Fair Board reviews final plans for county fair

Margaritas and chips before a ride on the Chipper Express are a tradition for the Fair Board meeting just weeks before the fair begins.

Seizing the opportunity to get in an “early shot,” fair board members get their photo taken in front of the new, almost finished, fair entrance gate. From left, Robert Abbott, Oran Morrison, Susan Neer, Darlene Buckout, Thelma Olson, John Steffanic, Kenny Chance, Barbara Butterfield and Jim Griffin. Photos by Mari Erin Roth

Fair Manager John Steffanic walked and talked alongside the “people-mover” full of board members. The doubly-long seating on wheels was pulled around the fair site in reverse by perpetual “Employee of the Month” Oran Morrison.

“This is where the eight muralists will be,” said Steffanic, pointing to the Meadows lawn.

“This is the big entrance to ‘Artopolis.’ It’s going to be fantastic,” proclaimed Steffanic.

New acts fill the 2017 fair lineup. A gypsy blacksmith tells tales and gives away metal work with a prize drawing at the conclusion of each show. A marionette puppet troupe brings back ancient storytelling in a way that has entertained young and old for centuries.

New food vendors have been invited preparing savory and sweet favorites, including Carey Candy Co. who will bring back the greatly missed fudge booth inside Serpilio Hall.

Dining options have more than doubled in old town and patrons will be much more comfortable this year. Seating will now be available under a new shade cover “thanks to Oran,” said Steffanic of his favorite employee. “He made this whole thing from scratch,” Steffanic indicated as he gestured at the giant frame.

The theme “Art to Ag” has infiltrated every aspect of this year’s fair. Plumas Arts has gotten involved in the development of the theme. A big tent inside Artopolis will feature musical entertainment chosen by Plumas Arts. Participants in the “Sip and paint” will have music to paint by while they sip their wine and soak up the artistic vibes next to eight muralists painting throughout the fair.

At the opposite end of Artopolis, long-time art instructor and elementary school mural coordinator Donna Mills will be presenting a new art project each day.

Golden Tickets that provide unlimited carnival rides for the entire fair are “selling like hotcakes,” but are only available before opening day, said Steffanic. The tickets are available at Plumas Bank branches and at the fairgrounds office.

In the middle of the afternoon on Saturday, the Fireman’s Muster will draw the crowd to their biggest competition yet.

With fire blasting water in all directions, the crowd will be invited to cheer for their local fire departments as they compete against one another in fun challenges of strength, coordination and focus. The lively entertainment begins behind Serpilio Hall at 2 p.m.

With all the family-garden display spots taken, fairgoers can look forward to five days of excellence in horticulture, agriculture, art, food, music and family fun Aug. 9 through 13.

One of the biggest new draws for the 2017 fair is the concert in the grandstand arena.

“A Country Artists Tribute Show” will be presented Friday night at 7 p.m. at a ticket price everyone can afford.

“Pay what you can,” said Steffanic. That is the ticket price for admission to the show. Susanville Auto Center stepped up to sponsor the entire night’s entertainment.

The Country Artists Tribute Show” has had a long and successful run at Harrah’s in Reno. Impersonators of Kenny Chesney, Toby Keith and Jason Aldean will headline the show.

“We want to really pack ’em in,” said Steffanic, who responded to requests from the public to offer big entertainment in the grandstand once again during the Plumas-Sierra County Fair.

It was such a surprise when Steffanic said, “This is going to be the best fair ever.”

Fair Manager John Steffanic does his “walking and talking” thing, enthusiastically describing the layout of this year’s 2017 Art to Ag Fair for fair board members on what Steffanic describes as the “people-mover” on July 26.