Our View: It’s time to visit the Nevada County Fair
For kids at the Nevada County Fair, it was all about the Fireball.
The machine spins you into the air before falling back to earth. You can see your friends scream as it pulls you upward again, the breath pushed from your lungs as you laugh.
For others the fair is about the agriculture. Or the artists. Or the exhibits, tucked away in a building, waiting for the blue ribbon.
The Nevada County Fair is Wednesday through Sunday, Aug. 11. For some folks this is the only time each year they visit the Nevada County Fairgrounds. They filter through the crowds, watching as children run to the next ride or stand in line on Treat Street.
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There’s something for everyone at the fair. The 4-H kids taking their time to raise their hogs, selling them for a profit at auction. Years ago one garnered $20,000 for a child whose father had recently died.
Imagine what that meant to a grieving family.
This community has a reputation for giving. The fair is no exception. We give our time and dollars to the fair, and it gives back.
People have their various political affiliations, and their booths are a common sight. So are the marigolds as you enter the main gate. Singers and bands have practiced for months for their chance to shine. Their music vies with the rumble of nearby rides.
The Fireball awaits.
The fair is a community reunion. You see the same faces at the Treat Street booths each year. You crumple dollars while waiting in the line for corn dogs. Someone you haven’t seen since high school strolls past and you reconnect before the line moves on.
The state fair is bigger, and draws more people, but it can’t compete with Nevada County. Compare an unending sun beating down on sizzling Sacramento concrete with the cool shade of tall trees found off McCourtney Road. There’s a reason our fairgrounds are considered the most beautiful.
Parking is cheaper here. You can even get a ride on Gold Country Stage, for free, from different spots in Grass Valley.
Nowhere else will you see the people of Nevada County join together in a pageantry of color and sound that washes across five days of our summer each year.
Hidden among the fun and camaraderie are lessons built into the exhibits and auctions. Children raise animals, learning responsibility, animal husbandry and commitment. Others practice skills like quilting, sewing and baking that earn them honors and recognition.
Schools have built and maintained relationships with 4-H. Students can learn skills at school that translate into money gained at the fair’s auction. That money, in turn, can fund college.
That’s a scholarship we all should be so lucky to attain.
All things change. There are coverings in certain spots to keep the sun off, where in the past the light fell unobstructed. The Fireball from your youth has changed into the Mega Flip, though old favorites remain, lighting memories as you pass by.
The Nevada County Fair is here for five days, starting Wednesday. Buy your tickets and make your plans now.
Because — like a high school romance formed on Treat Street — it’ll be gone before you know it.
Our View is the consensus opinion of The Union Editorial Board, a group of editors and writers from The Union, as well as informed community members. Contact the board at EditBoard@TheUnion.com.
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