Santa Clara County Fairgrounds Newsletter
April 2017
Happy Spring from the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds!
Spring has definitely sprung at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds!  Colorful additions this Spring are new murals by local artist Marcos Gaitan on this building, which is now called Heritage Hall.  

Let's Celebrate!
Please join us for dinner and an evening of history on Thursday, June 1st at 6:30 pm to meet the artist and celebrate Heritage Hall!  Tickets are $75 and include dinner, wine with dinner, and no host bar.  


Remembering Bill Smethers
William R. Smethers (Bill), who passed away on March 31, 2017, had a deep history here at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds.  He served as Manager of the Fair from 1976 to 1989, when the annual Santa Clara County Fair was the 2nd largest fair in the state.    

Bill was devoted to working with youth, and  implemented many innovative programs to motivate youth in new directions. He founded a non-profit organization called "Youth Focus, Inc" 48 years ago to meet the needs of youth that were not being met by any other public or private entity. Bill  inspired people to become involved with Youth Focus not only financially, but also through volunteering and personal commitment. All funds donated to Youth Focus, Inc. are directed to Youth Programming and Scholastic Scholarships, and over $1 million in scholarships has been awarded to date.

Bill was known for consistently making a difference in young people's lives throughout our community.  He worked tirelessly to bring about positive change through educating youth and empowering them to help themselves, so that they could go on to help others. Mr. Smethers was a doer, leader, friend, father, minister and manager, and he will be greatly missed.  

A celebration of Bill's life is tentatively set for Saturday, June 3rd.  Details are pending. 
For more information contact Suzette Galloway at twonow@aol.com or 408-356-5391.

March 11th Hop 'N Vine Festival & Market a Success!

Over 700 attendees enjoyed the bounty of many of Santa Clara County's local wineries and breweries at the Hop 'N Vine Festival & Market held on Saturday, March 11th, which was organized by the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds Management Corp. A big thank you to all the participating wineries, breweries, vendors, volunteers, and attendees for making it a special day here at the Fairgrounds!  We are already planning the 2nd Annual Hop 'N Vine - save the date for Saturday, March 3, 2018!

April Staff Highlight - Mary Bartlett
To say that Mary Bartlett has a passion for the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds would be a serious understatement!   Mary currently serves as the Fairgrounds Management Corporation's Board President and Interim Executive Director, but she first became involved with the Fairgrounds when her children became active in 4-H nearly 30 years ago. 

As a retired teacher and principal, Mary's lifelong commitment to educating our community's youth runs deep. In addition to serving and advocating for the Fairgrounds, she is also a member of the Santa Clara County Fair Management Committee, a 4-H Ceramics project leader, a Volunteer Certification leader, ranch manager to Homesteaders and McClellan 4-H ranches, and a 4-H program Em erald Star Advisor.  

When she is not hard at work at the Fairgrounds Mary enjoys  skiing, gardening, kayaking, and raising chickens.

Mary and her husband, Steve, having fun at last year's Clover Foundation Gala

Join Mary at this year's Clover Foundation Gala  to
benefit youth ag education on Saturday, April 29th!

April Volunteer Highlight  - Pat Funk

Blue, Red and White - not only the colors of the American flag, but fair-goers can find these colors as 1st, 2nd and 3rd  place ribbons sprinkled atop entered photographs, quilts, baked goods and many other competitive exhibit entries displayed in the Home Arts Building during the Santa Clara County Fair. 

Pat Funke, who has been with the Santa Clara County Fair for over 35 years, coordinates the judging of each individual entry and its awarded ribbon. However, there are more than just three types of ribbons awarded; Green "Best of Division" rosettes, rainbow "Participant" flats, and royal purple "Best of Show" ribbons are found throughout the exhibit hall- all maintained and designated to each entry by Pat. Last year the Fair had had more than 1,600 competitive exhibit entries! Many would find the task daunting, but for Pat, it's just another year at the Fair.  And as we like to say, "Fair Time is Fun Time!"

Thank you, Pat, for all your hard work and dedication to the Santa Clara County Fair!

Join the Fun and Enter Your Own Creation at this Year's Fair!
If you would like to enter your own "home arts" creation (like quilts, clothing, woodworking, floriculture, knitting, food preservation, decorated cakes, etc.) in the adult competitive exhibits at this year's Fair (Aug 3-6), click here to check out the rules and guidelines. 
That's a FAIR Questionpeople_cheering_festival.jpg

The Santa Clara County Fairgrounds Management Corporation ("FMC") is a nonprofit, 501(c)3 organization that manages the Fairgrounds.  This new feature in our monthly newsletter will address frequently asked questions that we hear when we're out and about in the community.  Have a question you'd like us to address in a future column?  Just email it to us at newsletter@thefair.org.

