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To be fair: Nevada County Fair to begin this week

Nevada County Fairgrounds CEO Dale Chasse walks along the golden pathway, filled with blooming marigold flowers in preparation of opening day of the Fairgrounds Wednesday of next week. Rides and attractions from Butler Amusements have begun to fill the fairgrounds which will run from Aug. 10 through the 14.
Photo: Elias Funez

Well, Nevada County, it’s that time of year again.

Bring your penchant for corn dogs and twisty ice cream cones and get ready to celebrate the Nevada County Fair, which takes place Wednesday to Aug. 14 at the Nevada County Fairgrounds — 1228 McCourtney Road, Grass Valley — commonly known as “California’s most beautiful fairgrounds.”

According to Dale Chasse, CEO of Nevada County Fairgrounds, this year’s fair is set to be a good time, much needed after two years of a pandemic.

“Last year was an abbreviated fair because we weren’t sure we could hold the fair,” Chasse explained. “And there were restrictions, which was good.

“All the other county fairs have been showing pretty well. The community wants to come to the county fairs and we’re expecting to be really busy.”

Presale tickets and wristbands, he added, are selling quickly, including the arena shows which include Monster Trucks and the Destruction Derby.

“People voted and they wanted to see the tough trucks and monster vehicles.”

Spectators react to the metal munching vehicular mayhem of the destruction derby during the 2021 fair. The arena event was sold out despite the derby having less contestants than previous years.

While there are no restrictions, COVID-wise, in place, Chasse encourages the public to use common sense; wash your hands, and don’t attend if you feel sick.

Parking may be tight, so Chasse encourages everyone to use the shuttle systems being offered not only by Gold Country Stage, but also by Durham Transportation. Gold Country’s will have numerous stops within the area, while Durham’s will depart from Nevada Union High School, 11761 Ridge Road, Grass Valley, every 30 minutes.

The fair, Chasse explained, will be a good place for family and friends to mingle and, of course, eat.

“We’ve got good food,” he said, “and are trying to keep prices down. Prices did go up, but we try to work with nonprofits, and community vendors, but all are staying low to keep the community pleased. People want food. So we pushed that and made sure we had different varieties. Drink prices are reasonable, too.”


Wendy Wernigg, the fair’s rental and concession coordinator, said that there will be a couple of new additions to the famous Treat Street line-up.

“The United Way of Nevada County is serving nachos. The Bear River High School Football Boosters will be selling fresh cut fruit and agua frescas,” she announced.

Additionally, she said the fair board voted to allow local commercial vendors in booths on South Treat Street. The Sweet Spot will be selling specialty cupcakes, cake pops and cookies, while Mosh Posh Marketplace will dole out biscuits and gravy for breakfast, with pasta and salads for lunch and dinner.

People peruse the early Treat Street options at the 2021 Nevada County Fair.

Ever present will also be the trademark marigolds lining the paths of the fairgrounds. Chasse said one of his mistakes was once suggesting they choose another type of flower to decorate the grounds. The room, he said, hushed.

“I thought, this is kind of unique; have we thought about another kind of flower? I swear the room was silent, like, are you kidding? It goes back that, I think, that they used to use a different flower but they went to the marigold. The watering and growth had a good response.”

Chasse said: “I think we are going to have a huge county fair.”

For additional information, visit nevadacountyfair.com.

Jennifer Nobles is a staff writer with The Union. She can be reached at jnobles@theunion.com


What: Nevada County Fair

When: 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily, Wednesday to Aug. 14; exhibit buildings open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; carnival opens at 11 a.m.

Where: Nevada County Fairgrounds, 1228 McCourtney Road, Grass Valley

Cost: Adults, $10; seniors 65 and older, $7; children 6 to 12, $5; children 5 and younger, free

Parking: $5

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