Wednesday, July 23, 2014

County fair in full swing

DSC_7221 ec

KYLIE RUSSELL, 15, left, and Rachael Stevenson, right, have fun during preview night at the El Dorado County Fair in Placerville on Wednesday, June 12. Democrat photo by Pat Dollins

From page A1 | June 14, 2013 |

In a vision of things to come, sponsors, VIPs and fair staff gathered Wednesday night for a sneak preview of this year’s El Dorado County Fair.

With a theme of “Blue Jeans and Country Dreams,” the fairgrounds sparked with lights, sounds and sugary smells — all announcing the start of the four-day event that began Thursday and runs through Sunday.

Jody Gray, who is the CEO of the fair, said she expects 65,000 adults and children to attend, with lots of new entertainment and exhibits as well as the return of many old favorites as attractions.

The preview event attracted 400 to 500 people with many bringing their children as the fairgrounds were turned into their personal playground with free bags of cotton candy and buttered popcorn, free play at all the carnival booths, and a chance to get aboard as many of the rides as their hearts and stomachs could take.

Gray said the event is held annually to thank all the sponsors, dignitaries and volunteers and to kick off the publicity for the fair.

On hand to help fair guests enjoy the evening were eight members of the Mother Lode Lion’s Club who served up a barbecue dinner while members of the fair board of directors, like Earl McGuire and Mike Owen, sold beer and wine.

The meal was a reminder of one of the fair’s big attractions — carnival food. Who doesn’t crave their yearly corn dog on a stick, slathered in mustard and accompanied by a cold beer while visiting the exhibits and commercials booths? And if you don’t leave the fair sticky from the candy apples, fudge and other goodies, you’re doing something wrong.

Then there are the food demonstrations, which count as some of the best entertainment at the fair with the added bonus of people being able to buy products afterwards, like Crazy Charley’s barbecue sauce, at bargain prices.

Owen said one of the new exhibits this year is of animals from Australia including wallabies, wallaroos, kookaburras and kangaroos, as well as an exhibit featuring wool — thus highlighting the importance of animal husbandry in El Dorado County.

Besides those exhibits there are plenty of other events for animal lovers from the Pygmy Goat show to the 4-H/FFA El Dorado County Junior Livestock Auction on Saturday starting at 10 a.m. The event always draws a large audience of those there to bid, as well as others who just enjoy watching the fast-paced event.

Providing a preview of those events on Wednesday night were Jordyn Gilmore, 15, who showed off her exotic pig, Rue, which romped through the grass, and Adrianna Novelo, 16, who brought the cow and calf she raised. Novelo will show both during the fair as well as sell a steer at auction.

A wide variety of musical entertainment will be available during the fair from rock bands, country western and hot gypsy jazz as well as tribute bands playing the music of Tim McGraw and the Rolling Stones.

Owen said other popular entertainment includes the always exciting wheelbarrow race and Susan Rosen — the Mistress of Mesmerism. There is even participatory entertainment such as a chance to bang away at an old car at a dollar a pop with the proceeds going to benefit M.O.R.E.

McGuire mentioned the appeal of county fairs including information on new products, food and entertainment. “People come to share ideas and participate in competitions and to see something new,” he said.

And indeed there is a long list of competitions from bubble gum blowing, to Teicher’s Free Bean Spitting Contest and Tortilla Toss Contest.

Kids in particular love fairs because of the games and rides. Wednesday night was a child’s paradise as kids jumped from the balloon water race to the merry-go-round. Little Tess Bowman, 5, took on the alligator roller coaster all by herself while the grandson of Ann and Gary McMillan thrilled to a ride called Casino. McMillan said her daughter and grandson came all the way from the midwest for the fair.

Fair hours are noon to midnight on Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to midnight on Saturday, and noon to 10 p.m. on Sunday. Ticket prices and discounts vary, so check the fairground’s Website for the best package for you and your family at

Paid parking at the fairgrounds is available as well as a free parking and shuttle service at three locations: the Placerville Library/Government Center, the Walmart Park & Ride Lot, and Prospector Plaza between Kmart and SaveMart.

So put on your jeans, pack up the young’uns and head over to this year’s El Dorado County Fair for the best overall entertainment venue in the county.

Contact Dawn Hodson at 530-344-5071 or Follow @DHodsonMtDemo on Twitter.





Six file for Dist. 2

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1

District 2 candidates forum Aug. 14

By News Release | From Page: B1

EID ditch customers get relief

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A1

Veterans receive wildland fire training

By News Release | From Page: B1

Market data open for local biz

By Ross Branch | From Page: B1

Heard over the back fence: Attorney to warn about scams

By Bob Billingsley | From Page: B1

Road zone of benefit protester reaches dead end

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Volunteers clean up national forest

By News Release | From Page: A3 | Gallery



My turn: Special interests at EID

By Special to the Democrat | From Page: A4

Russian metastasis

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4

The Democratic-Chronicles: Not invented here

By Gene Altshuler | From Page: A4



DA hogging Main St. parking

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

CAO and staff hiring friends

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

Altshuler’s hypocrisy

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5Comments are off for this post

Small Farm compromise

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5Comments are off for this post

EID and Dale Coco

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5Comments are off for this post



Roundup: July 22, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6

Dolphins ring up another title

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Sharks defeat Loomis Basin in season finale

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Celebrity golf at Tahoe

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Dodgeball: Not the national pastime but …

By Shane Theodore | From Page: A7 | Gallery



At a glance: Comets to meteors

By Mimi Escabar | From Page: B2

Taste the best at the State Fair

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Tractor Supply Store recognized

By Uc Cooperative | From Page: B3

Amador Fair honors cowboys

By Amador County Fair | From Page: B3

Arbor Day book helps to identify trees

By Arbor Day | From Page: B4

Learn about lavender and its many benefits

By Christian Women's Connection | From Page: B4

Lee’s Feed appreciates customers

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B5

My Time meeting in August

By Senior Day | From Page: B5

Builders’ Exchange honors scholars

By El Dorado Builders' Exchange | From Page: B5

En garde at Silver Screen Classic

By Auburn Silver Screen | From Page: B5



Weather stats 7-22-14

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2

Crime Log: July 8-10

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2



Walter Vali

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Jean Lachelle Taylor

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Arthur J. Funston

By Contributor | From Page: A2


Real Estate




By Contributor | From Page: A8


By Contributor | From Page: A8


By Contributor | From Page: A8

New York Times Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Flying McCoys

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Speed Bump

By Contributor | From Page: A8


By Contributor | From Page: A8

Horoscope, Thursday, July 24, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Horoscope, Wednesday, July 23, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Working It Out

By Contributor | From Page: A8

TV Listings

By Contributor | From Page: A8