Where I Stand: All indicators led to my decision on the fair

By John Steffanic

Plumas Sierra County Fair Manager

You know how you feel at the fair? Sun on your shoulders, eating shaved ice, ducking into one of the air conditioned buildings, having your mind read? The memories last a lifetime as I can still remember walking through the house of mirrors with a young lady named Debbie in 1977. I’m afraid we will not be able to build those kinds of memories in 2021.

 

After poring over maps, evacuation orders, closed roads, weather, air quality and estimated dates of containment, it just seems the only feelings we would conjure up if we had a fair would be anxiety and disappointment. What good is watching your kid on the Ferris Wheel if you can’t see them through the smoke at the top? Cancelling the Fair for COVID was bad enough, but we really didn’t have a choice. This year, we have a very slim choice, but all indicators point to cancellation. I hate making that call, but the indicators say it is the right move.

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So, what’s Plan B? Well, we have several Plan Bs! The first one is moving the Livestock Show, lock, stock and barrel to Sierraville. That is the venue of last year’s show and sale; there is camping, we have the judges, we have the awards and we can have the sale. That does not mean it will be easy for everyone, especially those from the north part of the County. They still are under various levels of evacuation and the roads are closed at this time. Of course, those conditions would have existed if the show was held in Quincy, but it is still a long way around through Susanville to get to Sierraville. If the auction is anywhere as good as last year, I’m sure everyone will be happy to make the trip.

 

We can reschedule our Horse and Driving show to September or October when the conditions are much more pleasant. As for competitive exhibits, we might just have to pick a weekend in September or October to have all the entries judged and show them to the world. We are currently working with our carnival operator to find a weekend he would be available. We could have a carnival, food, entertainment, and our exhibit halls open. I’m sure it would be a much more pleasant experience than trying to have the Fair as scheduled.

 

In case you can’t tell, I’m kind of making this up as I go. There are dozens, if not hundreds of people to talk to and update. Along the way we will find out what we can, or can’t do. We will either reschedule each part of the Fair later, or we will refund any fees or purchases. I appreciate your understanding and patience. I guess the lesson of the past two years is: get vaccinated and don’t play with fire.