About the Fairgrounds

The Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley, California is home to the Nevada County Fair, the Draft Horse Classic, and the Country Christmas Faire. Located under tall pine trees, the fairgrounds are commonly referred to as “California’s Most Beautiful Fairgrounds.”

The Nevada County Fairgrounds – also known as the 17th District Agricultural Association – was established in 1884, stemming from legislative action in 1859, which authorized the formation of agricultural districts. While the Nevada County Fair has been around since 1938 – with the exception of no Fairs during the World War II years – the first Fair at its current location on McCourtney Road was in 1947.  The first buildings on the grounds were built in 1951.  

Today, recognized as “California’s Most Beautiful Fairgrounds,” with one of the top 10 rural fairs in America, the Nevada County Fairgrounds is situated among hundreds of pine trees on nearly 100 acres. In addition to the annual Fair, it is home to the Draft Horse Classic and Harvest Fair, as well as the Country Christmas Faire. There is also an RV Park, Lions Lake, rental facilities, weekly events, weddings, some of our community’s largest outdoor events, and lots of areas to walk.

Additionally, the Nevada County Fairgrounds is an economic, social and cultural treasure for Nevada County. In 2009, the annual Fair contributed nearly $20 million in economic impact to Nevada County, created 200 local jobs, and generated approximately $274,000 in local tax revenue.

The Nevada County Fairgrounds are located in Grass Valley, California. We are near highways 80, 49 and 20, approximately a one hour drive from Sacramento. Fairs have been held at this location since 1938. The Gentle Giant Monument marks the entrance to the Fairgrounds and symbolizes the spirit of California’s pioneers. The working horse played a large role during the California gold rush.


First Fair – 1884, fairs at this location since 1938.
Thousands of trees on almost 100 acres.
Lions Lake, which offers fishing for children 12 & under.
Approximately 25 acres of shaded parking.
Partially shaded site camping for trailers and motor homes.
Five large exhibit buildings.
Barns for more than 1,000 animals.

Mission, Vision and Values

To assure long-term viability; to produce an annual Fair that is safe and fun; and to provide a gathering place for the community that showcases its interests, talents and heritage.

To be a self-sustaining Fairgrounds that encourages an atmosphere of community involvement and customer-friendly experiences, and creates a positive economic impact on our community.


  • Utilizing the ideas and opinions of our employees, volunteers, and the public to create a successful, self-sustaining, financially stable organization that will exist for future generations. 
  • Providing a community-friendly annual Fair that showcases Nevada County and its heritage, and promotes agriculture, youth, education and the arts.
  • Encouraging an atmosphere of community involvement and participation by serving as a year-round events center that provides venues for meaningful experiences, education, recreation, and entertainment.
  • Maintaining the Fairgrounds’ natural beauty; and maintaining a clean, safe and attractive environment that maximizes full use of our facilities. 

Economic Impact

The Nevada County Fair is an economic engine generating tangible benefits beyond the educational, cultural and agricultural tradition.

  • The Nevada County Fair generated approximately $20,813,000 in spending activity alone in 2009 – benefiting the local economy and creating a ripple effect of economic benefit for the state.
  • The network of California fairs generates upwards of $2.5 billion dollars in economic activity benefiting the local, state and global economy.

 Economic Impact of Nevada County Fair