2012 Events at the Nevada County Fairgrounds

Please join us for the many fun events planned in 2012 at the Nevada County Fairgrounds.

Nevada County Fair:
August 8 – 12, 2012

Draft Horse Classic and Harvest Fair:
September 20 – 23, 2012

Halloween Events at the Fairgrounds:
October 27, 2012

Country Christmas Faire:
November 23 – 25, 2012

Details for these events are listed at www.NevadaCountyFair.com, or you can check out the Events Calendar on the site for a complete list of all the events that take place at the Fairgrounds.

The Nevada County Fairgrounds are located on McCourtney Road in beautiful Grass Valley. Our phone number is (530) 273-6217. See you at the Fairgrounds!

Categories: Country Christmas Faire, Draft Horse Classic, and Halloween at the Fairgrounds.


Segment to air on Thursday,
November 4 at 8 pm on KVIE Channel 6

Huell Howser’s segment on the Nevada County Fair will air on Thursday, November 4, at 8 pm on KVIE Channel 6. In addition to the November 4 airing, an encore broadcast will air at 3 pm on Saturday, November 6. The show is part of Howser’s new PBS series, California’s Golden Fairs, which will showcase the variety of interesting people and events held at California fairs, as well as focus on the rich history and relevance of all California fairs.

Howser, noted television personality and founder of the PBS program: California’s Gold, spent a day at the Nevada County Fair in August. During his visit, Howser spent time on the Fair’s Treat Street, sampling the various foods and interviewing individuals from the various non-profit organizations represented on Treat Street.

Howser’s new PBS series, California’s Golden Fairs, will be rolled out in the Spring of 2011. However, a “sneak preview” of six episodes, including the episode featuring the Nevada County Fair, are being released early on PBS stations throughout California. All shows aired in this sneak preview will be shown again as a part of the spring 2011 series. The entire series will air at a rate of one per week for 12 weeks. In addition to the 11 featured Fairs, Huell Howser Productions will produce a compilation episode focusing on the rich history of all California fairs.

There are 78 Fairs in California. Howser chose to feature the Nevada County Fair because of its strong community roots, its natural beauty, and its unique Treat Street.

Danny Kemp to be Inducted into the Nevada County Fair Hall of Fame

Danny Kemp has been named as the 2010 inductee into the Nevada County Fairgrounds’ Hall of Fame. The Fair’s Board of Directors chose Kemp for his significant contributions to the Fair and to the youth of Nevada County.

Kemp recently retired as the Ag Mechanics instructor from Bear River High School, where he had been teaching since 1986. It was his inspiration, and his desire to support the Ag Mechanics students, that created the highly successful Ag Mechanics Auction at the 2004 Fair. Kemp worked tirelessly with the students and the Fair to create a quality exhibit that has grown to fill the Sugar Pine Lodge at the Fairgrounds. Now in its seventh year, the Ag Mechanics Auction has raised more than $240,000 to benefit the students of Nevada County.

“I am thrilled with how the Ag Mechanics Auction has grown since its inception,” said Kemp. “I am proud of the students who make it happen, and I am pleased that it opens another avenue for children to be successful.”

Kemp has always been a great supporter of the Fair. He was a member of the Nevada County Fair’s Board of Directors from 1985 through 1989, and, even today, he continues to be available to provide his assistance to the Fair team. Following each Fair, he makes it a point to meet with management and provide his positive critique and to offer his help in continuing to improve the Fair. He has always been a person that the Fair team relies upon for advice and direction.

“Danny is an individual who has made significant contributions to the Fair,” said Fairgrounds CEO Sandy Woods. “He is a person that we appreciate and admire, and his presence will indeed be missed in the future. It is a well-deserved honor for him to be named to the Fair’s Hall of Fame.”

Kemp, who has lived in Nevada County since 1975, has been a teacher in Nevada County for 34 years. He started his career at Nevada Union High School, and then began teaching at Bear River High School when it opened in 1986. In 2005, he received a Teacher of Excellence award from the California Ag Teachers Association.
Kemp will be formally inducted into the Hall of Fame at opening day ceremonies on Wednesday, August 11. In addition to access to the Fair and its many activities, he will receive a portrait donated by Shaffers Originals.


This year also marks FREED’s 25th anniversary and the 20th anniversary of American Disabilities Act

Join us at the Nevada County Fair on Friday, August 13, for the annual Day for People with Disabilities. This day at the Fair will also celebrate the 20th anniversary of the American Disabilities Act and the 25th anniversary of Nevada County’s FREED Center for Independent Living.

During the Day for People with Disabilities, which happens every year on the Friday of the Fair, those with disabilities are admitted to the Fair at no charge, as is a guest or a chaperone. Additionally, individuals are given free parking, and vendors are brought in to offer products and services that cater to people with disabilities and to those that assist them.

There are several events and activities planned throughout the day. In the Ag-Sperience area, there will be an accessible location for individuals to see and interact with the livestock. In the same area, Master Gardeners will be demonstrating “Accessible Gardening.” On the patio of the Northern Mines building, the Gold Country Wood Turners will offer a sit down lathe for those who are wheelchair bound to try their hand at creating wood art.

