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Nevada County Fair Food Festival to be held at fairgrounds

A Butler Amusement stand shows some of their "crazy carnival eats" offerings.
Submitted to The Union

Click here for a list of Treat Street nonprofits

The Nevada County Fairgrounds will hold a Fair Food Festival from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Nov. 6 to 8, featuring food offered by Butler Amusements.

There will be six stands in the Gate 1 parking lot, selling what the fairgrounds describes as “crazy carnival eats,” including corn dogs, cotton candy, caramel apples, corn on the cob or in a cup, chicken on a stick, funnel cakes, deep fried Oreos and Twinkies, and waffle cones with macaroni and cheese.

In an email Friday, Nevada County Fairgrounds Chief Executive Officer Patrick Eidman wrote that Butler Amusements is a long-time partner of the county fair, providing food concessions in the annual fair’s carnival area since 1983.



“Butler Amusements approached us in October and asked to use a portion of a parking lot at the fairgrounds for a food event,” wrote Eidman. “As you can imagine, both Butler (Amusements) and their food concessionaires — all family-owned businesses — have been massively impacted by the cancellation of fairs and other large events.”

According to Eidman, this event is one of a handful of similar pop-up food events Butler Amusements has organized “to help generate revenue for fairgrounds and to support the small businesses that operate the food stands.” The fairgrounds, which he said is having a difficult year, will receive a percentage of revenue from the food sales in addition to the lot’s rental fee.



TREAT STREET

The fairgrounds’ Facebook announcement for this event had accumulated over 120 comments by Friday afternoon, a notable portion of which mentioned the Nevada County Fair’s traditional Treat Street — cancelled this year alongside the county fair due to the pandemic, and once more after efforts toward a standalone drive-thru Treat Street did not pan out.

Some of the commenters expressed disappointment that this event doesn’t involve the local nonprofits which have traditionally set up booths at, and benefitted from, Treat Street.

On the community’s response to the announcement, Eidman wrote that this event “in no way replaces Treat Street.”

“We love Treat Street and we know the community does as well,” he added. “We worked with Treat Street vendors in July and August to organize a drive-thru Treat Street event. However, there weren’t enough booths interested at that time — which we completely respect and support.”

He said the fairgrounds remains hopeful that a Treat Street event will be possible in the future, and that in the meantime anyone seeking to support the local nonprofits through a donation can find a list of these organizations through the fairgrounds’ Treat Street website.

The Nevada County Fair Food Festival was designed based on local guidance for minimizing COVID-19 transmission risk. Eidman said the fairgrounds connected Butler Amusements with Nevada County Public Health to make sure it approved of the measures in place to make this event a safe one.

“Customers will enter through Gate 1 and proceed through the parking lot to the food stands, place an order with an attendant and pay, and another employee will bring the food to the vehicles,” wrote Eidman. “It’s a simple process — customers get to stay in their cars while delicious food is delivered to their window.”

Victoria Penate is a staff writer for The Union. She can be reached at vpenate@theunion.com.


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