Lorraine’s Lowdown: We’re already looking forward to next year’s Nevada County Fair | TheUnion.com

Lorraine’s Lowdown: We’re already looking forward to next year’s Nevada County Fair

Lorraine Jewett
Special to The Union

Psychologists Call It a “Happiness Hangover,” the malaise that follows spectacular experiences such as a wedding, retirement, graduation or our county fair. Please indulge me with a last look at the annual extravaganza that wrapped up its five-day run Sunday. As I posted on my Facebook timeline Monday, “Now we wait 360 days…”

Unsung Heroes of the Fair include a gentleman who each year buys dozens of children’s admission tickets and leaves them at the front office for staff to anonymously give to kids in need. Then there were the families who this year organized buyers at the Junior Livestock Auction to financially and emotionally support two young livestock exhibitors, one who lost her mother a few weeks before the Fair and another who lost his mom the week of Fair…

Kudos to All who took a patient breath while Butler Amusement ride operators stopped the log ride, and, along with a handful of Good Samaritan fair guests, helped a 93-year-old war veteran get on board. Fair-goers lining the Marigold Path cheered while the veteran’s smile lit up the fairgrounds with each splash and turn…

Happy Trails to Building Superintendents Val Hixon and Lettie Lewis, who are retiring after working the fair’s Ponderosa Hall for three decades…

Cecil Snow has worked with the fair’s Red Shirt team since 1984 — 35 years in all. But wait, that math is a little askew. Says Cecil, “I work the fair one week, Draft Horse Classic four days, and Country Christmas Faire three days. So I really haven’t worked two full years…”

Welcome Back to the folks who moved to Oregon yet trek the 550-mile, 11-hour roundtrip to visit what they consider “one of the best fairs in the country.” Family pride played a part: “We especially wanted to see our grandson Frankie Benuzzi race his Tough Truck…”

Margaret Heywood has attended the fair 44 times during her lifetime and loved every minute. She’s 101-years-young, plus six months…

Hello Herr Holger, the dapper young man who travels to the NevCo Fair from Germany each year so he can dance to his favorite band, Mogollon, and hear the song the band wrote that immortalizes the fair (more below)…

The Fairgrounds Takes a Beating each day, but somehow it magically looks brand new each morning. Kudos to the overnight crew that selflessly toils through the night…

Fair Big Wigs, CEO Patrick Eidman and Deputy Manager CEO Wendy Oaks, tell me, “These are just a few of the stories of people who love the Fair, donate anonymously, work hard behind-the-scenes, return year after year, and travel across the U.S. and from other countries to enjoy a place they call ‘their’ Fair…”

Sincere Thanks to the 81 businesses and organizations that are official sponsors of the fair, helping fund new activities, rides and exhibits. For 30 years, Fairgrounds Partnership Director Craig Hoddy has recruited sponsors for fairgrounds events. Craig explains, “I am honored to give people the chance to contribute to events they love, such as the Fair, Draft Horse Classic, and Country Christmas Faire…”

Jim Tucker is a local musician who rarely takes the stage these days, in part because he’s modest following his international fame as guitarist/singer with the rock band The Turtles (1965-70: think “So Happy Together”). For the past dozen years, Jim has made an exception during the NevCo Fair and performed by invitation with the Phoenix-based band Mogollon. Jim played with the band amid thunderous applause during a final set Sunday night. “It’s their gig and I didn’t want to get in the way,” says the ever-humble Jim. “But they kept saying, ‘Let’s play another one…’”

Mogollon Band Members love to play their original composition that’s an ode to the fair’s music fan(atic)s. It’s a sing-along ditty that takes note of the fair’s infamous hay bale VIP seating, and everyone in the crowd knows the chorus by heart…

On the Final Day, Jim Tucker and the lovely Debbie Prisk-Olsen didn’t rest. They hosted a luncheon/jam session with Mogollon band members, friends and family — each happy for a home-cooked meal after the band’s recent European tour. A ticket to that Sunday luncheon affair is tougher to obtain than a backstage pass at the Hollywood Bowl…

Silver Tongues & Quick Wits entertained while raising money at the fair’s Ag Mechanics auction. Metal and wood creations hand-crafted by high school students sold for multiple-times the normal retail price as our community rallied to support local youths. Auctioneer Jake Parnell chastised one bidder, “You can’t bid just once!” Sidekick and Livestock Producers Prez Tim Reid agreed, “It’s a STATE law!” Jake continued to solicit more bids with the admonishment, “You can’t bid just twice!” to which Tim added, “That’s a FEDERAL law…!”

Friends Catch Up on Old Times, families reunite and divorced couples warily cross paths at the fair. One divorcée told me, “I just saw my ‘wusband’ at the Loadin’ Chute…”

Did You Know? The inaugural Nevada County Fair was a three-day event in October 1938 at GeeVee’s Veterans Memorial Building and Hennessy School playground. The fair has been held annually ever since, except during the World War II years of 1942-1946. The first Nevada County Fair at the state’s “Most Beautiful Fairgrounds” on McCourtney Road was in 1947. In 1961, adult admission prices increased from a dime to a quarter…

From the president who shepherded our country through the Great Depression and most of World War II, Franklin D. Roosevelt: “The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today…”

There is no limit to the happy news I’d love to receive at LorraineJewettWrites@gmail.com.


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