The excitement of each year’s Fair begins with the arrival of the Exhibit Guide. Fair Manager John Steffanic says it’s time to get excited! The theme for the 2022 Plumas Sierra County Fair is “Celebrating Fairs Past”. Maybe we need to look to our past to remember what it is like to have a Fair after this pandemic and fire camp. Even if we have to learn it all over again, it all begins with entering something in the 2022 Plumas Sierra County Fair, July 28-31. This year’s exhibit guide is filled with divisions and classes that lets everyone who lives in the area show what they have made, grown or raised.
The number of competitive exhibits is a direct reflection of the health of any Fair, and the Plumas Sierra County Fair Board is constantly urging everyone to take a look at the exhibit guide and enter something. 2019 saw the most dramatic increase in exhibits in decades! Part of the credit goes to better outreach through the schools and organizations, but a huge chunk of the credit goes to the PSCF Foundation, the non-profit group that supports our local Fair. The Foundation covered entry fees in most of the divisions offered in an effort to break down some of the barriers some novices may feel when entering something for the first time. Well, it worked! Total entries jumped up by over 500, compared to most years that might see a 100 entry swing up or down. They have decided to do it again; all entries in the Floriculture building, except for the gardens and table settings, are free. All entries in the Home Arts building, except for quilts and professional divisions, are free. And new this year, all sculpture and poetry entries in the Art Barn are free.
The steps are simple; browse the exhibit guide, decide what you might like to enter, fill out the entry form, turn it in to the Fair office by the deadline (Most are July 8, many of the Floriculture entries are due just the week before the Fair), and then bring your entries to the Fair on the dates shown in the guide. Since there are no fees, feel free to enter as many things as you want. For instance, if you think you might want to enter your COVID inspired sourdough bread, go ahead and enter it. When Fair time comes, and maybe there is a reason you can’t get the bread done, it’s no big deal. You aren’t out any money, but at least you could have entered the bread if you had gotten around to it.
There are many categories that are not what some people would think of at a Fair. There are certainly the classics; jelly, baked goods, zucchini, flowers and needlepoint. But there are also divisions that are unique, and might not require a particular aptitude to enter. There is a Division for Giftwrapping. Do you write poetry? Enter your poems. Make a shadow box. The Fair actually provides the box, so all you have to do is gather the items you want to display, and come to the fairgrounds to arrange them in the box. 2019 had a shadow box full of things that were found on the fairgrounds with a metal detector that was fascinating. You can enter soap or candles you have made. You can decorate a cake, pie or confection, even if you didn’t make it, the judging is on the decoration. Enter jerky, or salsa. Crochet a rug, sew a Christmas tree skirt. There are categories for all these.
If you have an African Violet, or a cactus, or a Boston Fern that thrives in your home, please share it with everyone by entering it in the Floriculture Building. Some people don’t have a green thumb, but love plants. There are several divisions for silk or dried flower arranging. Finally, everyone should know that to enter something from your garden, you only have to turn in an entry form the Friday before the Fair. Perhaps it is some cut flowers, or some fresh carrots or onions. Don’t forget about the oddities; largest vegetable, oddest shaped vegetable or the heaviest tomato. These are all things the public needs to see!
Printed Exhibit Guides are available at all Plumas Bank branches and public libraries. Copies can also be picked up at the Fair Office. A downloadable version is available on the Fair website; www.plumas-sierracountyfair.net. The Fair has also taken the extra step of breaking the book down by sections for those that still have dial up and don’t necessarily need the entire book. Livestock entries are due on July 1 and most all other entries are due July 8.