Draft Horse Classic Canceled

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – August 31, 2021

Contact: Patrick Eidman, CEO, Nevada County Fairgrounds
(530) 273-6217;

DRAFT HORSE CLASSIC CANCELED FOR SECOND YEAR IN A ROW

Due to event attendance restrictions in the recently amended Nevada County Public Health Order, the Nevada County Fairgrounds Board of Directors voted Monday evening at a Special Board Meeting to cancel the 2021 Draft Horse Classic. The Classic was scheduled to have run September 16-19, 2021.

The Board made the decision to cancel the event after carefully reviewing the amended order, which prohibits indoor and outdoor gatherings or events where 2,500 or more people will be in attendance, until further notice. The amended order became effective on August 27, 2021.

“The Draft Horse Classic is a popular event that draws more than 15,000 people over four days,” said Andrew Trygg, Board President of California’s 17th District Agricultural Association. “There is no practical way for us to limit attendance to the levels allowed and still maintain the quality and integrity of the show.”

This is the second year in a row that the Draft Horse Classic has been canceled as a result of governmental restrictions on events associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are bitterly disappointed to be canceling again this year,” said Patrick Eidman, CEO of the Nevada County Fairgrounds. “We were fully prepared to put on a great show, but that simply isn’t possible this year in light of the new restrictions. I know this news will be upsetting to our exhibitors, attendees, artists, vendors, and concessionaires who depend on events like the Classic. That said, we look forward with hope and optimism to welcoming everyone back for the 2022 Draft Horse Classic.”

For information about the Draft Horse Classic and the Nevada County Fairgrounds, visit www.NevadaCountyFair.com.
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Categories: Site Updates.

2021 Nevada County Fair Hall of Fame Inductee

More Info: Nevada County Fair CEO Patrick Eidman

(530) 273-6217 or


Longtime Fair Supporter Bart Riebe to Be Inducted into the Nevada County Fair Hall of Fame

Bart Riebe has been attending the Nevada County Fair for 65 years. He has supported the Junior Livestock Auction by purchasing market animals for four decades. He has sponsored fundraisers, giveaways, and special events.

This year, Bart Riebe will be on the receiving end when he is inducted into the Nevada County Fair Hall of Fame.

Riebe was a unanimous choice of the Nevada County Fair Board of Directors.

“Bart is one of the most kind, generous, and thoughtful people on the planet,” said Fair CEO Patrick Eidman. “There is evidence of Bart’s love for the fairgrounds everywhere you look. Bart has left his mark here in an indelible way.”

Riebe, 72, was raised in Grass Valley.

“We didn’t have acreage so I wasn’t an ag student,” Riebe recalled. “My family was involved in auto parts, so I was a motorhead. I always had greasy fingernails.”

In addition to his own donations to the Fair and the nonprofit Fairgrounds Foundation, Riebe has raised money in other ways. He’s been known to purchase a market animal and donate it back to the foundation or other nonprofit, which then sells raffle tickets for the cut and wrapped meat to earn even more money.

Riebe has sponsored special events such as the Destruction Derby, and he’s donated equipment to the amateur drivers who compete in the derby.

“It’s always meant something to me, this great country fair with its spectacular trees and beautiful setting,” said Riebe. “Equally as impressive is the community support. The Fair is a positive, community event that brings everyone together.

“The best part for me is seeing kids win awards and learn the value of hard work. I’ve been fortunate to hire many youths who went thru local ag programs. I met them at the fair or bought their animal, and they’ve gone on to become some of my great employees.”

Riebe is an avid supporter of the Ag Mechanics auction, and has donated tool sets to the youths who create items sold at the auction. He buys other youth projects and displays them in his stores. Many people consider Riebe a champion for local youths.

“I enjoy buying what kids make or the livestock they raise,” said Riebe. “We show our appreciation and give them the praise and acclaim they deserve for the good things they do. You see the pressure these kids work under, whether it’s showing an animal or presenting their projects. They commit themselves and take it seriously. Not everyone gets a trophy. You’ve got to earn it. Whether it’s the biggest weight gain or the cleanest stall, it’s something they can be proud of.”

Riebe has also worked his share of shifts in the booths of nonprofit organizations.

