Nevada County Fairgrounds staff planning virtual auction, drive-thru Treat Street
Special to The Union
Despite the cancellation of the Nevada County Fair this year, fairgrounds staff continues to work toward bringing the community together to support those who normally rely on the fair as a fundraising opportunity.
Planning is in full swing for an online Nevada County Junior Livestock and Ag Mechanics Auction and a drive-thru Treat Street.
The auction, set to take place Aug. 13-15, will feature exhibitors from local Future Farmers of America chapters and 4-H clubs, as well as independent exhibitors.
Patrick Eidman, CEO of the Nevada County Fairgrounds, said in an email that he expects over 200 youth exhibitors will be registered for the auction. So far, there are over 1,000 registered buyers. Entries for exhibitors are still open, and new buyers are signing up every day.
“Planning for the auction is going very well,” he added. “The platform we are using continues to add new features that will benefit both the exhibitors and buyers.”
One such feature is the option to “bump”, or add on, a contribution to an exhibitor, a direct way to support them whether intending to buy an animal or not. In addition to this individual option, participants who wish to support all junior exhibitors may contribute to a “community pool” during the event.
With regards to recently announced plans to organize a fair — including a livestock auction component — on private property, and whether this presents any added pressures, Eidman said, “The Nevada County Fairgrounds and Nevada County Livestock Producers have successfully co-produced these auctions for many, many years and this year will be no exception.
“I am confident there will be enormous support for these hard-working kids,” he added.
A date has not yet been announced for when the community will be able to visit a drive-thru Treat Street.
“Our Treat Street partners and the community have received the idea of a drive-thru Treat Street with a great deal of enthusiasm,” said Eidman.
A Facebook post made by the Nevada County Fairgrounds on June 12 asked members of the community for their input on which organizations they would like to see at a drive-thru Treat Street this year, receiving over 400 comments.
“Not all of the booths will be participating, and that’s OK. They need to make the right decision for their volunteers and their organization,” said Eidman, adding that final menus are not ready at this time, but that fans of the Nevada County Fair can expect to see many of their favorites.
Fairgrounds staff is working closely with county environmental and public health officials, as well as taking CDC recommendations into account as they plan the drive-thru event.
Eidman said the event will be pre-order based, a measure which will protect both vendors and attendees.
“The booths will know in advance how much to order and cook, it will make the lines move more quickly the day of the event, and it removes the extra point of in-person contact,” said Eidman. “We will have volunteer ‘runners’ who interact with the customers in their cars, in addition to many other best practices for food service.”
He added that, in addition to the regular options of direct donation or joining the Fairgrounds Foundation, members of the community who would like to support the fair can do so by bidding and buying at the online auction in August or by showing up for the Treat Street nonprofits as they participate in this year’s drive-thru event.
To learn more about upcoming events or how to get involved, visit http://www.nevadacountyfair.com.
Victoria Penate is a freelance writer for The Union.
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