By John Steffanic
QUINCY – Sometime in our past, there was a big event called the county fair. It was a place where people from across the county came to gather, see old friends and show off their animals, preserved foods, hay and a drawing or photo. They ate food that you couldn’t get at the local diner and drank beer that WAS available at the local bar, but it tasted better at the fair. They were entertained by musicians and magicians and acrobats and puppets and each other. They could put all that food and drink at risk by riding machines that spun them around and flipped them upside down. It was a simpler time. It was the BEST time. Will we ever feel that way again?
Darn straight! We are pretty sure we remember how to do this and we’re giving it our best shot! The 2022 Plumas Sierra County Fair comes alive again this July 28-31 in Quincy, California. It’s been a long time since the young and old residents of Plumas and Sierra Counties have walked through the front gates to the sounds and sights of the fair. Let us remind you how it all works.
You come to the fairgrounds and park out front. It costs $3 per car, and we mainly use that as a fund raiser, so thanks for kicking in. Admission to the fair is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors/students (13-17 & 62+), and $4 for kids (6-12 years). You can buy cheaper, weekly passes if you are planning on going at least two days. Once you get into the fairgrounds, you will see a good selection of food vendors, offering everything from mini donuts to funnel cakes, Thai BBQ to corn dogs. There’s entertainment from the moment you pass through the gates – steel drums, a mind reader, marionettes, Cisco Jim’s Cowboy Camp, and more. You will find the Imagination Gallery in the Mineral Building where you can play giant games, like Simon on a device taller than most fairgoers. A new presentation comes in the form of Powerhouse; high energy tap dancing and clogging act featuring professional dancers that have competed on national television. Probably one of the most popular acts to ever perform at the Plumas Sierra County Fair is Street Drum Corp, and they’re coming back. These guys have won national competitions and love Plumas County. Another “never before seen” show in Plumas County is the Pee Wee Stampede. They’ve been at the Texas State Fair for over 17 years and are rolling into Quincy for Fair Week. This highly entertaining show is a “hands on” method of instilling the cowboy ways to kids 3 to 6 years old. It’s a kid’s rodeo with music, stick horses and bulls, cowboy hats, chaps, rodeo back numbers, trophies and ribbons. Yeehaw!
The entertainment doesn’t end there. Come to the legendary Old Town Stage Thursday through Saturday evenings for live music; Walker and Willis on Thursday (or Willis and Walker, depending on who you’re talking to), Rickety Bridge on Friday and Rummy on Saturday. Since we’re bringing back the past, the grandstand will come alive on Saturday night with a live performance of up-and-coming country star, Jake Jacobson. By the time the fair gets here, Jake will have dropped two singles and has some major touring planned in the coming months. He has been touring around the country, but wanted to come back to his home county to perform for everyone after COVID and fires. Details will be announced in June. Of course, count on the popular American Valley Speedway race on Sunday night to top off the fair.
After decades of having the fair in August, we had to alter the dates to secure a carnival, but it’s OUR carnival. Wold Amusements has been serving our fair for a long time, but with all the upheaval, had to make arrangements that didn’t work with our schedule. It is of note that if Wold Amusements can’t be our carnival, we won’t have a carnival. They are the only outfit that is willing, and gladly so, to come provide the rides that are so important to our experience. By lining up with two other fairs – Trinity County and Lassen County – we were able to secure this great show for years to come.
Golden Tickets are back. For $90, you can ride all the rides, every day of the fair, as much as you like. Plus, there are a couple of coupons for discounts on carnival food and Midway games. If you won’t be going more than a day or two, you can purchase a carnival coupon for $25. It can be redeemed for $32 worth of ride coupons, or, you can exchange it for an all day ride wristband on Thursday or Sunday. Presale carnival tickets will be available beginning in June from these locations: Safeway, all Plumas Bank branches, Sierra Valley Home Center, Sierra Valley Feed, all library branches and the Fair Office.
It will all come back to you quickly, but here’s an important reminder. ANY fair is only a fair because of the competitive exhibits. Fairs show what a community has made, grown and raised. First, consider entering something in the fair for other people to see, and perhaps win a ribbon and a bit of money. Second, take the time during your visit to go into the Floriculture Building, the Home Arts Building, the Art Barn, the Junior Agriculture Barn and the Livestock Barns. See what your neighbors have made, grown or raised. Entering is easy; you can pick up an exhibit guide at any Plumas Bank branch, a public library or the Fair Office. Easier still, you can download the guide, or just the section you want, from the Fair website – http://www.plumas-sierracountyfair.net. It will tell you what you can enter, when to turn in the entry form, and when to bring your actual entry to the fair for judging and display. But wait, it gets better! The PSCF Foundation is paying for most entry fees, so entering is FREE to you. You still get the ribbon and the prize money if you win or place, but it costs nothing to enter. There are a few exceptions and those are covered in the guide.
There is so much more to come, so look for more information wherever you are reading this and on Facebook. The website is another great place for information as we get closer to the Fair dates of July 28-31, 2022.
This will be a “Celebration of Fairs Past” by celebrating the return of a fair in the present.