Fishing Derby: April 18

This year’s Trout Derby is Saturday, April 18 from 7:30 am to noon at Lions Lake at the Nevada County Fairgrounds. This is for kids 3 – 12. Thank you to the Grass Valley Sportsmen for putting on this fun, free kids event! Visit here for more information.

Categories: Site Updates.

Fair Family of the Year – Don & Anita Daniels

Don and Anita Daniels have been named the 2014 Family of the Year by the Nevada County Fair’s Board of Directors. The Board chose the Daniels Family for their long time commitment, participation, and volunteer efforts at the Nevada County Fairgrounds.

For more than 50 years, Don and Anita have been actively involved in the Nevada County Fair. Don has been involved in the Fair since 1951, when he participated in his first horse show at Lions Lake. He was a charter Nevada Union FFA member, has roped calves and steers at the Fairs rodeos, and judged horse shows. Additionally, he has played in several bands at the Fair, served as a local 4H Beef Leader, and volunteered at work days at the Fairgrounds.

Throughout the years, he and Anita have also volunteered in numerous booths on Treat Street.

Anita has been participating in the Fair since 1955, when she joined 4H and entered club projects in canning, baking, sewing, horses and hogs. She participated in the 4H Dress Revue, continued to enter exhibits in the Fair, and even won a blue ribbon for her marmalade. She has assisted at the Junior Livestock Auction, worked in the Bingo booth, and assisted with the Idol Competition. Most recently, as President of the Rotary Club of Grass Valley, she initiated the first Rotary at Work Clean-Up Day at the Fairgrounds, which involved all five western Nevada County Rotary Clubs, and created the largest one-day community service project conducted in the county.

“The Fair is so important to us because it brings everyone together for good, family fun,” says Anita. “It teaches our young people the rewards of hard work, and it truly promotes pride in our community.”

Don and Anita, who have been married for 51 years, have two children, Brian and Kris, and six grandchildren. As children, both Brian and Kris were involved in the Fair as 4H exhibitors. Brian made his debut in 1967, when, at 13 months old, he enjoyed his first experience at the Fair, and made the front page of The Union eating pizza at the Fair. Kris – who won first place in a pie eating contest against kids and adults at the Fair when she was 7 – was selected as the Nevada County Fair Queen in 1988, won the first Gold Country Idol Contest, and went on to win the Western States Fair Idol competition. Today, she regularly sings the National Anthem for the opening of the Nevada County Fair and the Draft Horse Classic.

While the Daniels have many fond memories at the Fair, their favorite memories are when both their kids were showing their steers with 4H at the Fair. Says Don, “We had so much fun with the other families. We definitely miss that!”

Don, who is retired from the California Highway Patrol, is the Chairman of the Board for Nevada County Horsemen, and a past president and member of the Rotary Club of Grass Valley. Anita, who has been in the banking industry since 1962, is the Vice President and Branch Manager at Tri Counties Bank in Grass Valley. She is a board member of Western Sierra Medical Clinic, a board member of Rotary Club of Grass Valley, a board member of the Nevada County Fairgrounds Foundation, and treasurer of Nevada County Horsemen. She is a former board member of the Sierra College Coordinating Council, the Grass Valley Downtown Association, the Greater Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce, and the Nevada County Law Enforcement and Fire Protection Council.

“Don and Anita are truly avid supporters of the Fair,” said Sandy Woods, CEO of the Fairgrounds. “Having grown up in Nevada County, their involvement with the Fair goes back to childhood – and their dedication to the Fairgrounds continues! Through Anita’s inspiration of Rotary at Work Day at the Fairgrounds, both she and Don have painted barns, raked pine needles and pitched in to help make the Fair California’s Most Beautiful. The Daniels’ passion and dedication to the Fair makes them the perfect candidate for the 2014 Family of the Year.”

Upon being named the Family of the Year, Anita says, “we are humbled by this honor. So many families deserve this award. We are just one of the many families who love our Fairgrounds and the opportunities it offers to all those in our community.”

The Daniels Family will be honored at the Fair’s opening ceremonies. They will receive a Fair package, as well as a family portrait by Shaffers Originals of Grass Valley.

Family of the Year recipients, Don and Anita Daniels, with their children and grandchildren.                           Photo credit: Shaffers Originals.

Family of the Year recipients, Don and Anita Daniels, with their children and grandchildren. Photo credit: Shaffers Originals.





Categories: Site Updates.

Special Contest: California State Parks

Have you recently visited, or are you planning a visit to, a California State Park? If so, we have a fun new contest and exhibit category for you. In celebration of California’s State Parks 150th anniversary, we’ve partnered with our state parks to offer various categories that celebrate our experiences at our parks. Take a photo, write about an experience, make a bookmark, create a collage – there are lots of ways to celebrate our state parks! Check out page 21 of the Competition Handbook for details.


Categories: Site Updates.

Nevada County Fair Competition Handbook Now Available



Contact: Sandy Woods, Chief Executive Officer
(530) 273-6217;

Book includes all the information you need to enter exhibits in this year’s Fair

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 – and it can be found in the Competition Handbook!

Why not showcase a talent, a project, a cooking skill, or a special collection. Try baking cookies, entering a prized photo, creating a produce character, making the Ugliest Decorated Cake, writing a poem, or entering the Pet Look-A-Like photo contest. This year, we have some fun, new categories, including California State Park contests (in celebration of California State Park’s 150th anniversary), an Instagram Contest, and a category for miniature Fairy Gardens.  There are also lots of special contests like the Squash Mobile Races, Daily Special Food Contests, and the Family Feud. With hundreds of categories available for children and adults – the Competition Handbook has something for everyone.

