By John Steffanic
Plumas Sierra County Fair Manager
It’s the MOST wonderful time of the year! The long time mascot of the Plumas Sierra County Fair; Chipper, certainly thinks so! For this holiday season, he (or she, we don’t really know) has partnered with the non-profit foundation of the Fair to bring back “Chipper’s Christmas Wonderland.” The PSCF Foundation, along with this lovable rodent, enticed dozens of volunteers to hand paint a variety of Christmas scenes over the past couple of years that will be displayed along a drive-thru tour of the fairgrounds. Over 5,000 lights will cover buildings and fill trees for this annual event.
For weeks, volunteers filtered in and out of Serpilio Hall to cut figures from plywood and paint them to create scenes like a Gingerbread Village, busy elves and even Santas that wave! Penguins, reindeer and snowmen will fill nooks and crannies, waiting to delight kids of all ages.
Year one was a drive-thru event, and last year we tried a walking experience that was wonderful, but weather made it a tad bit unsafe, so we are back to a longer, better drive-thru. The attraction will open Wednesday, Nov. 30, at 5 p.m. and operate until 7 p.m. It will be open again Thursday night, Dec. 1, and then every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday night through Dec. 16, with the same hours. The attraction will be closed the night of Sparkle. Cars will come down Fairground Road and look for signs that will put them in the correct lane to enter the attraction through the gate to the right of the Administration Building. The path will wind along through the Livestock barns and the promenades, past brightly lit buildings, around the family gardens and finally by Santa’s Cabin. Santa will be there, on his front porch, waving and talking to families as they stay in their car. A helpful elf will be there with a basket to give out wrapped candy canes from Santa to the kids, and even receive letters to Santa in return. All that is asked is that visitors remain in their cars the entire time. There will be no bathrooms available and no other services that would require leaving the vehicle. Experience from year one tells us to remind everyone to use the bathroom before coming! With a longer route through the Fairgrounds, we are hoping there will be less wait time down Fairground Road.
The PSCF Foundation is dedicated to anything that promotes the Plumas Sierra County Fairgrounds and makes it thrive. A major portion of that mission comes from fostering the communities of Plumas and Sierra Counties, and the Foundation has invested almost $20,000 in this event over the past three years. This is a free event. There will be a donation barrel available as visitors leave and contributions will be used to make next year even bigger and better! Hopefully, visitors will have the opportunity to come visit Chipper’s Christmas Wonderland several times throughout December.