Mark Wellman, a nationally acclaimed author, filmmaker and motivational speaker, will be at the Fair’s climbing rock wall, where Mobile Rock is donating time for those with disabilities to have a try at climbing. Wellman will then be joining Candace Cable of Turning Point Tahoe on the Budweiser True Music Stage at 2 pm for an inspiring, motivational presentation. Rounding out the evening, local DJ and break dancer, Rico Stephenson, will serve as the DJ at the Fairgrounds’ Dance Pad.

FREED Center for Independent Living, founded by Nevada County resident Sam Dardick, is a non-profit group dedicated to serving people with disabilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act was passed in 1990 to prohibit discrimination against disabled people.

The Day for People with Disabilities is presented by Pacific West Pharmacy, Inc. and FREED, The Independent Living Resource Center.


Buy early and save!

Tickets for the Nevada County Fair are on sale now. Purchase your admission, carnival ride tickets, and arena event tickets before the Fair begins and save money! This year, you can also save time by purchasing your tickets online.
Buy your admission tickets before August 10 at 5 pm and get admission for only $5. Better yet, purchase a ticket to attend the Fair on Thursday, Kids’ Day, and get a “Be A Kid Again” adult admission ticket for only $3. You can also take advantage of other pre-sale offers before August 10, including a five-day Fair pass with unlimited entry for $25; a season parking pass for $25; a carnival ride bracelet, good for unlimited rides for any one day, for $23; or a carnival ride booklet of 30 coupons for $20. If you purchase any ticket to an arena event, the cost for Fair admission is only $5.

There are several ways to get your tickets early. New this year, the Fairgrounds is offering online ticket sales. Visit www.NevadaCountyFair.com and follow the easy steps to purchase admission tickets, parking passes, season passes, arena event tickets and carnival ride coupons. You can also purchase tickets by calling the Fair Office at (530) 273-6217; or visiting the Fair Office on McCourtney Road before August 10 at 5 pm.

After August 10, admission for the Fair is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors, $3 for children 6-12, and children 5 and under are free.

This year’s Nevada County Fair is August 11 – 15. The Fair’s Office is located on McCourtney Road in Grass Valley. The phone number is (530) 273-6217, the FAX number is (530) 273-1146, and the website is www.NevadaCountyFair.com.

Mutton Bustin’ and Calf Scramble at the Nevada County Fair


Two new arena events – Mutton Bustin’ and Calf Scramble – are planned for young children and teens in the Arena on Wednesday and Thursday night of the Nevada County Fair, August 11 – 15.

Featured in the Arena during the Professional Bull riding on Wednesday and the Rodeo on Thursday will be Mutton Bustin’, where eight young cowboys and cowgirls between the ages of 5 and 7 years old will get the chance each evening to mount a trusty sheep and head for the thrill of their young lives. Participants must be between the ages of 5 – 7, and must not weigh more than 65 pounds.

Also featured at the Arena on the same two nights will be the Calf Scramble, where ten teams, each consisting of a boy and girl, will compete with one another to catch, halter and coax a calf across the finish line. Participants must be between the ages of 12 – 18, and must weigh at least 100 pounds.

Western attire is required for both events, and there is no entry fee. Sheep and calves provided to the contestants during each event. Great prizes will be awarded for both events. For the Mutton Bustin’, prizes are $50 for first prize, $25 for second prize, and $10 for third prize. For the Calf Scramble, prizes are $100 for first prize, $50 for second prize, and $25 for third prize. There are a limited number of spots available, so call the Fair Office at (530) 273-6217 to reserve a spot in either event, as well as obtain an application and a list of rules. Applications and rules are also posted under Special Contests at www.NevadaCountyFair.com. These two events are kindly sponsored by PremierWest Bank.

This year’s Fair is August 11 – 15. Each evening of the Fair features a thrilling arena event. Wednesday is Professional Bull Riding; Thursday is the Rodeo; Friday is Tuff Truck Racing and Monster Trucks; Saturday is Free Style Moto X Riders and Monster Trucks; and Sunday is the Demolition Derby. Purchase your arena event tickets before August 10 and get admission to the Fair for only $5. Visit www.NevadaCountyFair.com for more information.

Sponsor a Car in the Demolition Derby – and You Could Win $1,000 for Your Charity

Back by popular demand, the Nevada County Fair is providing organizations and businesses the opportunity to sponsor and drive a car in the Fair’s popular Demolition Derby, while at the same time raising money for a favorite charity or service organization.

Organizations and businesses can purchase a car for $500 and the Fair will provide a Derby car to use in the Demolition Derby. The organization can choose to provide its own driver or the Fair will provide a driver for the car. Additionally, the car can be picked up on August 6 to customize the car or it can be left at the Fair, where it will have a number painted on it.