“For example, I’ve enjoyed the working the 4-H pasty booth,” he said. “I’ve definitely made the rounds along Treat Street.”

Riebe’s favorite Fair memories involve the youngest exhibitors.

“My favorite part of the Fair is watching the very young 4Hers and FFA members show their livestock in showmanship for the first time, or present their projects at the auction,” said Riebe. “There is something special about a kid about three-feet tall showing a 1,300-pound steer.”

Fun contests have been a mainstay of the Riebe Auto Parts booth in the fairgrounds’ Main Street Center.

“We’ve done things like guess the number of round rope hooks stuffed into a glass cube,” Riebe said. “We also had a booth outside that supported the California State Racing Association where we offered photographs with drivers. One year we set up a theater inside a trailer at the main entrance and honored General Chuck Yeager with a brief video of his life, including breaking the sound barrier.”

Riebe’s dedication to the Fair began long before he found success as a businessman. In the early1970s, Riebe led a youth group that helped haul away trash.

“We hauled all the garbage in a truck, taking away full garbage cans and replacing them with empty ones,” said Riebe. “I was the leader of an at-risk youth group and we worked every night of the Fair. It was like an alternative to juvenile hall. We kept them from getting in trouble by keeping them busy hoisting garbage cans.”

In his typical self-deprecating manner, Riebe marvels that he was chosen to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

“I’m surprised they gave me the award, and I’m not sure I deserve it,” he said. “It’s a huge honor, but there are lots of people who do more.”

Riebe still owns and operates Riebe’s Auto Parts, his automotive parts supply chain with 22 locations across Northern California. He and his wife Shawna have six children, three of whom are between the ages 12 and 15 and are involved in youth agriculture, little league, volleyball and basketball. The family also enjoys racing go-carts at their home in rural Nevada County.

Riebe will be inducted into the Nevada County Fair Hall of Fame at the 2021 Fair’s opening ceremonies August 11. He will receive a portrait by Shaffers Originals of Grass Valley, daily admission for two for all five days of the Fair, an unlimited parking pass, and a lifetime invitation to the Fair’s opening ceremonies.

This year’s Nevada County Fair will be held August 11-15.  For more information, visit www.NevadaCountyFair.com.

Bart Riebe 2021

Bart Riebe will be inducted into the Nevada County Fair Hall of Fame at the Fair’s opening ceremonies August 11. Riebe, owner of Riebe’s Auto Parts, has supported the Junior Livestock Auction for four decades and sponsored fundraisers, giveaways, and special events that benefit the Fair.

 

Categories: Site Updates.

Fair Family of the Year

Tim Reid and Caitlin Oats Named 2021 Nevada County Fair Family of the Year

The Nevada County Fair Board of Directors has selected Tim Reid and Caitlin Oats as the 2021 Nevada County Fair Family of the Year for their unwavering support of the Fair and Draft Horse Classic.

Tim and Caitlin have been married seven years, and dated for nine years before their wedding. “It took me a while to convince her to marry me,” jokes Tim.

Tim is President of the Nevada County Livestock Producers, the organization that helps organize the Junior Livestock Auction held on the last day of the Fair at which buyers spend more than $500,000 to support local youth in agriculture. Tim has worked in booths for the Fair Foundation and NEO, participated in Fair clean-up days, and helped produce the Ag Mechanics auction, at which he also serves as co-auctioneer. Before transferring to Nevada Union High School in 2016 to become Assistant Principal, Tim was an ag teacher and FFA Advisor at Bear River.

For Tim, the Fair is a time-honored tradition.

“Fairs originated as agriculture showcases and ours is still that to this day,” Tim said. “In years past, fairs provided farm families the opportunity to take time away from the day-to-day hard work of their farm and also introduced new inventions and methods to help improve the agricultural economy. Children could exhibit animals, mothers brought their favorite recipes for judging, and fathers often engaged in contests. The Nevada County Fair is a bridge to the old agricultural traditions, but with new thrills.”

“Tim and Caitlin, with their deep roots in livestock and agriculture, epitomize a Fair family,” said Fair CEO Patrick Eidman. “We are fortunate they are willing to share their unique skills and energy with the Fair and Draft Horse Classic.”

Tim has been an outrider at the Draft Horse Classic for nine years, and Caitlin joined the team four years ago.

