About the Fairgrounds

Located in Grass Valley, California, the Nevada County Fairgrounds has been declared as “California’s Most Beautiful Fairgrounds,” and is covered with hundreds of towering pine trees on almost 90 acres.  It is home to the annual Nevada County Fair, the Draft Horse Classic, the Country Christmas Faire, world-class music festivals, and year-round community events. There is also a year-round RV Park, Lions Lake, rental facilities, weekly events, weddings, some of our community’s largest outdoor events, and lots of areas to walk.

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. The first Nevada County Fair was held in 1938 at Veterans Memorial Building, and has been around since that date, with the exception of no Fairs from 1942 – 1946, due to World War II. The first Nevada County Fair at its current location on McCourtney Road was held in 1947.  The first buildings on the grounds were built in 1951.  

The Nevada County Fairgrounds is an economic, social and cultural treasure for Nevada County. In 2015, approximately 250,000 people attended events at the Nevada County Fairgrounds, which created a total spending impact of approximately $28 million on the local economy and created approximately 240 jobs.

The Nevada County Fairgrounds is located in Grass Valley, California. We are near highways 80, 49 and 20, approximately a one hour drive from Sacramento. The Gentle Giant Monument marks the entrance to the Fairgrounds and symbolizes the spirit of California’s pioneers.

History and Facilities

  • 1884: Seventeen District Agricultural Association established
  • 1938: First Nevada County Fair (held at Veterans Memorial Building)
  • 1942 – 1946: No Fairs, due to World War II
  • 1947: First Nevada County Fair at its current location on McCourtney Road
  • 1997: Gentle Giant Monument erected at entrance to Fairgrounds.
    Gentle Giant Monument History
  • 2005: Nevada County Fairgrounds Foundation, a 501(c) nonprofit, formed
  • Hundreds of trees on almost 90 acres.
  • Lions Lake, which offers fishing for children 12 & under.
  • Approximately 25 acres of parking, accommodating 7,500 vehicles.
  • Year-Round RV Park
  • Five large exhibit buildings, providing 60,000 square feet of gathering space
  • Barns for more than 1,000 animals.
  • In times of need, serves the community as a fire camp headquarters and as an evacuation center

Economic Impact

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

  • The Nevada County Fairgrounds’ events generated approximately $28,061.000 in spending activity in 2015, benefitting the local economy and creating a ripple effect of economic benefits for California.
  • The network of California fairs generates upwards of $3.9 billion in economic activity benefiting the local, state and global economy.

Nevada County Fairgrounds Economic Impact Report

Mission, Vision and Values

Mission:
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.

Vision:
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.

 Values:

  • 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.