Gingerbread House Competition Results and Christmas Faire Wrap Up

A successful canned food drive, more than 115 vendors, and 37 gingerbread houses built made the 31st Annual Country Christmas Faire at the Nevada County Fairgrounds a success.

The 13th Annual Gingerbread House Competition, in its new location in Ponderosa Hall, was once again a crowd favorite, with 37 entries received. Of those entries, the Best of Show award to Wanda Dunn of Penn Valley, and the People’s Choice Award went to Kathy Kinney of Penn Valley. The Best of Show is chosen by the judges, and the People’s Choice is selected through ballots cast by individuals who attend the Christmas Faire.

First place winners in the traditional categories include Jayden Jory and Carlee Fowler (age 5 & under); Finn Becker and Whitney Murphy (age 6-8); Owen Strolle and Nate Becker (ages 9 – 12); J & C Anderson and A & K Barks (Kits: Age 8 and under); Molly Becker and Jeralee Groves (age 13-17); Wanda Dunn (age 18 -64); Joan Morton (age 65 & over); Caylee Sinnock and Jessie/Maggie Lee (group – children); and the Barne/Damico Family, the Spotts Family, the Emily Fisher Family and the McBride Family (family).

At Sunday’s canned food drive, Grass Valley Elks Lodge #538, with help from Boy Scout Troop 21, collected more than 400 pounds of food. These donations will help complete Christmas food baskets for 30 local families in need during the holiday season.

The names of all the Gingerbread House Competition winners can be found here.

The 2016 Country Christmas Faire is planned for Thanksgiving weekend, November 25, 26, and 27.



Categories: Announcements and Country Christmas Faire.

400 Pounds of Food Collected

At Sunday’s canned food drive at the Country Christmas Faire at the Nevada County Fairgrounds, Grass Valley Elks Lodge #538, with help from Boy Scout Troop 21, collected more than 400 pounds of food. These donations will help complete Christmas food baskets for 30 local families in need during the holiday season.

These food baskets will include all the ingredients for a Christmas dinner, including ham, potatoes and gravy, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. Thanks to the Faire patrons, additional items will be added to each basket to support additional meals. SPD Market is helping the Elks get a good buy on the products purchased, and Boy Scout Troop 21 will assemble the baskets.

Great teamwork, and nice job!!

Categories: Announcements and Country Christmas Faire.

Theme for 2016 Fair: “Kick It Up!”

“Kick It Up!” is the theme for the 2016 Nevada County Fair. Congratulations, Kate Horton of Nevada City, who submitted the winning theme.  We received more than 140 entries in our contest to find the theme for the 2016 Fair. Thank you to all who entered the theme contest!

Categories: Announcements and Nevada County Fair.

Dan Castles: Guest Speaker at Foundation’s Speaker Series for Youth

“Stop comparing yourself to others,” said Dan Castles, CEO of Telestream, to local high school students on Thursday night. “There will always be somebody richer, smarter, prettier, and taller, than you. Figure out your uniqueness – and embrace it.”

Last night, Castles addressed more than 25 FFA and 4H students from Bear River, Nevada Union and Placer high schools, and served as the second speaker in the Nevada County Fairgrounds Foundation’s ongoing 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.

“I was so impressed with Dan’s ability to connect directly with these students and pass on advice that can be applied today and throughout their lives,” said Rea Callender, CEO of the Nevada County Fairgrounds. “It was an honor to welcome him to the speaker series.”

Dan is the co-founder of Telestream, and has more than 25 years of TV industry executive experience. Under his leadership, Telestream has become the recognized worldwide leader in enterprise-class video transcoding and workflow solutions. He was named President of Grass Valley Group (then a division of Tektronix) in 1994, following a sixteen year career at Portland-based Tektronix, where he served as Controller and then as Vice President of the Television Division.

Dan, who was involved in FFA growing up, and is a supporter of the Nevada County Fair’s auctions, told the kids that “if I were to ask my young self which program influenced me the most – I would say FFA. Through FFA, I gained confidence and public speaking skills.”

In sharing stories with students and encouraging them, Dan said, “Earn people’s respect for what you do, not your title. Work hard and smart, give your best, be humble, be a team player and always ask what you can do to help.”

The Fairgrounds Foundation’s speaker series, which began in October, features six speakers and will run through April.  Students 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. The first guest speaker was Jack Parnell, former United States Deputy Secretary of Agriculture. Upcoming speakers include John Paye, former NFL player for the San Francisco 49ers.

About the Nevada County Fairgrounds Foundation: The Nevada County Fairgrounds Foundation’s mission is to support and improve the community’s Fairgrounds, and to support youth in agriculture. For more information about the Fairgrounds Foundation, or to become a member, visit here.

Photo with Dan Castles

Categories: Announcements and Nevada County Fairgrounds Foundation.

Country Christmas Faire Winners

Congratulations to the following winners of a Country Christmas Fair admission ticket: Wendelina Stout, Ameya Scanion, Brittney Berns, Sarah Marie, Aaroon Lewis, David Porter, Sherry Myers, Christene Favetti, Teresa Undercoffer Walker, Kaathlyn Connor, and Kathy Stewart. Send us a private message on Facebook, and we’ll give you details on collecting your ticket. See you at the Country Christmas Faire.

Categories: Announcements.

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.