“Our job is to steady and gentle the horses and to be extra eyes for the drivers during warm-ups and competition to be sure the driving horses are not having problems,” Tim explained.

Tim, who grew up in Quincy and participated in 4-H steer projects, attended his first Nevada County Fair in 2006 when he helped Caitlin’s sister prepare her first lamb project. He’s been to every Fair since.

Caitlin, a veterinary technician with Sierra Oaks Veterinary Services in Penn Valley, is a longtime exhibitor at the Fair.

“I’ve entered vegetables and pasties,” said Caitlin, who says she has many fond memories of her years at the Fair. “It’s hard to pick one, but maybe my first place award in the giant zucchini contest!

“Treat Street is one of the things that makes the Fair really special. I love the corndogs; well, really all the food. Plus, I love the horse area and the great animal exhibits. I grew up in Truckee and was a member of the Junior Horsemen and 4-H. We always came down to visit my grandfather and go to the Fair. My dad’s side of the family has been in Grass Valley for three generations, so I’m part of the fourth generation of our family that lives here.”

Tim and Caitlin live in Penn Valley with their two dogs. When not volunteering at the Fair and Draft Horse Classic, the two enjoy hiking, riding horses, spending time in the mountains and managing their cattle herd at the Reid Family cattle and horse ranch near Quincy.

Both Tim and Caitlin agree the Nevada County Fair is special because so many community members give “the gift of time.”

“Unpaid volunteers are the glue that holds a community together, especially our fair,” Tim explained. “Volunteering allows me to connect to the community and make it a better place. Dedicating my time to the Fair as a volunteer helps me make new friends, expand my network, and most importantly, share my love of agriculture and the western way of life.”

Tim Reid and Caitlin Oats will be honored at the 2021 Nevada County Fair’s opening ceremonies August 11. The Family of the Year receives a family portrait by Shaffers Originals of Grass Valley, daily admission for each family member for all five days, two unlimited parking passes, arena event tickets for all five nights, kids’ carnival passes, and a VIP table at opening ceremonies.

This year’s Nevada County Fair will be held August 11-15. For more information, visit www.NevadaCountyFair.com.

Tim Reid and Caitlin Oats

Tim Reid and Caitlin Oats will be honored at the 2021 Nevada County Fair’s opening ceremonies August 11. The Family of the Year receives a family portrait by Shaffers Originals of Grass Valley, daily admission for each family member for all five days, two unlimited parking passes, arena event tickets for all five nights, kids’ carnival passes, and a VIP table at opening ceremonies.

Categories: Site Updates.

Blue Ribbons for Two Nevada County Fair Supporters

Before judges get to work examining the first exhibits of the Nevada County Fair, two special blue ribbons have already been awarded.

KNCO Radio Program Director Tom Fitzsimmons and West Coast Equine Sports Therapy operator Alyssa Mayo have been named the 2021 Blue Ribbon Award winners by the Nevada County Fair Board of Directors.

The Western Fairs Association Blue Ribbon Award recognizes and honors individuals or groups who have provided outstanding support to the Fair and/or the fair industry.

Fitzsimmons was chosen for his many years of broadcasting live from the Fair as well as showcasing exhibitors and events from the KNCO studios prior to the Fair.

“The Fair is absolutely the best event, and this year it will be even more important,” said Fitzsimmons. “There is a wholesomeness to the fair, from the first day when scholars and students are honored through Military Day and concluding with the Junior Livestock Auction.”

Fitzsimmons has broadcast live at the Fair from the KNCO gazebo for 26 years, as many years as he has worked for Nevada County Broadcasting. During the past few years, he has also covered live the Junior Livestock and Ag Mechanics Auctions.

“Broadcasting those events have brought more people to the events, many of whom have become buyers,” said Fitzsimmons.

In the weeks leading up to the Fair, Fitzsimmons reads live on-air up to 60 letters written by livestock exhibitors and ag mechanics students. The letters encourage prospective buyers to participate and bid.

“The first year, I read letters basically to fill time,” recalled Fitzsimmons, “but they were so well-received, I made the letters part of our pre-Fair programming. Listeners immediately gave positive feedback and wanted to hear more. The letters are cute and funny, and I share the goofy names the kids give their animals.”

