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“My goal is to have something going on within eyesight of anyone attending the fair!” That’s the guideline Fair Manager John Steffanic goes by when lining up entertainment at the Plumas-Sierra County Fair. This year’s fair begins Wednesday, Aug. 14, and runs through Sunday, Aug. 18.
“Entertainment is much more than magicians and jugglers,” explained Steffanic. “The quilt show is entertainment, so is an amusing or informative sign.” He looks for ways to make every nook and cranny of the fairgrounds entertaining. Look for scavenger hunts, historical displays and special contests. Steffanic invites the entire county to come and spend a day enjoying what the fairgrounds has to offer.
Music is an important part of any celebration, and there’s not a bigger celebration in both Sierra and Plumas counties. Old Town will feature live music on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights showcasing local bands. The Quincy Elks will be serving the beer, and Portola Rotary will be mixing the margaritas.
Friday and Saturday evenings will be special nights with free concerts in the huge Wold Amusement tent next to the front gate. The Tiki Lounge Lizards will take the stage Friday night with surf music that will make you want to hit the dance floor. These Central Valley musicians will channel The Ventures, The Chantays and The Surfaris. There’s a good chance the audience will hear “Wipe Out”!
The Plumas-Sierra County Fair is especially excited to present the Decades of Music group Saturday evening. There will be three shows, each showcasing a different decade of music. This fantastic musical group shows its versatility by performing as three groups in full costume. “These guys are big-time!” says Steffanic. “They nail every song. You can’t get enough of their act.”
The first performance will be at 6 p.m. in the Wold Amusement tent. As the ’60s Summer of Love, the group brings back Jefferson Airplane and Paul Revere and the Raiders hits. The 8 p.m. performance features Weird Science, with a rockin’ tribute to the ’80s. Finally, Big Bad Boogie Rock covers the 1990s at 10 p.m. All the performances in the Wold Amusement tent are free of charge.
Although the Plumas-Sierra County Fair has always been held the second Wednesday of August, the calendar pushed it back a bit, and that opened up lots of opportunities for entertainment. That calendar helped bring pig racing to the fair. Nothing says county fair more than pig racing! There will be races throughout the week. Pedal tractor pulls will also return. Families can get the kids involved in racing miniature John Deere tractors — it’s not as easy as it looks!
The Swan Brothers Circus will set up their big top again in the Kidland! Area with several shows a day. The Calvary Chapel once again will have supervised kids’ activities like the corn bin, face painting and old-fashioned races. Look for Dr. Solar’s Magical Medicine show and the Science Wizard, both alumni of the annual fair.
Probably the greatest entertainment, says Steffanic, comes from the exhibits entered by the residents of Plumas and Sierra counties. The Art Barn will be back with the best exhibition in all of California. The Home Arts building will be chock full of things from home-brewed beer to raw wool. The livestock barns will be open for visitors to wander through and look at the lambs, pigs, goats and steers. Don’t forget the chickens, rabbits and guinea pigs too.
There will also be an opportunity farm available, where kids can come in and meet some of the animals up close and personal. Finally, many people forget there is a full horse show going on the first few days of the fair. It is worth the trip out to the horse arena to watch driving competitions, horsemanship and gymkana.
The horse arena will also be the location for the bull riding and rough stock competitions produced by the Feather River College rodeo team. Tickets for this event will be sold separately.
It all wraps up Sunday night with American Valley Speedway races. This is usually the biggest race of the year, kind of like homecoming. DART Dwarfs and IMCA Modifieds will take the track.
A final schedule will be posted on the fair website, plumas-sierracountyfair.net, by Aug. 1. Each day’s schedule will also be available in the daily fair program, the Chipper Gazette.
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