Q:  How do I find out what events are going on at the Fairgrounds?  
A:  Visit thefairgrounds.org and click on Events Calendar. 

Q: Can I really have a birthday party at the Fairgrounds?
A:  Yes!  Fairgrounds facilities are available for rental for events of every size and scale, including public festivals as well as private social events like birthday parties, weddings,q uinceaƱeras, family reunions, and more.  If you have a milestone event coming up and would like to find out more about our affordable and accessible facilities just give us a call at 408-494-3100.

Q:  Hey!  Why did you tear out the race track?! 
A:   Believe it or not, this is probably the most common question we are asked when we are out and about!  If there's one thing we've learned it's that the racetrack here at the Fairgrounds was VERY popular back in the day! Although FMC is the nonprofit organization that manages the Fairgrounds, all decisions about past and future redevelopment are made by Santa Clara County, which owns this facility. Read more about the current Request for Proposals for redevelopment and past redevelopment efforts by the County at fairgroundsvision.net.  
We Need YOU to help the
Santa Clara County Fair Grow! 

It's hard to believe the Santa Clara County Fair is just four months away (Aug 3-6)!  

The Santa Clara County Fair would simply not be possible without the support of our fantastic sponsors and donors. But we need a lot more community support to continue rebuilding and growing our beloved local Fair back to what we know our community wants it to be.  

Whether you're an individual who can make a "Friend of the Fair" donation, a small business looking to find more customers by having a booth at the Fair, or a large corporation that could generously sponsor a stage or a building, there are giving opportunities for every budget!

It takes a village - and LOTS of planning! - to bring the joy of ag education to young children in the Santa Clara County Fair's "Little Hands on the Farm" area.  On March 22 volunteers from near and far gathered for a meeting at the Fairgrounds to work on plans for all the fun and education that will take place at this year's Fair!
Support Local Youth Ag Education at Upcoming Events
Help grow the future of local agriculture by supporting youth ag education!  

Mark your calendar for the Clover Foundation Gala on Saturday, April 29th and the Lonnie Toensfeldt Memorial Junior Livestock Auction on Saturday, August 5th during the Fair and support the great kids of Santa Clara County who are the farmers and ranchers of our future!

Saturday, April 29th 
Clover Foundation 
Ag Youth Fundraiser Gala

The  Clover Foundation  is a nonprofit, 501(c)3 organization that raises funds to support youth ag education, including livestock purchase loans, college scholarships and the Santa Clara County Fair.   This fun event will include a tri-tip dinner, music by the Country Cougars, a full no-host bar, Casino, Bingo and more! 

  Click here to download flyer with additional information  or visit the   Clover Foundation website  to purchase tickets online. 

Chefs and Foodies!  Save the date for the Lonnie Toensfeldt Memorial Junior Livestock Auction, set for Saturday, August 5th during the San ta Clara County Fair.  This lively event is the  culmination of a year's work by the young men and women who participate in 4-H and FFA programs, where they are learning best practices in local food production.

Upcoming Events at the
Santa Clara County Fairgrounds

Veterans Resource Fair
April 8
Learn more about great resources available just for veterans at the Veterans Resource Fair on April 8.  

CEFCU Used Car Sale
April 8-10
Pick up a nice new-to-you auto at CEFCU's Used Car Sale on April 8-10.

San Jose Indoor Pro Short Track Race
April 8
Motorcycle racing is back at the Fairgrounds, now on polished concrete in Expo Hall at the San Jose Indoor Pro Short Track on Saturday, April 8th. 
Insane Inflatable 5K
April 22
Have a crazy fun day on GIANT inflatable obstacles at the Insane Inflatable 5K on Saturday, April 22nd. 

Blacklight Wars
April 29
Blacklight Wars is a night of neon fun with liquid glow water balloons, a booming DJ at the main stage, vendors, food, drinks. Light up the night on Saturday, April 29th.

Pints for Pups!
May 13
The 3rd Annual Pints for Pups will feature great beer, wine, food trucks, and over 40 local artists who will have one-of-a-kind pints, growlers, and other art for sale to benefit two wonderful dog rescue groups, the Silicon Valley Pet Project and the Thulani Program.
For a complete schedule of upcoming events 
This newsletter is brought to you by the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds Management Corporation ("FMC"), a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization formed by the County in 1995 to manage the Fairgrounds.  

FMC's Board of Directors meets at 2 pm on the last Wednesday of each month here at the Fairgrounds.  Board meetings are open to the public and all are welcome.  Meeting notices and agendas are posted on the County's website on the boards and commissions page (select Fairgrounds Management Corporation as the Meeting Group). 

As you may have heard, Santa Clara County is in the process of reviewing responses to an RFP for redevelopment of the Fairgrounds.   To stay up-to-date on what's happening with this process visit their website at fairgroundsvision.net.  

AUG 3-6
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