Fitzsimmons hosts exhibitors on his Insight talk show before the Fair, and also broadcasts live from Community Involvement Day, this year on August 2 from 1-6 PM. Everyone is invited to go to the fairgrounds’ Main Street Center and donate to participating local nonprofits or give blood, and in exchange, receive free or special Fair admission ticket pricing.

This year’s other Blue Ribbon Award winner is Alyssa Mayo, who operates West Coast Equine Sports Therapy owned by her father, John. The facility is located at the former Maple Leaf Stables in Penn Valley. Among other therapies, the business features an AquaPacer, which is an above-ground underwater treadmill that offers low-impact exercise and conditioning for horses and dogs.

Mayo organized an elaborate fundraiser for the Fair last year after COVID forced the fairgrounds to cancel all income-generating events.

“The Save Our Fairgrounds fundraiser was in October 2020 and raised more than $20,000,” Mayo explained. “Individuals, artists, and businesses throughout the area donated $10,000 worth of items and services. We held a virtual auction so people could participate online, and we hosted a large in-person auction with major items from artwork to vacations to event tickets.

“We served a BBQ dinner prepared by the Silver Dollar Saloon and Restaurant from Marysville. Vintage Duels brought out a few of their race cars and Arnall Photography donated family photos at the event. Local 4-H and FFA members helped with the auction. We had approximately 150 people attend and people from all over the US participated virtually.”

Mayo, 34, says for as long as she can remember, she’s been participating in demonstrations at the horse arena during the Fair.

“This year, we will have several of our students riding and showing off their skills,” said Mayo, whose West Coast Equine Sports Therapy offers boarding, training, and lessons. “The focus of our demonstrations will be how to negotiate obstacles and build a trusting bond with your horse.”

Mayo is also involved with the fairgrounds as a teamster in the Draft Horse Classic.

“This will be my seventh year competing at the DHC,” said Alyssa. “I will be competing in Ladies Pleasure Driving and Gambler’s Choice, and one of my students will be driving in the PeeWee class.”

Mayo added, “I grew up in this beautiful community and my childhood is filled with memories of the Nevada County Fair and Draft Horse Classic. I want my future children to be able to say the same thing.”

Tom Fitzsimmons and Alyssa Mayo will be honored at the 2021 Nevada County Fair’s Opening Ceremony August 11. Each will receive an official Western Fairs Association Blue Ribbon Award with custom engraving and blue ribbon framed under glass.

This year’s Nevada County Fair will be held August 11-15. For more information, visit www.NevadaCountyFair.com.

Alyssa Mayo

Alyssa Mayo, who operates West Coast Equine Sports Therapy in Penn Valley, is one of two Blue Ribbon Award winners to be honored at the Nevada County Fair opening ceremonies August 11. In October, Mayo organized and hosted the “Save Our Fairgrounds” fundraiser that raised more than $20,000 for the Nevada County Fairgrounds.


Tom Fitzsimmons

KNCO Radio Program Director Tom Fitzsimmons has broadcast live from the KNCO Gazebo at the Nevada County Fair for 26 years. His other live broadcasts from the fairgrounds include the Junior Livestock and Ag Mechanics Auctions, and Community Involvement Day. Fitzsimmons is one of two Blue Ribbon Award winners to be honored at the Nevada County Fair opening ceremonies August 11.

Categories: Site Updates.

Visit the Drive-In Festival, August 28 – September 4, at the Nevada County Fairgrounds

Look at the fun in the Gate 1 parking lot at the Nevada County Fairgrounds! Tonight is the opening of the Drive-In Festival, hosted by the Nevada City Film Festival. This unique Drive-In Festival takes place each night – August 28 – September 4 – at the Fairgrounds, with gates opening at 6:30 pm and movies beginning at 7:30. Tickets are available at NevadaCityFilmFestival.com. Drive-in movies, car hop vendors for dinner and snacks, and a beautiful location. Yes, please!

Categories: Site Updates.

Nevada County Fair Virtual Exhibit Contests

Nevada County Fair exhibit contests are going virtual! Beginning Monday (July 6) we will be holding weekly virtual exhibit contests. Below is a list of weekly contests, rules, prize information and all the information you need to know to prepare to enter your exhibits. Enter one week or all weeks – the more the merrier!

