‘Welcome back’: Nevada County Fair returns with music, rides, treats, livestock and more
Special to Prospector
For an organization that is focused on bringing people together, the past year and a half has been a challenge, but the staff has pulled through and stepped up to bring back a tradition that had only been canceled one other time in its history — and that was due to World War II. The staff and board of the Nevada County Fairgrounds are excited to announce the Nevada County Fair is “Back in Town.”
From growing up as a 4H kid showing livestock, to leading the organization, one only needs to spend a few minutes with Nevada County Fairgrounds CEO Patrick Eidman to soak up the love and excitement he holds for all that is the Nevada County Fair.
“I graduated from Nevada Union. I showed here as an FFA (Future Farmers of America) kid. Even when I was away working other jobs as an adult, I would often take a week off to work the fair because I just love it as a place, an event and as an institution. It’s very exciting to be working here full time.”
Making the decision to cancel the fair last year was out of his hands, and this year is not without challenges. “We are following the associated protocols and adding some on top of that, but we are thrilled to be able to open,” Eidman said. “At the gates it is recommended that everyone be vaccinated, have a recent negative test or wear a mask, but it is based on personal responsibility.”
No mask mandate is required but it is encouraged, and free masks will be available. Some modifications have been made to help people keep some distance between them in exhibit halls, and there are some booths on Treat Street that will not be open, but for the most part the fair will bring all one would expect, including the animals that will be judged and later sold at auction.
“We are trying to provide as full a fair experience as we can, but certainly some things are going to look different,” Eidman added. “We can spread folks out with the vendors, and we are really focused on the local aspect. The area down by Tall Pines is reserved for local vendors, so we are excited to feature and highlight them.”
Each day the fair features a theme and the entertainment changes daily. Eidman said one “not to be missed” is the return of the flying canines.
“K9 Kings will be performing daily at 11:30 a.m., 3 and 6 p.m. on the arena green. It’s a flying acrobatic dog act. It’s been quite a number of years since they have been here, and we are excited to have them.”
The special events tent has been reimagined to offer fun and safe activities.
Community Day on Thursday means $3 admission until 5 p.m. tonight and free admission for disabled persons (and one chaperone for those who require assistance.) The entertainment line up includes John Basa’s Drummers Showcase on the Pine Tree Stage at noon and Motocross Madness with ATV/UTV racing in the Arena at 7 p.m. Eidman said, “It’s a show with local ATV and UTV racing, so it’s chance for local folks to come out, which is always a lot of fun for people much braver than I am.”
Friday is Family Day which includes one free ride ticket for the first five hundred guests, and one of the big features, the Ag Mechanics Auction will take place. Despite the high schools’ closures last year, students still managed to build impressive works.
“The building is full of really cool projects the kids put together, but a lot of it was from home or working in shops around town. It speaks to there perseverance and ‘get it done’ attitude, which is great,” said Eidman.
Saturday is a day focused on saluting our military with free admission for active and retired military members until 5 p.m.
Friday and Saturday the Arena will hold Monster Truck racing and Sunday the incredibly popular Destruction Derby will take place.
With three stages to fill over five days, the musical entertainment throughout the week is varied. Eidman said one special group is Mogollon (pronounced moe-ghee-on) out of Arizona, “We lost Jim Tucker (rhythm guitarist for the Turtles who often played with the band) last year. It’s going to be sad to see them up there without him but also nice to have them here to help remember Jim and his legacy.”
One of this year’s Nevada County Fair Blue-Ribbon recipients, KNCO’s Tom Fitzsimmons, will broadcast the Junior Livestock Auction beginning at 9 a.m. (Each year the Blue-Ribbon Award is given out in recognition and honor of those who have provided outstanding support to the Fair.) Eidman said as with the Ag Mechanics, the livestock auction receives a great deal of support from our community.
“Many earlier fairs livestock auctions have been record setting and I hope that Nevada County will continue that trend. Of course, local organizations and businesses have always been hugely generous to the livestock and ag mechanics kids, and we expect that to continue. We are hoping to have some great auctions for the kids.”
“We are really excited to welcome everybody back,” Eidman concluded. “Having the year off without the fair was really tough and we are so pleased to be able to put on a fair again. It’s such an important tradition and when I really think about it, it becomes almost overwhelming. It’s really a special event.”
Free shuttles are available to and from the fair. The fair runs through Aug. 15. For more details about the fair, go to nevadacountyfair.com.
Hollie Grimaldi Flores is a Nevada County resident and freelance writer for hire, as well as a podcaster at HollieGrams. You can hear her episodes at https://www.buzzsprout.com/1332253. She can be reached at email@example.com
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