Arts and entertainment columnist
In spite of a down economy and potential looming cutbacks, El Dorado County is presenting a strong showing at the 2010 California State Fair. The fair runs through Aug. 1, so there is still time through the weekend to check out the sights, sounds, smells, tastes and textures of ÒBig FunÓ in the sun.
El Dorado County took home the Bronze award in the Counties Exhibit in Building B. In past decades, El Dorado County has always vied with Placer County for Best Exhibit. It was always fun to see what animatronic contraption El Dorado County would come up with.
This yearÕs exhibit was quite modest in comparison to prior years. It is sweet and colorful, and features Apple Hill brochures and flyers to all of the wonderful places in the county.
When I congratulated the docents on the countyÕs Bronze Ribbon, they were very excited about the award É and wistful.
ÒWe are very happy to have any exhibit up this year,Ó one docent said. ÒWe were told there wouldnÕt be any money for one É and with the cutbacks we are looking at for next year, who knows if there will be one next year?Ó
In the Expo Buildings, El Dorado Hills and Shingle Springs did very well Awards are still being handed out at the fair, so this is just a brief listing.
Industrial arts winners
The ACE Team of Shingle Springs took home the Most Outstanding Project Award and a first place ribbon for their ÒFuture Sacramento Transportation HubÓ in the Elect & Energies Group Project division (third and fourth year students).
El Dorado Hills students did particularly well in the ÒIndustrial & Technology EducationÓ arts this year, especially in the division of Òhand-drawn dimensionalÓ art.
El Dorado Hills student winners
In the first year and middle school student category, Eliana Delabachan won first place in hand-drawn dimensioned rendering for her work entitled ÒThe DelabachanÕs Home.Ó Mason Pulani won a second place ribbon in the same division/category for his rendering of a ÒPulcini Constructed Custom Home.Ó Shivani Sharma received a third place ribbon for ÒGarden Grove.Ó Ayesha Mazumdar received an honorable mention for her work, ÒChez Mignon.Ó
In the second year student category, Katherine Tehaney took home a first place ribbon for her work ÒVacation Lodge for the Tehaneys.Ó (She also won a second place ribbon for ÒLego RacersÓ in the hand drawn ÐAssembly/Pictorial category). Madison Arenchild won a second place ribbon for her rendering of a ÒProposed Home for the Arenchild Family.Ó Bradley Miller received a third place ribbon for his work ÒCustom Home for the Miller Family.Ó
Brian Garcia won a second place ribbon for his ÒBAGS GuitarÓ in the Mechanical Models with Plans division (third and fourth year student category).
Fine arts awards
El Dorado Hills and Shingle Springs had winners of ÒAMÓ awards in the fine arts this year. El Dorado Hills artists Laura Harling (mixed media sculpture, ÒGwen IfillÓ) and Pam Snyder (oil painting ÒTidal SymphonyÓ) each received awards. Shingle Springs artist Ramona Kaye Beckwith won two awards for her works (watercolor painting ÒThe WaveÓ and acrylic painting ÒNebulaÓ).
Fair business booming
Depending on what day you go to the fair, attendance is either light or booming. Attendance tends to fluctuate with the heat, but fair officials are already greatly encouraged by the boost in attendance they are already seeing in the school-aged children category. Moving the fair up a month was a huge break in tradition for the California State Fair board of directors, and they are hopeful that three years of study will bear this decision out as a good one.
The price of food and beverages is 25 percent less expensive than last year, and there are various discounts for the fair if one visits www.bigfun.org.
There are bargains galore to be found at the fair. ThereÕs the cheap stuff, but there are also quality items that will save folks money over time. Sales in both categories seem to be brisk.
While shopping in Buildings A and B (yet another fair pursuit, no pun intended), I met chef Kab Benefield, who is the number one distributor for Americraft waterless cookware in the country. He and his wife are both proud El Dorado Hills residents. During his presentation, he mentioned that sales of his quality (and certainly not inexpensive) cookware were up 30 percent over last year.
ÒFor two reasons,Ó he said. ÒFirst, people are concerned about their health. And second, they want to purchase quality items that are made in the United States, and keep American workers at their jobs.Ó
The California State Fair has always been about growing the present into a better future. President John F. Kennedy famously said, Òa rising tide lifts all boats.Ó Yes, itÕs going to take everyone, doing their part, to get the entire country back on her feet again. When you see the determination that I saw in the eyes of the docents at the El Dorado County exhibit, experience the inspiration of our local artists and youth, and partake of the cheerful (but serious) optimism I heard in BenefieldÕs voice, you may just come away with the belief that there is, indeed, hope.
These people arenÕt just winners at the fair. They are champions in real life.
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