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Daniels family honored by Nevada County Fair

After more than 50 years of involvement, the Daniels family has been chosen by the Nevada County Fair’s Board of Directors as this year’s Fair Family of the Year. Don and Anita Daniels, along with their family, will be honored at the opening ceremony as the fair kicks off on Aug. 6.

“We are humbled by this honor,” said Anita Daniels. “So many families deserve this award. We are just one of the many families who love our fairgrounds and the opportunities it offers to all those in our community.”

Beginning in 1951, Don Daniels became associated with the fair by taking part in his first horse show at Lion’s Lake. From there, he continued to get involved by serving as a charter Nevada Union FFA member, a local 4H Beef Leader, a volunteer during work days at the fairgrounds and a performer in several bands at the fair. In addition, he has participated in the fair’s rodeos by roping calves and steers and has also judges horse shows. Now retired from the California Highway Patrol, Don serves as the chairman of the Board for Nevada County Horsemen after previously presiding as the president and member of the Rotary Club of Grass Valley.



“Each year, Don and Anita volunteer countless hours to the fairgrounds — from their involvement with the Rotary at Work Day to their work with the Nevada County Fairgrounds Foundation,” said Wendy Oaks, publicist of the Nevada County Fairgrounds. “They are enthusiastic, humble, and giving of their time — and their volunteer efforts are greatly appreciated by the entire fair community.”

Since 1955, Anita has given her time to the fair in a large variety of ways. She began by joining 4H and entering club projects in canning, baking, sewing, horses and hogs. She then went on to assist at the Junior Livestock Auction, as well as the Idol Competition. Today, Anita serves as the president of the Rotary Club of Grass Valley, which has led her to start the first Rotary at Work Clean-Up Day at the fairgrounds, involving all five western Nevada County Rotary Clubs and created the largest one-day community service project conducted in the county.




“Don and Anita are truly avid supporters of the fair,” said Sandy Woods, CEO of the fairgrounds. “Having grown up in Nevada County, their involvement with the fair goes back to childhood and their dedication to the fairgrounds continues. Through Anita’s inspiration of Rotary at Work Day at the fairgrounds, both she and Don have painted barns, raked pine needles and pitched in to help make the fair California’s most beautiful. The Daniels’ passion and dedication to the Fair makes them the perfect candidate for the 2014 Family of the Year.”

Having been a part of the banking industry since the year 1962, Anita Daniels also serves as the vice president and branch manager at Tri Counties Bank in Grass Valley, a board member of Western Sierra Medical Clinic, Rotary Club of Grass Valley, Nevada County Fairgrounds Foundation, and treasurer of Nevada County Horsemen. Throughout the years, she has also been a board member of the Sierra College Coordinating Council, the Grass Valley Downtown Association, the Greater Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Nevada County Law Enforcement and Fire Protection Council.

“The fair is so important to us because it brings everyone together for good, family fun,” said Anita. “It teaches our young people the rewards of hard work, and it truly promotes pride in our community.”

After 51 years of marriage, the Daniels have two children, Brian and Kris, along with six grandchildren. As kids, Brian and Kris both participated as 4H exhibitors while Kris went on to win Nevada County Fair Queen in 1988 and the first Gold Country Idol contest. She also became the winner of the Western States Fair Idol competition, and will now regularly sing the national anthem for the opening of the Nevada County Fair and the Draft Horse Classic.

“We had so much fun with the other families,” said Don Daniels, when talking about how his favorite memories of the fair was his kids showing their steers with 4H. “We definitely miss that.”

From working in a booth on Treat Street to participating in 4H and fair rodeos, the Daniels family has contributed to a wide variety of fair events for more than half a century. Their contribution has never gone unnoticed, but the favor will now be returned through a celebration that will start the fair off this summer.

Visit NevadaCountyFair.com for more information.

Taia Greco is a Ghidotti Early College High School senior serving as an intern at The Union.


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