Community to ‘catch the fair bug’ at the Nevada County Fair |

Community to ‘catch the fair bug’ at the Nevada County Fair

The Nevada County Fair is pieced together as workers assemble the amusement ride, Spin Out, at the fairgrounds on Monday.
Laura Mahaffy/ | The Union


Aug. 12-16

Hours: Fair open from 10 a.m.-11 p.m.

Exhibit buildings open 10 a.m.-10 p.m. (Sunday until 9)

Carnival opens 11 a.m. daily

Location: Nevada County Fairgrounds

11228 McCourtney Road

Grass Valley, CA 95949

Parking: $6 per car

Free shuttle from Nevada Union High School from 8:30 a.m.-11:30 p.m.

Tickets: Adults $9, seniors $6, children (6-12) $4; Carnival bracelet for unlimited rides any one day: $28; Tickets can be purchased online at

Special Discount Days

Wednesday: Scholar Students Day (Free admission for Honor Roll students)

Thursday: Kids 12 and under get free admission from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Friday: Day for People with Disabilities (Disabled persons and one guest get in for free from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.)

Saturday: Salute to our Armed Services Day (All active duty and retired military who show ID get free admission)

Sunday: Community Day: All fair-goers can purchase admission for $5 until 5 p.m.

The Nevada County Fair. There is perhaps no other annual event that more completely galvanizes the western Nevada County community.

This year will feature all the beloved mainstays of fair tradition, as well as many new attractions.

From Wednesday to Sunday, the people of Nevada County will experience the roller coasters, animal shows, live music and the always-popular fair food that encapsulates the fair experience.

This year’s theme is “Catch the fair bug.” And in a testament to that theme, this year’s fair will feature live bug shows, cockroach races and an actual bug-tasting bar.

For those less inclined to bug-eating, there will also be adult cooking competitions that include “exterminator salsa” and “bumble bee chocolate.”

A free shuttle bus running from Nevada Union High School every half-hour will take people to and from the fairgrounds, from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.

The Tumbleweed stage will play host to the many bands of the local youth group NEO, as well as various other musical acts, representing a vast array of music.

There will be ska from the group Loose Cannon Mariachi, Americana from Paige Anderson and The Fearless Kin and everything in between.

The Budweiser stage and Pine Tree stage will host a similarly eclectic swath of music for all tastes — there will be Western swing from Sidewinder and country from Mogollon, while Dave and The Cool Beans will provide some classic rock.

The Dance Pad will have all sorts of fun activities and events, including mechanical bull riding daily. Of course, many will flock to the area for live DJ performances and presumably plenty of dancing.

The 4H groups of the county will be preparing for showings of animals from goats to pigs to cows, with market, showmanship and breeding presentations throughout the week.

Auctions will take place throughout the fair as well, culminating in the parade of champions on Sunday morning.

All across the Nevada County Fairgrounds will be plenty of rides and carnival games for adults and children of all ages; there will even be a special section dedicated to the younger fair-goers.

The rides aren’t the only attractions, however, as vendors will have booths and tents set up all about. Folks will also be treated to face painting, temporary tattoos and many more not-to-be missed attractions.

The Ag-Sperience section of the fair will be the perfect place for farming enthusiasts.

Whether it’s learning how to build a raised bed, celebrating farming with Sadie the Balloon Lady or participating in craft projects, this will surely be the place to be for many fair-goers.

Treat Street is always one of the most popular avenues during fair week, with offerings from 34 booths ranging from funnel cake and ice cream to tempura and corn dogs — as well as Nevada County’s famous pasties.

All of the booths are run by volunteers and benefit local organizations like the local firefighters associations and the Girl Scouts.

The artful, crafty creations of local residents young and old will be on display for all to see for the duration of the event, giving everyone a chance to see the talents of local artists and craft enthusiasts.

Contests, such as creating a bug from recycled items or racing a car made from a squash, add to the unique feel of the fair. Dancing contests, karaoke and even scrapbooking contests will be also offered.

For those whose hair is getting a little long, Locks of Love will be in attendance, providing free hair styling for anyone donating their hair for a good cause.

For more information on attractions, events and contests or to purchase tickets, visit

Kael Newton is a journalism student at the University of Oregon interning with The Union; he can be reached at

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