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County fair shows strong participation, attendance

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A friendly competition between friends tests accuracy and performance under pressure at the county fair Aug. 14 – 18.
Laura Beaton
Staff Writer
8/30/2013
 

  The 2013 edition of the Plumas-Sierra County Fair has come to a close. According to fair manager John Steffanic, response to the fair was very positive this year with many compliments on several of the special displays and the condition of the grounds.

  Steffanic said the fair experienced a couple of hiccups in the form of a single-car accident on the racetrack, which was not fair-related, and several burglaries of many of the food and non-food vendors.

  Other than that, he said the event “went off smoothly” and the weather cooperated with mild temperatures. There were a couple of afternoons where the thermometer reached the low 90s, but evening brought beautiful conditions.

  By the numbers: paid attendance was up 3 percent and although Sunday’s Pay What You Can Day was down, the average donation per guest was up almost 25 percent. Attendance for the rodeo has not been announced by the promoters, but it was standing room only and a much bigger crowd than last year. Both paid and non-paid attendance was more than 10,000.

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Quincy locals Lindsay and Ty Vert enjoy the classic merry-go-round at the county fair.

  Parking was up a couple hundred cars, and the food vendors reported earnings just slightly less than last year, down less than 2 percent. Presale tickets for the carnival were well off last year’s sales, but on-site sales were as strong as last year. The number of both food and non-food vendors was almost double last year’s totals, and there was positive feedback from them all. Many already signed up for next year’s fair.

  Competitive entries were very stable. Steffanic reported there were only six fewer exhibits entered in this year’s fair as opposed to last year’s, at 1,964. There was a healthy increase in 4-H exhibits, and a big drop in floriculture exhibits. Many local growers lamented their beautiful flowers that didn’t make it to fair time.

  The fair was a success in spite of several other events in the county held during the same time. Portola’s Railroad Days and the art show in Graeagle shared the same weekend. It should be noted that the fair did not change its date. Since the modern fair began in 1940, it has been held the second Wednesday in August. Since the first of the month was a Thursday, this would be the latest date possible for the fair. Next year’s fair will run Aug. 13 through 17.

  Steffanic said fair staffers invite anyone who has won a premium to stop by the fair office in the morning to pick it up or make other arrangements. With the short staff, it’s a good idea to call ahead: 283-6272. Staffers also remind everyone to start thinking about what to enter in next year’s fair.

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