‘This is a wonderful crowd’: Nevada County Fair draws in large numbers

Local FFA and 4-H competitors took to the show rings for both beef cattle and dairy goat showmanship ribbons Friday morning at the fair.
Photo: Elias Funez

By all accounts, the Nevada County Fair is going quite well since beginning on Wednesday.

Fairgrounds CEO Dale Chasse said they are seeing attendance numbers that are unrivaled in years past.

“On Wednesday we had 13,000 (attendees), which is actually enormous,” Chasse said. “Those are the sort of numbers we would normally have on a Friday or Saturday, so it was way above. We are looking at about 140-150% above what we would normally do.”



Counts for Thursday’s attendance were not available Friday afternoon, but Chasse said, “They were lower but it is still beyond what we have ever done, like 130-140% (of average). Saturday, we’ve got big entertainment on the stages so we should be breaking records all the way through.”

Crowds cheer on the monster trucks and tough trucks at the Nevada County Fair arena Thursday evening. Tough trucks return tonight before the destruction derby closes out the fair’s five-day run Sunday evening.
Photo: Elias Funez

AG REMAINS IN STAPLE

In addition to the midway rides and carnival games, the fair does not disappoint with its variety of offerings and, as always, agriculture is a mainstay and a key component of the fair.



Friday morning featured the beef cattle and dairy goat judging, while the Ag Mechanic’s auction took place in the evening.

Myra Davies volunteers for the Placer-Nevada Cattle Women, an organization that began as an auxiliary to the Tahoe Cattlemen’s Association. It’s its own entity now, with many female members now raising their own cattle when they once baked pies and sold them out of the very building in which they are located at this year’s fair. The structure was built in 1964.

Meadowlarks 4-H’s Emma Vertrees answers questions about her goats and provides interesting facts to passersby Thursday at the Nevada County Fair.
Photo: Elias Funez

“So the fair, we have been coming here since before 1964, so we are kind of part of the fair,” Davies said. “We do the first night obstacle course, and we do a TLC program for Tender Loving Care for first-year beef producers, and 4-H FFA independence and have a beef ambassador program.”

In the animal display there are the usual chickens, horses, and cows. Pen after pen of animals and their assortment of unique noises.

This year 12-year-old Taryn Grogan and her bunny Oreo won a blue ribbon.

“He is about one and a half,” Grogan said of her prize-winning Dutch rabbit. She has had Oreo since he was about 3 to 4 months old.

“We started out getting bunnies off of CraigsList for pets and then we decided it would be really cool to go to fair with them, so we started getting purebreds.”

MEANWHILE BACK ON TREAT STREET

It’s been about 20 years since James Howard has been to the fair and even waiting in the infamous corn dog line, he was happy to be back.

Grass Valley Lions Club corn on the cob is a popular Treat Street attraction.
Photo: Elias Funez

“It’s a lot different. There’s a lot more stuff here, more people,” Howard said. “It’s changed for the better.

“I love the families, I love going to the exhibits. I’m an old farm boy, so I gotta go see those animals. The smell brings me back. I just enjoy seeing the people and being around people. It brings me back to memories of my childhood.”

Toni Coburn enthusiastically works the booth for the Grass Valley Host Lions Club corn-on-the-cob stand — commonly known simply as the Corn Cob — also an ever-popular treat at the fair.

Coburn explained: “The Corn Cob has been here for 50 years. The Lions Club does this. We have corn on the cob that is freshly roasted. We have cinnamon rolls, and pretzels. The corn is locally grown in Brentwood, California, and we bring it in and shuck it each morning and put it in the roaster, and then dip it in the butter. We can’t get any better than that.”

Also, Job’s Daughters reported that it will return in September for the Draft Horse Classic, taking place Sept. 15-18 with the corn dogs that have people lining up in droves.

LOOKING GOOD

Chasse said that not only are things running smoothly at the fair, it seems to be bringing people together for the first time in a long time.

“It’s perfect. It’s running flawlessly. This is a wonderful crowd, the community has come together.”

The photography exhibit draws a large crowd of spectators in the Tall Pines Building at the 2022 Nevada County Fair.
Photo: Elias Funez

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

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