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The theme for the 2014 Plumas-Sierra County Fair was suggested by fair manager John Steffanic and approved by the board at its Oct. 23 meeting.
“Fair, Fun and Games” is the moniker for next year’s fair, set for Aug. 13 – 17, 2014. Steffanic said the theme lends itself to a variety of activities in every arena, from giant outdoor checkerboards and hopscotch games to a “Redneck” game night, “Battle of the Bands” and a revival of the “Sweetheart of the Mountains” competition.
The “sweetheart” tradition began in 1947 when organizers of the fair decided they needed a young lady to represent them at various county events.
The tradition fell out of practice for many years but is gearing up to return for the 2014 fair.
Steffanic cautioned the board that next year’s fair carnival will probably not begin until Thursday, due to the carnival operator’s financial concerns.
Board members said that was fine but wondered if it would be possible to get carnival wrist bands that would enable fairgoers access to rides for the duration of the fair. Steffanic is meeting with the carnival operator soon and said he will discuss that possibility.
4-H awards inequality
Anna Thompson, Dairy Goat Project leader for American Valley 4-H, asked why the dairy goat champion and small animal round robin champion did not get buckles this year.
Thompson said that some of the ribbons awarded to 4-H kids were smaller than others, some animals did not receive blanket awards and some stalls did not have big signs in front of the grand and reserve champions.
Thompson said she came to the board on behalf of the leaders of small animal and dairy goat projects of the American Valley 4-H program to ask the fair board to work with them toward achieving equality amongst awards.
She wondered why small animal award winners did not receive belt buckles, since the kids in those projects worked all year round caring for their animals, often for many years, while market animal projects took just a few months of commitment.
Thompson said the 4-H club is willing to fundraise and has already found a sponsor for signs and other awards.
She acknowledged that the dairy goat program had not been an active 4-H category until a few years ago, but now that there are eight kids involved she wants them to get recognition for the hard work they put into their projects.
The board agreed that the awards committee would look into the discrepancies and oversight that occurred this year regarding awards, and work with Thompson on a more equitable award policy.
Fair manager John Steffanic said he is working with the county’s auditor, Susan Scarlett, on the fair’s budget. He said he is hopeful that the fairgrounds’ unusual financial procedures might get more understanding from Scarlett.
“This is a wonderful lady,” Steffanic said about Scarlett, “She’s really on the ball.”
Steffanic reported that both he and maintenance supervisor Oran Morrison, the only full-time employees at the fairgrounds, are back to full-time pay.
The fair office continues to be staffed just part-time, Monday – Thursday, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Steffanic said the arrangement is working out well.
The board approved an increase in camping rates for campers at the county fair. The rates will increase by $20, up to $140 for the week.
The board also approved reinstating stall fees for all animals housed at fairground stalls during the fair. Small animals will cost $5 and large animals $10.
Director Thelma Olsen said a tentative meeting date for the Fair Foundation is set for Nov. 13 at the fairgrounds.
The board set its meeting schedule for the next four months. Due to the November holiday, the next board meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 11, at 4 p.m. The January meeting was canceled and the February meeting will be held Feb. 26 at 4 p.m.
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