The sponsored Derby cars will participate in their own event at the Demolition Derby, held on Sunday, August 15, at 7 pm in the Arena. The last of the sponsored cars moving will receive $1,000 towards the charity or service organization of their choice. Last year’s winner was Mark Andreus, who received $1,000 for his charity, Christian Encounter Ministries.

There are only a limited number of cars available. Call the Fair Office at
(530) 273-6217 to reserve your car and obtain a list of rules. Forms are also available at www.NevadaCountyFair.com.

Nevada County Fair Competition Handbook Now Available

The Nevada County Fair’s Competition Handbook, which includes all the information you need to enter exhibits in this year’s Fair, is now available. If you can make it, bake it, grow it or show it, there is a category for you!

There are hundreds of categories and specialty contests for adults and children. Try entering one of the traditional categories like baking cookies, entering a prized photo, creating a poster, showing something from your garden, or displaying a favorite collection. Or, enter one of the specialty categories like creating a miniature tree house, building a car for the solar-powered sprint car races, creating a produce character, or entering the “ugliest dang cake” contest.

Copies of the free handbook are available at the Chamber of Commerce offices, county libraries, at the Fairgrounds’ Office, or on-line at www.NevadaCountyFair.com. Area schools have also received a flyer with information about contests available to Nevada County youth.

The deadline for submitting paper entry forms is July 10 at 1 pm. The deadline for on-line entries is July 16 at 5 pm. There is no entry fee if you enter your still exhibit on-line.

This year’s Competition Handbook also contains information on discount days at the Fair, details about daily contests at the Fair, arena events, and advanced sale tickets.

Fairgrounds Seeking Nominations for Nevada County Fair Hall of Fame

The Nevada County Fairgrounds is seeking nominations for inductees into the Nevada County Fair’s Hall of Fame for 2010, and the community is encouraged to nominate individuals for this honor.

The Fair’s Nominating Committee is looking for individuals who support the Nevada County Fair and community relationships in a way that strengthens the mission and vision of the Fair. This support should be through assisting Nevada County youth during Fair activities; supporting agriculture, performing arts or educational activities; encouraging community participation in using the Fairgrounds as a community event venue; assisting in maintaining the beauty of the Fairgrounds; or any significant activity that helps move the Nevada County Fair toward its mission and vision.

Awards are given to individuals, not groups or organizations, and consideration may be given to individuals who are no longer living if their contributions were significant.

If you’d like to nominate an individual for the Nevada County Fair Hall of Fame, please submit a one page letter by July 7 stating your reasons why you are nominating the individual. Send letters by e-mail to or by mail to the Nevada County Fairgrounds at P.O. Box 2687, Grass Valley, CA 95945.

Nevada County Fair – August 11 – 15, 2010

Mark your calendar for the event voted as “Nevada County’s Best” for 10 years in a row – the 2010 Nevada County Fair, August 11 – 15, at “California’s Most Beautiful Fairgrounds,” the Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley.

“Rooted in Tree-dition” is this year’s theme and five days of “tree-mendous” fun are planned for Fair-goers of all ages. Live entertainment will be available every day at five different stages throughout the Fairgrounds. There’s also carnival rides and games, barns full of livestock, thousands of community exhibits, special contests, an Idol Competition, nightly arena events, daily demonstrations, magic shows, gold panning, and food contests. As always, Treat Street will be serving an array of delicious food and drinks – corn dogs, pasties, tacos, corn on the cob, beer, tempura zucchini, nachos, hamburgers, funnel cakes and caramel corn – just to name a few!

Long-time crowd pleasing events will soar into the Fair’s arena Wednesday through Sunday, presenting thrills ranging from a rodeo to Monster Trucks to the Demolition Derby.

The Ag Mechanics Auction will be held on Friday of the Fair, and the Junior Livestock Auction will be held on Sunday, August 15. These popular annual events will raise more than $400,000 for Nevada County youth in agriculture.

For those interested in entering competitions and projects for judging, the Fair’s Competition Handbook will be available June 1. At that time, all of the categories, as well as online entry information, will be listed on the Fair’s web site at www.NevadaCountyFair.com.

Gates open each day at 10 am, and close each evening at 11 pm. Admission this year will be $8 for adults, $6 for seniors (65 and older), $3 for children 6 to 12, and free to children five years old and younger.

At one of the most affordable fairs in California, take advantage of one of several pre-sale packages available this year, including a special “Be A Kid” price of only $3 for a Thursday adult admission ticket; or a pre-sale Fair admission ticket for $5 for any one day of the Fair. Kids Day will once again be held on Thursday from 10 am to 5 pm and during that time all children 12 years and under are admitted for free. Other pre-sale packages and coupons will be announced in June.

The Nevada County Fairgrounds is located at 11228 McCourtney Road in Grass Valley, 50 miles northeast of Sacramento, off Highway 49. For directions, event details or general information, visit www.NevadaCountyFair.com or call the Fair Office at (530) 273-6217. Our blog can be found at www.NevadaCountyFair.blogspot.com, or you can follow us on Facebook or MySpace.