Auburn ready to get ‘Ag-cited’ at the Gold Country Fair

FFA and 4H youth hoping for exciting shows
By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
-A +A
Are you ready for your annual dose of cotton candy, scream-evoking rides and farm animals? The Gold Country Fair is coming to town. Although, like many other organizations, the fairgrounds are faced with budget cuts, Chief Executive Officer Laurie Johnson said there is still plenty of fun to be had. “Instead of spending the big money for some of the acts, we have gone kind of local,” Johnson said. “So instead of doing the big animal acts that we have had, we are doing Wild Things with (Weimar’s) Gabe Kerschner. That will be in Kids World. The Wilderness Institute is going to come in with a rock climbing wall all four days of the fair. Saturday and Sunday we will have gold panning. Placer FFA is doing barn tours this year. We have some local entertainment – Mark Steinmetz and Evan Zee will both be here. We are also doing author signing where local authors bring their books, and people can come buy the books, and have their books signed by the authors and talk to them, meet them.” In remembrance of the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11, there is scheduled to be an exhibit in front of the Armory Building. The exhibit is planned to include items like a piece of the World Trade Center and a car donated by a member of the Consumnes Fire Department. Fair visitors can sign the car and then it will be part of the Destruction Derby at 6 p.m. Sunday, according to Johnson. “Right before the Destruction Derby we are going to do something special with that car,” she said. The fair will also include the Fast Fridays Motorcycle Speedway Track Championship and Extreme Side Car Championship Racing at 7 p.m. Friday in the fair grandstands. The Fair Boosters Parade is set for 6 p.m. Thursday at the Gold Country Stage. The fair’s group of exhibits is set to include two displays about California Fair History in the Armory and Sierra buildings, Johnson said. Johnson said even with a tighter budget, the community and groups like Recology Auburn Placer, Auburn Host Lions and the Auburn Fair Boosters are rallying around the fairgrounds. “We are kind of facing our own budget cuts, where being a state agency we are supposedly not going to receive state funding anymore,” she said. “So, we are learning to cut our own budget and become financially independent. The community came back and has given so many things.” Livestock are a big part of the fair and Placer High School senior Jessica Fisk, 16, is part of Placer FFA. She has an Angus cross steer, Dexter, entered this year. Fisk said this is her first year showing through FFA, but her second time showing a steer. She raised her first pig for show when she was 9. She said she has a favorite part of the process. “Honestly, fair week,” she said. “It’s one of those weeks where everyone is stressed out, but you don’t meet people like this except through 4H and FFA.” Fisk said she is hoping to make a profit this year with the tough economy. She also said she thinks the Gold Country Fair stands out from others. “The community is what makes this fair different than any other fair I have ever been to,” she said. “It’s the best one I have ever been to.” Jennifer Fisk, 15, a sophomore at Placer High, and also a member of Placer FFA, has a white shorthorn steer named Guido entered at the fair this year and said she is looking forward to a new experience. “I’m really excited to see how he does because I have never raised this breed before,” Jennifer Fisk said. “This is my sixth or seventh year doing beef, and I love it.” Ophir 4H member Brennen Peterson, 12, has a sheep named Bob Marley entered this year. Brennen said his favorite part of entering animals is showing them, but his least favorite part is cleaning up after them. Cali Peterson, 9, has a chicken named Liza entered and said she is excited to have people see Liza. “I get proud because I am in the fair, and it’s kind of really cool to show an animal inside the fair,” Cali said. “It’s really cool to have people look at your chicken. The most challenging part to me was trying to catch her. It was a little bit of a challenge to get her.” Teresa Johnson is a member of Soroptimist International of Historic Auburn. The nonprofit group sells shaved ice at the fair to benefit a number of local causes, Johnson said. “This is how we fund our scholarships and we support Acres of Hope,” Johnson said. “We do an etiquette class through (Auburn Area Recreation and Parks District) for pre-teens. We are really happy that the weather is warm, because we sell shaved ice, and we want to make a lot of money.” Johnson said she thinks the small-town feel of the fair sets it apart and she enjoys seeing people she doesn’t get to see very often. Glenn Crockett, a member of the Early Day Gas Engine and Tractor Association, Branch 111 said he has been helping show off the mechanical items at the fair for about 18 to 20 years. “We try to put on something nice for people to at least stop by and see,” Crockett said. “A lot of the technology we have today started with these things. I would just like to see more people come out and ask questions.” Reach Bridget Jones at ----------------------------------------------------- 2011 Gold Country Fair When: 4-11 p.m. Thursday, 4 p.m. to midnight Friday, 11 a.m. to midnight Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday Where: Gold Country Fairgrounds, 1273 High St., Auburn Admission: Thursday, Saturday, Sunday: Adults (13 and older) $10, Seniors (65 and older) $8, Children (12 and under) free Auburn Journal $5 Friday: Admission age 13 and over: $5 Parking: $5 Information: Call (530) 823-4533 or visit