Weekly Contests

Jul 6 – 12
Toilet Paper Roll Art
Create a piece of artwork out of toilet paper rolls

July 13 – 19
Paint a Rock
Paint a rock with your favorite design, animal, bug, flower or inspirational quote

July 20 – 26
Pet Costume Contest
Send a picture of your pet or livestock animal in a costume. Both of you can be in a costume or just your pet.

July 27 – August 2
Produce Character
Use vegetables and fruit to create a sculpture of your choice.

August 3 – 9
Draw Your Favorite Thing at the Fair
Create a drawing with paint, ink pens, pencils or whatever you choose to create a drawing of your favorite thing at the Fair.

August 10 – 16
Blue Ribbon Entry (Anything Goes)
Send us a photo of anything that you would have entered as an exhibit at the 2020 Fair. It can be any item for any department.  

Categories: Nevada County Fair and Site Updates.

We Are Your Nevada County Fair. We Are Your Nevada County Fairgrounds

Despite the cancellation of the 2020 Nevada County Fair, we are still here. We are your Nevada County Fairgrounds. We are your Nevada County Fair.

Established in 1884, the Nevada County Fair is one of the county’s oldest community institutions. Adaptability and innovation are part of our history. During WWII, the Fair was canceled for several years, the Draft Horse Classic was displaced during the 49er Fire, and now the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic will be part of our story. We will prove, as we have time and again, that as a Fairgrounds and as a community we are stronger together.

We know the cancellation of the Fair will have a huge impact on the community, including all the hardworking agricultural youth exhibitors, local nonprofit organizations represented on Treat Street, and the Fairgrounds itself.

There are many questions right now, but the one we hear the most often is, “Can I help?” The answer is a resounding “Yes!” Here’s how:

  • Visit here to bid and buy online at the official Nevada County Fair Junior Livestock and Ag Mechanics Auction August 13 – 15. 
  • Eat treats and support local nonprofits in August at the Drive-Through Treat Street events. Visit here to learn more.
  • Visit here to donate, advocate, or join the Fairgrounds Foundation in support of the Nevada County Fairgrounds. 

All the details can be found here

Photo by Kial James

Categories: Nevada County Fair, Nevada County Fairgrounds, and Site Updates.

2020 Nevada County Fair Canceled Amid COVID-19 Restrictions

Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – June 9, 2020

Contact: Patrick Eidman, CEO, Nevada County Fairgrounds
(530) 273-6217; 

2020 NEVADA COUNTY FAIR CANCELED AMID COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS

The Nevada County Fairgrounds Board of Directors voted Tuesday evening to cancel the 2020 Nevada County Fair due to the COVID-19 public health crisis.  The Board also voted to authorize an online junior livestock and ag mechanics auction.

The vote comes after delaying the decision two weeks ago following Governor Newsom’s same-day announcement that California was moving rapidly into the next reopening stage. Since that meeting, the Fairgrounds Board and staff discussed the feasibility of different options with various Fair partners, communicated with State and public health officials, and further reviewed the Governor’s executive orders and updated guidance regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and mass gatherings.
 
Nevertheless, according to the California Roadmap to Recovery, fairs and festivals remain in Stage 4 of the reopening plan and will not be permitted until the roadmap is complete and all shelter in place restrictions are lifted. At the Governor’s May 29 daily update, he stated that “We’re not ready for Stage 4 – concerts, big outdoor stadium events, festivals, and large conventions. We’re simply not there. There is no sectoral guidance that’s been given, no authority for local health officials to move into that phase.”
 
“While it was an extremely difficult decision for the Board, and one that we were hoping could go in a different direction, it is the only decision we could make in light of the restrictions on mass gatherings,” said Jeanette Royal, Board President of California’s 17th District Agricultural Association. “The Board and staff realize that this action has a huge impact on so many – our community, local businesses, sponsors, youth in agriculture, vendors, entertainers, local nonprofit organizations, and the Nevada County Fairgrounds itself – and we actively explored numerous possibilities before making this devastating decision. However, the Fairgrounds are state-owned property and the Board of Directors is responsible for the health and safety of our community, guests, and staff. We are following the guidelines set by the Governor and State public health directives to postpone mass gatherings until we can safely host them again.”
 
