Tourist makes annual trip to the Nevada County Fair all the way from Germany |

Tourist makes annual trip to the Nevada County Fair all the way from Germany

Mike Novo paints the new Nevada County Fairgrounds Foundation beer and wine booth Monday morning in preparation for the fair’s opening day on Wednesday.
John Hart/ | The Union

Know & Go

What: 2014 Nevada County Fair: Simply Fun!

When: 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., Weddenesday-Sunday

Where: Nevada County Fairgrounds, 11228 McCourtney Road, Grass Valley

Tickets: Purchase them online at or call the Fair Office at 530-273-6217. Admission is $9 for adults, $6 for seniors, $4 for children 6-12, and free to children younger than 5

Information: View the fair guide at

The Nevada County Fair is loved by many in this community. One of the most highly anticipated events of the year, the fair — which starts Wednesday and runs through Sunday — gathers a wide variety of attendees from all over, including Yuba City, Marysville and Sacramento.

One of the fair’s most devoted fans, Holger Pape, travels all the way from Germany to attend.

“The fair impressed us so much that we made it a permanent part of our annual trips to the USA,” he said.

It was always a big dream of Pape’s to travel to the United States, he said. In 2001, he had the opportunity to travel through the western part of the U.S. with some friends from the East Coast, who had a daughter living in Grass Valley.

When his friends picked him up in San Francisco, they took him directly to Nevada County.

“Grass Valley was really the first city I ever saw in the U.S., I immediately fell in love with the town,” said Pape.

Pape came back to the U.S. in 2004, which was the first time he attended the fair. He has come back every year since.

“This trip is kind of my 10th anniversary of the fair,” he said.

Pape always brings different guests with him on his travels. This year he’s bringing two friends, Steve and Jan. Steve has been accompanying Pape to the fair since 2006. This is Jan’s first time in the United States.

“We still always try to ‘fill up’ the rental car and bring other friends of ours,” Pape said.

Another highlight for Pape is the band Mogollon, which frequently performs at the Nevada County Fair. He saw them at a concert in Germany last June.

“I was looking at their schedule to see if they’d be performing at the county fair again when I saw they were performing in Regensburg just two days later,” he said. “I couldn’t believe my eyes, I decided to drive eight hours from my hometown just to see them. I’m very eager to see them again at the fair in a few days.”

Pape and his fellow travelers have made many good friends in the Nevada County area throughout the past few years. They even went to Nevada Union High School on one of their trips, where they assisted German classes.

“We really enjoy the familiar touch of the county fair. Visitors, even those from far away like us, feel involved in the whole thing,” said Pape. “We’ve been to other fairs in the U.S. and none compare to the Nevada County Fair.”

Pape and his friends enjoy the overall atmosphere of the fair, especially the large trees, as well as other natural aspects of Nevada County like the Yuba River.

“We tried to figure out what makes this fair special, we came to the conclusion that the very pleasant atmosphere in conjunction with the nice people we’ve always encountered make it so special,” he said.

“We are very thankful to all the nice people in the Grass Valley/Nevada City area who always contribute to our positive experiences.”

Pape plans to continue attending the Nevada County Fair for as long as possible.

“I don’t see an ending yet,” he chuckled, “I hope to see many more county fairs.

“We love every single part of the Nevada County Fair — without exception.”

Maya Anderman is an intern with The Union. Contact her via email at

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