By John Steffanic
The dates for the 2022 edition of the Plumas Sierra County Fair have been set! After two years of cancellations, it only seems normal that the traditional dates would have to be put aside to accommodate this “new normal.” In 2022, the fair in Quincy will be held July 28-31. This is two weeks earlier than has been the tradition, but as mentioned, things have changed.
A major consideration was having a carnival. With the pandemic, smaller carnivals throughout the country have closed up shop. Fortunately, the carnival that has served the Plumas Sierra County Fair for nearly two decades is still standing, but had to make changes to survive. With the cancellations of two fairs, Wold Amusements had to scramble to find another place to serve, and went all the way to Oregon to make that happen. Economically, this was beneficial to their operation, but made coming back to Quincy difficult. Efforts were made with the Trinity County Fair and Lassen County Fair to align fair dates so Wold Amusements could cut travel costs and commit to these three fairs if they ran on consecutive weekends. All three fairs were in similar situations and it only made sense, for this year and years to come, to put together this solution to the problem. This means all three fairs can count on a full carnival in exchange for shifting dates a week or two.
The next big consideration was the annual Junior Livestock Show and Auction. While it was appealing to give a little more time between the end of the fair and the beginning of school, there are many moving parts. Would our normal auctioneer be available? Would we be able to find a meat processor for the new dates? Would the amount of product from three fairs so close together overload the processors who commonly serve these fairs? The first choice is to have the Livestock Show align with the fair, so it was great news when Junior Livestock Chairperson, Megan Neer was able to get all those moving parts to come together. Change is never easy, but it is a fact of life.
Of course, there was always the alternative to have the fair on the traditional dates with the livestock show, and no carnival. The Plumas Sierra County Fair Board considered all alternatives and acknowledged that the annual fair serves many different people, for many different reasons. By moving forward without a carnival, it would certainly affect attendance by people without a connection to the livestock aspect of the fair. That attendance dip would affect how many food vendors and non-food vendors would set up shop at the fair. That, along with no carnival revenue, would affect the finances of the fairgrounds. It was decided that the prudent thing would be to move the fair forward two weeks. There is always the unknown of how this change could affect any part of the fair experience, but with what we know now, the Board is confident with it’s decision.
Now the issue is do we remember how to have a fair?! The Board also decided to keep the unused theme from 2021; “Celebrating Fairs Past,” so we can keep some of the work already done regarding displays and activities surrounding that concept. Look for the Exhibit Guide to be released sometime in January. All that is asked of the public is to think of things that can be entered in the fair in July. Pictures, food, flowers, crafts… anything that is made, grown or raised in Plumas and Sierra Counties. The fair staff will do the rest. If you paid for entries in 2021, you can roll those over to 2022. If you bought carnival tickets for 2021, those will be good in 2022. It’s time to get our lives back, and one of the best ways to do that is to come to the 2022 Plumas Sierra County Fair on July 28-31 in Quincy, California. See you there!