Fair brings fun for whole family

Gold Country Fair wants you to ‘Bee a Kid Again’
By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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Cotton candy, funnel cake, animals and screams of excitement drifting from thrilling rides. Sound familiar? The Gold Country Fair is back in town. The fair opens its doors at 4 p.m. today and runs through Sunday. The theme of this year’s fair is “Bee a Kid Again.” Greg Hegwer, chief executive officer of the Gold Country Fair, said the fair’s target population includes all ages. “The fair is the major community event of the year,” Hegwer said. “We have something for the whole family. That’s what makes us unique. I have been in fairs for 35 years. This is a very precious fair. It’s a small-to-medium-sized fair. It’s really community oriented.” Hegwer said 30,000-35,000 people are expected to attend the fair this year, and safety is a big priority. “I just hope people come and take it easy, but that they are careful,” he said. Hegwer said those who attend the fair can enjoy everything from roasted husked corn to pizza to a full-blown barbecue provided by Lucky Henner. Fairgoers can look forward to several new things this year including a safe children’s circus in Kids World called Circus Imagination in which children act out imaginary stunts, daytime music on the Fiesta Stage, a new concert lineup featuring musicians such as Lee Rocker of the Stray Cats, Tainted Love, Steel Magnolia and Jackie Greene, and three new carnival rides, Hegwer said. All concerts are free with admission. Hegwer said new commercial vendors would also be on the grounds throughout the four-day event. “We have kind of a whole new shopping experience going on,” he said. Another new feature of this year’s fair are the daily barn tours. Members of 4-H, Future Farmers of America and independent livestock and small animal groups will give the tours. Hegwer said the point of the tours is to educate the community about agriculture and its various local programs. “We are just hoping to educate a little more (about) agriculture to the public as they come by,” Hegwer said. Fairgoers can also look forward to a new hypnotist/comedian and the traditional parade, which begins at 6 p.m. Thursday in the fairgrounds and includes two marching bands. Sophia Barajas of Mi Jardin Wrought Iron said she is excitedly looking forward to her first year selling garden décor at the fair. Barajas said she has been selling the iron pieces at the Auburn Home and Garden Show for 12 years, and she’s hoping the fair will bring her a new clientele that may not have seen the company’s products before. “I love Auburn,” Barajas, who is from Turlock, said. “Auburn always has a really good crowd.” The company’s gazebo will be set up in front of Placer Hall and Barajas said she is excited about her close proximity to the entertainment stage. Chance Boeger of Happy Day Pony Ride, Inc. will be providing free pony rides in the Kids World area. Parents also have the chance to purchase photographs of their children riding. Boeger said this is the company’s second year at the fair after being in business for 50 years and participating in fairs throughout the state. Boeger said the family-owned business, which is locally sponsored so rides can be offered for free, is now giving pony rides to grandchildren of original riders, and kids ask for certain ponies by name. “It’s a kick,” Boeger said. “We get kids running up to the pony ride going, ‘Is Ruby here? Is Mocha here?’” Boeger said he enjoys the Gold Country Fair because it is more personal than some of the bigger fairs the company works at. Alexis Anderson, 16, a member of Placer High School FFA, is showing and auctioning a steer, Blitz, and a lamb, Chops, at this year’s fair. “I’m really excited to show the lamb, because I have never shown a lamb before,” Anderson said. Anderson said money raised from auctioning Chops would go to an FFA scholarship fund. Taylor Crismon, 16, also a Placer FFA member, is showing and auctioning a 260-pound hog named Hank. “This is my first year showing, so I’m excited to see how I do,” Crismon said. “I’m excited to see how much I make … depending on how good (Hank) does.” Shelby Cary, 16, who attends Placer High and is a member of Ophir 4-H, is showing and auctioning a steer and a feeder steer calf this year. Cary said she is excited to see the progress she has made from showing a steer at last year’s fair, and that she enjoys the networking she takes part in during the event. “It’s a fun week … being involved with everyone else and communicating with people from other schools,” Cary said. “I really enjoy fair time.” Reach Bridget Jones at ----------------------------------------------------- 2010 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 Street, Auburn Prices: Thursday, Saturday and Sunday: adults (13 and older) $8, seniors (62 and older) $6, juniors (6-12) $5, children (5 and under) free, Thursday: (Kids Day) children 12 and under free, Friday (Auburn Journal Friday) age six and over $4 Free fair admission with donation of two non-perishable food items 11 a.m. to noon Saturday and Sunday. Parking: $5, Auburn Journal Friday $4 For information: Call (530) 823-4533, website