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Our View: Gold Country Fair Auburn’s own slice of Americana

Our View
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This is one of the most fun times of the year to be in Auburn. The Gold Country Fair kicks off Thursday with a parade through Downtown Auburn launching a wild weekend of family friendly festivities. And there is truly something for everyone. Even those teenagers who think not ever smiling is cool will agree this year’s fair is pretty awesome. The parade and fair offer a chance to see neighbors, friends, have a cool drink, ride the Ferris wheel, listen to live music and eat a fried Twinkie, if you so desire. Gold Country Fair is an Auburn tradition. Even former Gov. Ronald Reagan agreed our Gold Country fair was too good to lose. There is so much to see and do. The Eisley brothers are grand marshals of the 2010 Auburn fair parade. Earle and Harvey Eisley are both well known for their decades-old family business — Eisley’s Nursery — which gives so much back to our community. The entertainment alone at this weekend’s extravaganza is epic. For those of us missing the Black & White Ball — which was canceled for this year — Tainted Love is back in town. Tainted Love was by far the most popular ‘80’s band to ever rock Downtown Auburn. Some, like KAHI’s Dave Rosenthal, suggest Black & White Ball aficionados come dressed in black and white as a tribute to good times past and a show of force that Auburn wants its ball back. Tainted Love is set to rock the Coors main stage at 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. Friday. Rock ’n’ roll fans will have much to shake their groove thing to with the high-velocity party sounds of Clean Slate, a three-time favorite of the Auburn Community Festival and a popular band at many other annual local festivities. The former bass player for the Stray Cats, Lee Rocker, will also strut his stuff on the Coors Main stage at 8 p.m. Thursday. And for Country-Western fans, Top-40 billboard artists Steel Magnolia will bring down the house at 8 p.m. Sunday. In addition, there are several other big-time performers playing the fair as well, such as Mick Martin and the Blues Brothers, Life in the Fast Lane, an Eagles tribute band, Jackie Greene, Chris Gardner, Whiskey Dawn and more. Greg Hegwer, Gold Country Fair CEO and the fair board have done an outstanding job recruiting top-quality live entertainment to the fair this weekend. But there is so much more to crow about. For many, the fair is all about the farm animals. Countless area youth have participated in 4H and FFA activities that culminate at the fair every year. Many of the animals raised provide much-needed nourishment for the Salvation Army, Feed the Hungry, Auburn Interfaith Food Closet and other programs that benefit from donations and stock their shelves with winter food offerings for the less fortunate among us. While at the fairgrounds, take some time to marvel at the arts and crafts exhibits displayed by local artisans, young and old alike. The artistic ability within our communities is truly tantalizing. An annual tradition for Auburn youth is getting a wristband and riding all the crazy rides in a nostalgic scene right out of the 1960s. It’s a great time for those with young stomachs, and with dizzying appetites. The annual Destruction Derby, Fast Friday’s Motorcycle racing and PBR pro bull-riding events also promise to thrill at McCann stadium. There is something for everyone at Gold Country Fairgrounds beginning with the parade through Downtown at 6 p.m on Thursday. Make memories for years to come at the Gold Country Fair this weekend. It’s an Auburn tradition and our little slice of Americana.