Copies of the free handbook are available at the Fairgrounds’ Office, Chamber of Commerce offices, post offices, county libraries, Raley’s, SPD, Ben Franklin, Foothill Mercantile, and other local businesses, as well as on-line here.

It’s easy to enter! Look through the book, pick your favorite categories, and follow the simple steps for completing the entry forms. You can even enter on-line.   This year, there won’t be any entry fees for most categories (yes, it’s free!), you can enter on-line or at the Fair office, and there will be some great prizes!  The deadline for submitting paper entry forms and on-line entries is July 18 at 4 pm.

This year’s Competition Handbook also contains information about discounted Fair tickets available now through August 5, discount days at the Fair, and nightly arena events.

The 2014 “Simply Fun” Nevada County Fair is August 6 – 10. For more information, visit  the webpage or call (530) 273-6217.

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Categories: Site Updates.

Tommie Turvey Visits the Classic

Did you know that Tommie Turvey will be at this year’s Classic? He and his horses will be performing in between classes at each performance. In between the classes, while the next group of Gentle Giants are being readied backstage, spectators are treated to specialty acts. This year, we are excited to welcome Tommie. He is a world-renowned equine entertainer, stuntman and one of the best movie horse trainers of today. Tommie’s horses have been featured in many movies, including “Batman: The Dark Knight.” He also did the training of the Clydesdales in this popular Super Bowl commercial. Amazing talent, and we’re excited to welcome him to the Classic.


Categories: Announcements, Draft Horse Classic, and Site Updates.

A Magical Place

A Magical Place
By Maddy Rossitto, Ghidotti Early College High School

Have you ever gone into an amusement park? The feeling is thrilling when you walk through the gates, ready to partake in all of the fun that lies ahead. There are some fun rides, good food, and lots of people coming from such a long ways away just to spend some quality family time. Why travel so far when you can just drive or even walk down to the fairgrounds for the fair?

All of the rides are brought to you and placed neatly among the grass in the park. You will enjoy everything from the rides to the food to the beautiful surroundings. The fair holds many rides from fast and exhilarating roller-coasters to fun and enchanting beginner’s rides for children. Whether you relish that tingly sensation shooting down your sides as you soar through the air, or you just want to watch your children squeal in happiness on the whimsical swings, the fair is just the place to have a great time with family.

The fun doesn’t stop there; you can sit down with friends and enjoy a nice hot meal ranging from sticky sweet funnel-cakes to crispy golden corn dogs to a savory bowl of chicken and rice. With the many choices on Treat Street, everyone will be satisfied with full bellies.

If you don’t want to go back on those rides after you eat, you can always stroll through the grounds and take in your surroundings. Walk along the path garnished with bright yellow marigolds. Sit down under a nice shady tree and relax. Check out the Arts Barn and see the amazing crafts where children and adults alike show projects such as knitted hats and articulate paintings. Even go visit the animals in the show barn.

There are many opportunities at the fair for everyone, big or small. I hope you will have great time, just as I have throughout the years.

Maddy is a guest writer for the Nevada County Fair. Maddy took second place in the 8th grade Expository Writing Assignment for the Nevada County Superintendent of Schools’ writing tournament in January.  Above is her article that she wrote for the annual Fair Guide, produced by The Union Newspaper.  Thank you, Maddy!



Categories: Site Updates.

Draft Horse Classic and Harvest Fair in Grass Valley September 19 – 22, 2013

Grass Valley, California – Join the beautiful Draft Horses for the 27th annual Draft Horse Classic and Harvest Fair, happening September 19 – 22, 2013 at the Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley.  Featuring six performances by the beautiful Draft Horses, this event is the premier Draft Horse show in the western United States. 

The Classic spotlights a variety of horses, teams, rigs and performances; featuring everything from farm wagons, carriages, and driving competitions to dancing horses and racing mules.  The stars of the show are the horses, and with more than 120 horses stabled on the grounds, the Classic offers a unique chance to observe them in a multitude of settings. 

This year, we’ve lowered the price of adult admission tickets for evening performances – making them more affordable than ever.  Additionally, we’re continuing our offer of discounted pricing on morning performances and children’s tickets.  

In between classes, enjoy showcase specialty acts. This year, we welcome Tommie Turvey – a world-renowned equine entertainer, stuntman and one of the best movie horse trainers of today – who will be featured at each performance. Tommie’s horses have been featured in many movies, including “Batman: The Dark Knight,” and he did the training and filming of the Budweiser Clydesdales horses for the 2013 Superbowl commercial.

Also taking place at the Fairgrounds during the four days of the Classic is the Harvest Fair, which features musical entertainment, a clogging jamboree, Treat Street goodies, Art at the Classic, horse shoeing demonstrations, a chance to visit with the horses, and hundreds of community exhibits. 

On Saturday of the Classic, spend time at the Bounty of the County. Sponsored by Nevada County Grown, Bounty of the County takes place from 1 – 4 pm and is a pairing of fabulous local chefs and barbecue experts with the produce and meats of Nevada County Grown farmers and ranchers. This is local, fresh, and delicious food at its best – and a feast for your palette.  Information is available at  

On Sunday of the Classic, it’s the third annual Classic BBQ Cook-Off happening from 1:30 – 4 pm. Whether you want to watch BBQ experts show off their cooking skills or simply join the fun and taste the treats – the BBQ Cook-Off is the place to be! Tasting tickets will be available at the event. 

This year’s Draft Horse Classic is September 19 – 22 at the tree-covered Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley, 50 miles northeast of Sacramento. Tickets are on sale now, and can be purchased by calling the Fairgrounds Office at (530) 273-6217 or ordering online.

Draft Horse Classic Action

The beautiful Draft Horses perform for a full arena at the Draft Horse Classic in Grass Valley, California. This year’s event will be held September 19 – 22.

Categories: Site Updates.