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!
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By Sarah West Kubly, Firewise Sierra City
Unfortunately many of the people involved in the May 14th Firewise events may have been exposed to Covid. Out of an abundance of caution, we have decided to reschedule and the plan will go forward on Saturday, May 28th. We’re sorry for the last minute change of plan but after consulting with our local medical team this was deemed the best course of action.
So, all of the events originally scheduled for last Saturday, the combined yard cleanup, the Firewise Sierra City meet-and-greet, and the Sierra City Volunteer Fire Department Open House are now slated for May28th.
Anyone willing and able to spend two hours helping one of our neighbors tidy their yard that morning, please let me know! And everyone from Sierra City, plan to join us for food and fire related info at the Sand Shed Fire Station from 1-4 pm. Among other things we’ll have updates on the siren project, the resurgent Fire Safe Council, info on wildfire resilience, fire department bling for purchase, and a fun raffle.
Hope to see you there.
On Sunday, May 22, from 3 pm – 6 pm, the community is invited to join members of the Nevada City Rancheria Nisenan Tribal to admire and celebrate the new mural created by Nisenan artists on at 309 Neal Street in downtown Grass Valley.
With food and beverages made available by the new El Barrio Mexican Market, music by local artists, and talks by Tribal Spokesperson Shelly Covert, Tribal member Jennifer Plunkett, muralist Nikila Badua, youth assistant Naomi Alani, and mural curator Haven Caravelli the public will learn more about the story behind the mural, local Indigenous history, the Nisenan’s recent addition to the California State Native American Heritage Commission list, an important acknowledgment for the tribe, and a big step forward in their ongoing fight for restoration of the federal recognition taken away from them by Congressional action in 1964.
DOWNIEVILLE – Downieville’s iconic Cold Rush Café (https://www.coldrushcafe.com/) is holding its Grand Opening from May 12-15th to celebrate its new ownership. Four local friends came together to form a partnership, which they call Empire Creek Provisions, which focuses on keeping year-round businesses alive in their remote community in Sierra County, which largely is supported by seasonal tourism. Located in the historic “gold” building that once housed the 1950s-era Quartz Café in the quaint mountain town—200 Main Street, Downieville, CA—Cold Rush Café is one of the first sights for visitors as they drive eastbound along Highway 49 & the Scenic Yuba River Byway as they enter the pioneer town of Downieville, CA. This gourmet coffee shop, cafe, and ice cream parlor is just steps away from the confluence of the emerald green waters of the Downie and North Yuba Rivers where families stop to picnic, swim, spend their family vacation, mountain bike, or simply relax along the sandy shores and shaded banks.
Cold Rush has been operating under a “soft opening” in April and May of 2022 to prepare for the summer season, but is excited to relaunch the café and introduce new hours and new menu items for breakfast and lunch including a variety of bakery items, organic grab-and-go goods, and bagels with a variety spreads. This summer, Cold Rush plans on opening their Build-Your-Own (BYO) Sandwich Bar for lunch options. “We’re excited to welcome guests year round, seven days a week, and to carry as many fresh and organic ingredients as possible. We aim to carry on the tradition of Cold Rush Cafe, and the spirit of Quartz Cafe before that. A community hub, a gathering place to connect, socialize and make memories.” said Sonya Ziegler Meline, investor in Cold Rush Cafe.
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A unique opportunity for the young ladies of Plumas and Sierra Counties has returned. The PSCF Foundation and the Plumas Sierra County Fair are extending an invitation to those girls from Plumas and Sierra Counties, between the ages of 16 and 20 to apply to compete in the 2022 Sweetheart of the Mountains Scholarship Competition. Since its revival, the competition has generated nearly $25,000 in scholarships for those that have competed for the title.
With roots going back over 50 years, the Sweetheart of the Mountains has evolved from a beauty pageant to the current scholarship program. After a year break due to the Dixie Fire, organizers decided it would be appropriate to center the title more on a demonstration of the competitor’s ability to communicate and what she stands for than on a live performance involving a talent display and live responses to questions. This year’s applicants will be asked to write an essay on the topic of “Why are small county fairs critical to the communities they serve?” They must also complete an application and be interviewed by the selection committee. The fundraising portion of the competition has also been eliminated this year.
The 2022 Sweetheart of the Mountains will be announced at the 2022 Plumas County Picnic; Saturday, June 11. The winner will receive a $500 scholarship and a First Runner Up will receive $250. Recipients will still be required to carry out the duties of the position, including greeting visitors at the 2022 Plumas Sierra County Fair, and representing the fair at various events.
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