could," said Meyers.

Unfortunately the misinformation was picked up by some Seattle area media outlets who did run a small story on the cancellation. They have since fixed the mistake. 

The investigation is ongoing and an arrest has not yet been made. 

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