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Plumas Sierra makes a run to win Western Fair award

Things are looking extremely positive for the 2017 Plumas Sierra “Art to Ag” fair according to Fair Manager John Steffanic. The organizer reported to the fair board of directors June 21 that camping for the event is “101 percent filled.”

The fair board meetings take place in the Mineral Building at the fairgrounds and are open to the public. During the meeting, Steffanic relayed much good news about the upcoming fair to the board members. This year’s fair runs Aug. 9 through 13.

Steffanic reported that interest and support from the community have been “tremendous” and he thinks the counties may have a real winner with the Art to Ag theme.

A few key people are sought to assist with the fair this year. One is a liaison between fair management and vendors, another is a driver for the chipper express. The driver is more like a comical tour guide as Steffanic describes the position. “They will tell stories to the passengers for entertainment purposes, some true, some not.”

A volunteer is also sought to assist inside the air-conditioned Mineral Building and an Art-topolis volunteer needed to bring food, water and generally assist artists working on site. Additional volunteer positions, include a campground host, gate monitor and a junior agriculture barn supervisor.

Steffanic has details on these and other positions needed for the fair. Photographers and anyone willing to lend a hand for the Art to Ag 2017 Plumas- Sierra County Fair can reach Steffanic at 283-6272.

All the pieces seem to be falling into place for the 2017 fair that will feature the first big concert in the grandstand in many years. A tribute band will perform for the fair audience in the outdoor venue with a “pay what you can” ticket price.

“We would like a great turnout for the show,” said Steffanic, as he maneuvers to bring big entertainment back to the fair. The stage will be set up on the grass with festival seating. “Bring a blanket,” added Steffanic.

The Fireman’s Muster will return this year. The event features hot competition with lots of water at 2 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 12. More fire departments have already signed up to participate in the competition than last year. The event has four sponsors: Flanigan-Levitt, Lambert and Lambert, Richard Stockton Insurance and Tom Goss Insurance.

Local artisan vendors are also participating in the Art to Ag fair. Seven murals are being pieced together with work coordinated by Donna Mills from school children in Loyalton, Portola, Greenville, Quincy and Chester schools.

“They are really neat,” said Steffanic. “A real good display” of three-dimensional art is planned, “It’s gonna be the real deal,” said the fair manager.

Dorothy Edwards is planning daily art workshops for children during the fair including tapestries made from raw alpaca, bookmarks with beads, wall hangings, greeting cards made using fish and also the creation of pastel paintings. Edwards taught art at Wooster High School in Reno for 28 years.

The Feather River College fish hatchery will be providing a pond set up for youngsters to learn the art of baiting their hooks and catching fish. Trout Unlimited will be providing equipment.

Livestock entries are now closed and “we received a good flow of entries,” said Steffanic. Silver buckles, platters and plaques have been ordered to be on hand for winners of the agriculture awards during the fair.

The deadline for the balance of fair entries is Friday, July 14. A number of calls have been received at the fair office with questions and details for entry; good participation is anticipated for 2017.

Fair not the only event

After the fair in mid-August, the fairgrounds will host the first-ever Plumas Homegrown Americana Festival over Labor Day weekend. A trilogy of activities will make up the event: roping, square dancing and music. Musical groups have been booked to entertain a crowd camped out on, what Steffanic describes as, the “carnival lawn” beginning Friday evening, Sept. 1, through Sunday.

Peter Rowan is the headliner, but other big names fill the line up: Sourdough Slim with Robert Armstrong, Eric Burman and the Brookdale Bluegrass Band, AJ Lee and Blue Summit, The Downbeats, The Faultliners, and Cisco Jim and those Bunkhouse Boys. Local talents, Jeff and Kelsey Kepple will open for the headlining act of Peter Rowan combined with the Faultliners on Saturday night.

Steffanic set ticket prices to the first annual Plumas Homegrown Americana Music Festival at $25. Additional fees apply for camping or RVs. Ropers will be able to tack on $15 to attend the music festival and square dancers paying $30 for their weekend dance and BBQ event will be welcome to enjoy music also.

The plans for the new front entry gate are all laid out and ready to go thanks to a generous contribution from Sierra Pacific Industries and contributions from the Farm Bureau and the Fair Foundation.

Steffanic reported that the County Picnic was a success. “It was good,” said Steffanic, “everyone seemed to have a good time.” The vendors did well and American Valley Speedway had “great attendance, way better than average,” said Steffanic.

The number of cars for the first drive-in movie of the summer on the “Carnival Lawn” was up from last year.  Patrons of the free showing of “Atom Age Vampires” were treated to complementary hand-delivered popcorn during the show. More movies are expected this season and dates will be announced as soon as they are available.

The Fair Foundation is doing very well reported Steffanic, “Chyanne Morrison has done an amazing job.” Morrison has been working effectively to improve the social media presence of the fairgrounds.

Sweetheart of the Mountains

Loyalton’s Madeline Williams is this year’s Sweetheart of the Mountains. Her first duty will be to reign over the Plumas-Sierra County Fair beginning Wednesday, Aug. 9. Photo by Mari Erin Roth

The Sweetheart of the Mountains was crowned at the closing of the big Rhythm and Grace show that included portions of the

Sweetheart competition.

Madeline Williams of Loyalton won the top honor and received $1,000 toward her future education. Receiving $500 in scholarship funds was Quincy’s Claire Coelho as first runner up. Hanna Wearin of Portola was second runner up.

“All three girls displayed poise, style and grace throughout the competition,” said Steffanic.

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