Hemig: Let’s go to the fair!
After spending the better part of the morning and evening at the fair Wednesday, I learned three things:
Everyone loves Sandy Woods; Job’s Daughters have the best corn dogs; and our local fair is the best county fair around.
The Union has long been a supporter of the Nevada County Fair. Not only do we sponsor the opening day, we also publish the official fair program. We have even bought animals at the Junior Livestock auction.
This year was no different. The Union has run several front-page stories promoting the fair and happily sponsored opening day once again. And Wednesday was not only opening day, but also Scholar Students’ day. The Union was proud to support free admission for the thousands of our community’s stellar students who were invited.
I was lucky enough to get an opening-day tour of the fairgrounds with Nevada County Fair CEO Sandy Woods.
We rode around in a golf cart, and she pointed out some of the highlights. But everywhere we stopped to get a closer look at an activity or exhibit, Sandy was met with a hug and well wishes for another successful fair. I was truly impressed with the support and love Sandy received.
I shouldn’t be surprised. Sandy has been involved with the fair for more than 20 years, and the CEO for the last six years.
As we rode around in that golf cart she pointed out the fair favorites, but I also noticed a few less obvious attractions.
One of my personal favorites was the kids’ “ugliest cake” contest. I was most impressed by the cake that looked like a box of kitty litter. Totally disgusting, remarkably creative and, oddly enough, edible.
I was also amazed by the miniature fairy garden display. It was new and definitely unusual. The level of tiny detail was worth taking the time to really appreciate it.
Finally, there were the corn dogs I kept hearing about. Many things are considered legendary but few compare to the word of mouth I’ve heard over the last few weeks about these corn dogs, which have been served by Job’s Daughters since 1982.
“Buy your tickets early” and “the lines can be hours long” were passed on to me over and over.
After avoiding the lines for a couple of hours, my wife and I finally decided to try these deep-fried delights of much renown.
Phil Ruble and Mimi Simmons walked by while we were waiting. Phil reiterated what I’d been told by others, even going so far as to say, “These will set the standard for corn dogs.”
Finally, after a long wait, well not too long, we were able to test these for ourselves.
One word. Wow. People were right. Worth the long line.
But that’s just a small sample of the many things to see and do at the fair.
There are hours and hours of quality of entertainment.
The farm animals, from cattle to chickens, and the massive FFA effort are always a draw. Everyone knows about Treat Street, which generated almost $700,000 last year for local nonprofits. The kids’ events and activities are everywhere. And no fair would be complete without amusement park rides.
The fairgrounds themselves are an attraction with the well-maintained landscaping, trees and spacious surroundings.
Two full-time gardeners and a maintenance crew of six work hard every night of the fair keeping the grounds clean and the plants watered. That must be why the California Legislature has proclaimed the Nevada County Fairgrounds as “California’s Most Beautiful Fairgrounds.”
It’s no surprise to this new guy that the Nevada County Fair has been voted “Best Community Event” for 12 years in a row in The Union’s annual “Best of” contest.
Our readers apparently recognize the fine work and contribution the fair board brings to our community.
The level of community support from Treat Street and kids’ exhibits to the local dance stage was impressive.
Sandy summed it up best by saying, “The success of the fair is because of the community’s involvement.”
So get out to the fair and support the crown jewel of the community.
While you’re there, make sure to give Sandy Woods a hug and eat a Job’s Daughters’ corn dog.
The Nevada County Fair is open today through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Jim Hemig is publisher at The Union. Contact him via email at email@example.com or at 530-477-4299.
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