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Our View: The fair is back in town

The Union Editorial Board

There was a lull in the Zoom call, so someone brought up the Nevada County Fair.

It was an online meeting, like many we’ve sat through over the past two years. This one was different, though. The discussion lagged, then went off track to the fair. Meant to only burn time, it instead drew in the listeners.

There was mention of the state’s most beautiful fairgrounds, Treat Street and the annual competitions. Then, of course, the marigolds, 4-H and the livestock its members raise. Naturally, the monster trucks, carnival rides and the music were mentioned.



The Nevada County Fair is happening now. The old favorites are back once again, and the line is forming for the corn dogs. Get two if you arrive first.

There’s something different about this year. COVID-19 remains with us, but many of us are vaccinated, have had it more than once, or both. Temperatures will be hot, but shouldn’t be oppressive.



Enthusiasm and optimism are abundant, and that’s something we haven’t seen in some time.

At long last, it’s time for the fair.

The Nevada County Fair has something for everyone. The nonprofits that operate the Treat Street booths know that well. Some of these booths bring in tens of thousands of dollars over a few days, funding the causes we care about. It’s chicken fingers and funnel cakes for us, and lifeblood for them.

Treat Street might draw you in, but it’s often the attractions not at the top of your list that pull your attention in different directions. Hundreds of people submit to the multitude of competitions — quilts and art and flowers vying for your attention. 4-H members have spent months building up to this moment. Now it’s here, and they’re looking to raise money through auction. It’s time to pony up.

Tradition seeps into the skin here like humidity. There’s no better time machine than the Nevada County Fair, where you can see past, present and future in one spot.

Here’s the place where everyone can learn, or remember, the importance of growing food. Crafts your grandmother might have made are on display. The food your parents once forbid you from having are allowed, just this once, at this special time.

People look for the familiar each year at the fair and they find it. It might be the food, which lures people with its magnetic ability. Or it might be the carnival rides and memories of swooping through the air as you now watch your own children take flight. Maybe it’s just Lions Lake, sitting tranquil near the pines, not so far from the bustle of the fair.

Not too many fairgrounds can boast of having a lake.

Can the fair be improved? Sure, there’s always room for improvement.

The state fair had a cannabis category this year. It’s a matter of time before it comes here. Why not hasten the process? This county should be proud of the quality of its cannabis. After all, its supporters fought hard enough to ensure they could legally grow it here.

Is there a way to reduce the pollution created by the monster trucks? Probably not, but plenty of folks in our county likely worry about it. And plenty of others likely relish the smell of diesel and roar of the engines.

If you crush it, they will come.

Yes, there’s room for improvement, but there’s a whole lot that’s already great about the fair. You can park at Nevada Union High School and get a ride to the fairgrounds. You can wander among the marigolds while supporting our local nonprofits, or even find a volunteer opportunity for yourself.

Support a kid who’s raised their animal for auction. Watch a hay baling contest or settle down under the pines with a cool drink.

There’s something for everyone at the Nevada County Fair. Don’t miss it. Zoom is great for meetings. For this event, you need a front row seat.

The weekly Our View editorial represents 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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