‘Moo On Down’ to the Nevada County Fair
Before kids head back to school and the lazy pulse of summer quickens into fall, area residents can enjoy one last carefree and highly anticipated excursion – the Nevada County Fair.
To entice fairgoers of all ages and interests, county fair officials have added new attractions to the annual mid-August ritual, including a vocal talent competition, lawnmower racing and video games.
Here are highlights of some of the new events and attractions:
Lawn Moo-er Racing
In keeping with the fair’s theme, “Moo On Down,” Nevada County fair officials shifted the gears on this nationwide racing activity.
Instead of the Nascar-like competition lawn-mower racing resembles at other fairs, contestants at the local race will be judged on presentation and the appearance of their vehicle, rather than speed, said Tom Mitchell, a Nevada County Fair technician.
Each of the 10 racers will decorate their lawn mowers prior to the race and will have up to a five-person entourage during the race, Mitchell said.
After promenading into the racing arena, Mitchell explained, the drivers and their entourage will race through an obstacle course consisting of a herd of cows, irrigation pipes, cow patties (droppings) and haystacks.
The top three finishers will designate $600, $400 and $200, respectively, to a charity of their choice.
As the description of the race reveals, Mitchell said, this event’s purpose is not for serious racing but to include “average guys with lawn mowers who mow their lawn no more than once a week.”
The Lawn Moo-er Racing competition will be at 7 p.m. Aug. 12 in the fair’s arena.
A Moo-ican Idol
While Simon Cowell won’t judge the talent competition, this “American Idol” reproduction will feature 10 of Nevada County’s bravest vocalists competing for the chance to win $2,500.
On the stage under the special-events tent, contestants will sing solo without live accompaniment to five local judges, who will score them on vocal talent, stage presence and entertainment appeal, Carol Scofield said.
Scofield, who helped organize this event, explained that the contest is also being held at 10 other Northern California county fairs, and the winner at each venue will compete for $2,500 at the Gold County Fair on Sept. 10 in Auburn.
The Nevada County Fair’s contest winner will also receive $100, Scofield said.
Entries will be limited to the first 10 Nevada County residents – 13 and older – to sign up by Saturday. Children under 13 will be allowed to compete with a written consent form from a parent or guardian, Scofield added.
“We’re hoping for a quality talent show,” Scofield said. “Not karaoke.”
With contestants such as Lake Wildwood’s Kris Stepanian, the show is not likely to resemble a bar room sing-a-long.
Stepanian, who describes herself as a regular at the Off Broadstreet Theater in Nevada City, has starred in local musical productions and sang the national anthem at last year’s fair opening.
She said that many of her friends have encouraged her to try out for the real “American Idol,” but at 35, she is too old.
“Like the fair, music has always been a part of my life,” Stepanian said. “I’m so excited to do this competition.”
Extreme car racing, ‘Dukes of Hazard’ style
In an era when the state governor’s passenger vehicle is an 8,600-pound, 190-inch long Hummer, no fair would be complete without shows involving big and fast cars.
In addition to the lawn-mower race, Nevada County residents will have an opportunity to compete in another new racing arena event called Extreme Car Racing.
In this “Dukes of Hazard”-style race, participants will speed around the arena’s track following the same rules used in demolition derbies, John Borba, WGAS (World’s Great American Sports) motor sports owner, said.
For added excitement, a 9-foot by 12-foot big screen television will be brought in for the first time at the arena to show live action and replays of the motor sporting events.
“This is way exciting to have (a big screen TV) here because it will be like going to a big-time show,” Borba said.
Also on the motor sports agenda are two returning events, Free Style “Big Air” Motorcycles and the Monster Truck show, with new features.
On Aug. 13, two professional motorcyclists will perform aerial stunts at 7 p.m., according to Borba.
Last year’s Bounty Hunter and Scarlet Bandit trucks will be shown, as well as two new vehicles, Maniac and Jurassic Attack, at the Monster Truck show on Aug. 14.
Borba pointed out that Jurassic Attack – so named because it looks like a dinosaur – holds the world record for completing the longest wheelie at 592 feet.
“This thing really looks like a triceratops,” Borba said. “It’s a pretty wild machine.” The Monster Truck show will be at 7 p.m.
Arena tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for anyone 12-and-under Thursday through Sunday, which includes fair admission.
KNOW & GO
WHAT: Nevada County Fair with theme of “Moo On Down”
WHEN: Wednesday through Aug. 15. Open daily 10 a.m. to midnight Wednesday through Aug. 14 and 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Aug. 15
WHERE: Nevada County Fairgrounds, 11228 McCourtney Road, Grass Valley
ADMISSION: $5 for adults, $2 for 6- to 12-year-olds, free for anyone 5 years old and under. Parking is $4
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