Create a Gingerbread House and Win!

Now is the time for holiday bakers to think about the creation of a magical Gingerbread House to enter into the 13th annual Gingerbread House Competition at the Country Christmas Faire, held November 27, 28, and 29 at the Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley. Houses, bungalows, cottages, and castles fashioned from spicy gingerbread will be displayed for holiday shoppers to enjoy during the Thanksgiving weekend festivities.

Competitors may enter any of the many categories, including children, teens, adults, special needs, families, and groups.  There’s even a category for children under 8 years of age who want to enter a house made by a kit. All those who enter a Gingerbread House exhibit will receive two free passes to the Country Christmas Faire.

Ribbons are given to all winners, and the Best of Show winner will receive $100. A special gift basket from Tess’ Kitchen Store will also be awarded to the Best of Show winner and the People’s Choice Award winner.

Entry forms must be received at the Fairgrounds between now and Friday, November 20 by 4 pm. The actual gingerbread house entry must be delivered to the Fairgrounds on Tuesday, November 24 between the hours of 11 am – 6 pm at Ponderosa Hall.  The cost is $2 to enter, and all Gingerbread House exhibitors will receive two free passes to the Country Christmas Faire.

Entry forms and a complete list of rules can be picked up at the Fairgrounds office on McCourtney Road, or downloaded from here.

The Country Christmas Faire features talented artisans who fill the Fairgrounds exhibit buildings with quality hand-made crafts and unique gifts, so you can get all your holiday shopping done in one location. Visitors to the Faire will enjoy strolling live entertainment, festival foods, wagon rides, and a community bon-fire. Santa Claus will be on hand to greet children, so bring your camera to get that special photo. Santa will be available each day until an hour before closing time.

Free babysitting will be offered by Girl Scouts of the Northern Mines Service Unit so parents can drop off their children while they enjoy holiday shopping. Errand Elves from Clear Creek School will be available to assist shoppers throughout the event.

The 31st annual Country Christmas Faire begins Friday, November 27, and runs through Sunday, November 29.  The hours are 10 am – 5 pm on Friday and Saturday; and 10 am – 4 pm on Sunday. Admission is $4 for adults, and free to children 12 and under. Parking is free. On Sunday, if you bring a can of food, you’ll receive $1 off admission. All food donated is collected by the Grass Valley Elks and used in their Christmas baskets that they hand out in December.

Categories: Announcements and Country Christmas Faire.

Country Christmas Faire ad on Gold Country Stage

Look what begins running this week on the back of Gold Country Stage! It’s the Country Christmas Faire, happening Thanksgiving weekend at the Nevada County Fairgrounds. This is definitely one of our favorite holiday events.

Back of bus (2015)

Categories: Announcements and Country Christmas Faire.

Fairgrounds Begins Winter Hours, Effective November 2

Effective November 2, the Nevada County Fairgrounds will return to its winter hours. This change in hours means that the Fairgrounds’ inner-grounds and gates will be locked at 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday, and closed on weekends.   The inner-grounds and gates will remain open during the week to walkers and bicyclists, but all must be off the grounds before the gates lock at 4:30 pm.

The winter hours only affect the inner-grounds and gate closures; it does not affect the Main Office, which is open during its normal business hours of Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm.  Additionally, the RV Park at the Fairgrounds will remain open, and the gates and inner-grounds will remain open for any events that are taking place on the grounds during the winter months.

The Fairgrounds will return to its summer hours beginning May 1.

Categories: Announcements and Nevada County Fairgrounds Foundation.

Enter the Theme Contest and Win!

Do you have a theme idea that you think would be perfect for the 2016 Nevada County Fair? Submit your ideas here, and if we choose your theme, you will win a 2016 Nevada County Fair package that includes admission tickets, parking and ride coupons.

Photo by @wolfmamma2.

IG - wolfmamma2 (thursday 3rd)

Categories: Announcements and Nevada County Fair.

Foundation’s First Speaker Series Features Jack Parnell

“The word “can’t” can’t do anything,” said Jack Parnell, former United States Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, to a group of local high school students on Thursday night. “But the word “can” can do anything it wants to do; so fill your mind with the word “can” and believe that you can do whatever you choose to dream.”

Parnell recently addressed FFA students from Bear River and Nevada Union high schools as the first speaker in the Nevada County Fairgrounds Foundation’s Speaker Series.

The series, hosted by the Fairgrounds Foundation and sponsored by Sandy Ballou and California Outdoor Properties, brings business education – through access to business leaders and real-life leadership experiences – to local high school students.

“It was an honor to introduce Jack at the first Fair Foundation Speaker Series,” said Rea Callender, CEO of the Nevada County Fairgrounds. “Jack gave one of the most inspirational – and from the heart – talks that I’ve heard. He truly addressed why we started this series – to give high school students real life advice from real-life professionals, and to provide tips on how to build and succeed in a career.” This is Callender’s fourth speaker series he’s started throughout his career.

In addition to serving as Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, Parnell – who served during the George H.W. Bush administration from 1989 until 1991 – also served as Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture from 1987 to 1989, as Director of the California Department of Fish and Game from 1984 to 1987, and as Deputy Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture from 1983 to 1984.

Before working for the Californian government, Parnell was the owner and publisher of California Cattleman Magazine and the founder and chairman of the Auburn Bank of Commerce. He built and operated the Headquarters House Restaurant, the Headquarters House Country Meat Shop, the Angus Hills Golf Course, and Parnell Ranch.

Locally, Parnell is a founder of the Draft Horse Classic, now in its 30th year at the Fairgrounds, and has long been a supporter of youth in agriculture at the Nevada County Fair. He served as the auctioneer at the Junior Livestock Auction for many years, and in continuing that tradition, his son, Randy, and his grandson, Luke, continue to serve as the auctioneers each year at the Fair.

Parnell shared his experiences and life stories with the students, and shared advice on steps he took to succeed. From a teacher early on who believed in him, to stories of success (and failures), Parnell’s main messages was to never give up on yourself, to always believe in yourself, work hard, and to dig deep when it gets tough. To use one of his favorite quotes of the night: “If you believe it, you can see it.”

In sharing his advice with the students, Parnell said, “Each morning, you wake up with a blank white sheet of paper in your mind. You can either scribble on it, wad it up and throw it away, or fill it with new goals and aspirations. Every day is a new day, so treat every day as if it’s important. Pay attention to what you are thinking about yourself, keep your thoughts positive, and pay attention to what comes out of your mouth.”

The Fairgrounds Foundation’s speaker series will feature six speakers, one each month, and will run through April.  Invited students will have an opportunity to hear about the speaker’s career path, how they achieved their goals, insight regarding their area of expertise, and plenty of opportunities for questions.

Upcoming speakers include Dan Castles, CEO of Telestream; and John Paye, former NFL player for the San Francisco 49ers.

Speaker Series (group photo)

Categories: Announcements and Nevada County Fairgrounds Foundation.