Since the 17th District Agricultural Association was formed in 1884, the Nevada County Fair has been one of the county’s most popular and longest standing events. This will be the first time since World War II that the annual Fair will not take place.
 
“We are deeply saddened to not be celebrating together at Nevada County’s favorite event,” said Fairgrounds CEO Patrick Eidman. “But until we are able to safely gather again at the Fairgrounds, our team will be exploring opportunities to hold virtual exhibit contests and other activities in the spirit of the Fair. Additionally, we are steadfastly committed to working with the Nevada County Livestock Producers to support our livestock and ag mechanics exhibitors with an online auction.”
 
Last year, the Nevada County Fair welcomed more than 95,000 guests to the grounds, generated millions of dollars for the local economy, provided more than $700,000 to youth in agriculture, broke record sales on Treat Street that infused almost $1,000,000 into local nonprofit organizations, showcased local entertainers and vendors, and provided nearly 250 jobs.
 
For information about the Nevada County Fairgrounds, visit NevadaCountyFair.com. 
 
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Categories: Site Updates.

Inspiring Collaboration: Search for the Sheriff Star

We’ve been busy this week at the Western Fairs Association‘s convention learning about the industry’s best practices, and today we did a presentation on an inspiring collaboration between the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office and the Fair. The program, called the Search for the Sheriff Star, won a first place award in WFA’s Achievement Awards program (congratulations, Sheriff’s Office)! We’re so thankful for our community partnerships, and always proud to represent our community!

 

Categories: Events, Nevada County Fair, and Site Updates.

2019 Nevada County Fair Wrap-Up

A record setting year for Fair auctions and youth in agriculture, 7,200 community exhibits, numerous community partnerships, T-Rex Races, and more than $1.1 million raised by local nonprofit organizations and food vendors all made for a successful 2019 Nevada County Fair. Below is a wrap-up of the 2019 Fair.

  • Approximately 96,000 people attended this year’s Fair.
  • A record-breaking $1,125,000 was raised by local nonprofit organizations on Treat Street and Fair food vendors.
  • There were 221 lots sold at the Junior Livestock Auction and 59 projects sold at the Ag Mechanics Auction. Together, the two auctions grossed a record setting $736,000 for the youth of Nevada County. This is an increase of $65,000 over 2018.
  • This year’s Fair included more than 7,200 exhibit entries. From homemade jellies and jams, photography, fruits and vegetables, baked cookies, quilts, fairy gardens, and homebrew, the Fair’s exhibit program offers more than a thousand classes for children and adults to enter and showcases the talents of the community.
  • A total of 78 businesses sponsored and partnered with the Fair to fund services and projects, including contests in the special events tent, charging stations, free shuttle rides, and the hay bucking contest.
  • One week prior to opening day, the Fair partnered with Vitalant, The Food Bank of Nevada County, Foothill Lions Club, Nevada County 211, NEO, Story Club, Community Beyond Violence, Cinderella Project, Nevada County Diaper Project, Nevada County Pets in Need, Gold Country YMCA, and The White Barn Project to offer Community Involvement Day. As a result, 2,000 pounds of food were collected, 68 blood donors were registered and 54 pints of blood were donated, and 800 books, 300 prescription eye glasses, 75 prom dresses, and 900 diapers were donated.
  • More than 120 vendors and concessionaires participated in this year’s Fair.
  • The first annual T-Rex race was held at Sunday’s Destruction Derby. The race, which featured local law enforcement and first responders competed for the coveted T-Rex trophy, made local and national news.
  • The Fair teamed up with the Nevada County Library on their summer reading program and provided carnival ride tickets as prizes to children who read during the summer. During Fair time, more than 320 coupons were given to young readers in our community.
  • The Fair partnered with the Nevada County Farm Bureau Foundation to create the Family Farm, an area dedicated to education in local agriculture.

“The Nevada County Fair is a reflection of this community,” said Patrick Eidman, CEO of the Nevada County Fairgrounds. “It represents local partnerships, extraordinary volunteer efforts, hardworking kids in the barns, and amazing generosity. Our community is what makes this Fair so special, and we are extremely thankful for their continued support. “

The 2020 Nevada County Fair is August 12 – 16, 2020.

Categories: Site Updates.