Nevada County
Fairgrounds Foundation
Update from the Nevada County Fairgrounds Foundation
"Who Let the Hogs Out?” We never figured that out. To heck with the hogs! The community really came out for this year's Fair and created a fun, energized, and wonderful event. Welcome back, Nevada County Fair!

The weather was perfect for the Fair, which drew over 90,000 people in attendance – a record crowd in recent years.

Our community came together to support the youth at the Ag Mechanics Auction and Junior Livestock Auction, which together grossed just over $1.2 million! Incredible! The Foundation operated portable bars at the auctions, pouring libations to enthusiastic bidders. Supporting both auctions, the Foundation “bumped up” the bids on some of last year’s scholarship applicants. It was a pleasure to participate in supporting Nevada County agricultural youth as they pursue future aspirations.

What makes the Fair different from any other festival? Simple – it’s the exhibits! With a desire to stimulate the exhibit entries, the Foundation sponsored many of the exhibits, providing award money for winners. While the number of entries was down from previous years, all the buildings displayed amazing and beautiful items created by our talented community.

Pictured here is the Tall Pines Lodge's
People's Choice Award Winner:

Vance Salisbury's Acrylic on Canvas

Sponsored by the Nevada County Fairgrounds Foundation.
Foundation Station is the primary funding source that allows the Fairgrounds Foundation to invest in the youth, stimulate the exhibits and contribute to the ongoing capital improvements of the Fair. We’re grateful for all the Fairgrounds Foundation volunteers who contributed their energy to operate Foundation Station and generated a record-breaking sales success of over $100,000. Amazing!

The Fair’s Opening Ceremony introduced Dale Chasse, the new Nevada County Fair’s CEO, to the community. Dale expressed his enthusiasm and predicted record attendance, marvelous weather, and great success. Dale, along with Fair President Andrew Trygg, presented the following awards:

Nevada County Fair – Hall of Fame - Fair director Arnie Romanello was honored for his years of passionate dedication to the Fair. A very well-deserved award! Arnie is amazing – arranging fundraisers, bringing lunch to staff, being the Cioppino Feed’s head chef, planting trees, and even mowing the lawns. No one is more devoted to the Fair!
Family of the Year: The Ettlin Family - The family was selected for their unwavering support of the Fair. Father Josh is the Fair’s veterinarian. The family is enormous supporters of 4-H and FFA.
Blue Ribbon Awards – the Western Fairs Association Blue Ribbon Award recognizes and honors those individuals or groups who have provided outstanding support to the Fair or the fair industry.

Mike and Coleen Novo – are characterized by President Andrew Trygg as “amazing people” who were instrumental in the creation of Foundation Station. During the Fair, you will find them at Foundation Station from opening until closing. “They give back so much to the Fairgrounds!”
Nevada County Fairgrounds Foundation – honored for passionate dedication and financial support, particularly during the pandemic, ensuring the Nevada County Fairgrounds continue to survive and thrive.
Certificates of Outstanding Contributions - the Fair was honored by a visit from Fiona Ma, California’s State Treasurer. Previously Treasurer Ma was a member of the Assembly and, with a passion for fairs, drafted legislation supporting the reorganization of the network of California’s fairs.

Following a tour of the Fair, Treasurer Ma presented a Certificate of Outstanding Contributions to the individual Fair directors, the Nevada County Fairgrounds Foundation, employee Debby Commendant, the Ettlin family, and the Soroptimist Club for their White Barn project.
The Draft Horse Classic is the premier draft horse show on the west coast with the ambiance of an old-fashioned county fair. Exhibitors and their magnificent gentle giant horses travel from across the United States and Canada to be showcased in captivating competitions. The fairgrounds are alive with musical entertainment, barn tours, community exhibits, a charming western trade show, delicious food, and a fine art show, Art at the Classic. You may order your tickets at the following link:

Please volunteer for this fun, old-fashioned festival; it’s a great event! We will operate the Foundation Bar at the Gazebo, located at the end of the Gold Path. Before or after your shift, plan to stroll the barns and get up close to the colossal, gentle horses or plan to attend a performance in the arena. We’d be delighted if you’d volunteer.

Here’s the link to volunteer:

As a benefit of your membership in the Foundation, you may pick up your tickets for the Friday, September 16, 6:30 pm performance at Will Call, located at the Arena Box Office, an hour before the performance. 

The Harvest Fair at the Draft Horse Classic gives garden enthusiasts, canners, bakers, and crafters another opportunity to garner award winning ribbons by showcasing your talents. If you can make it, bake it, grow it, or show it – there’s a class for you! 

An incentive to enter and have fun – all exhibitors will receive two complimentary tickets to the Thursday, September 15, 6:30 pm performance. Now’s the time to challenge your neighbors to who can make the best harvest pie, scarecrow, or decorated wagon wheel. 

The Draft Horse Classic is more fun if you enter the Harvest Fair! Entries are due Monday, Sept. 12, 2022 - NO entry fees! Get your competition handbook and entry forms here: 

The mission of the Fairgrounds Foundation is to build a better Nevada County Fairgrounds through fundraising and contributions to the fairgrounds. Your membership will contribute to protecting and enhancing the fairgrounds, our great community asset! If you have not already joined, please consider becoming a Foundation member today. 

Membership applications are available on the Foundation’s website, click here:
Member Suggestions and Inquiries ~

We’re open to your suggestion and inquiries. Please email us at
The Nevada County Fairgrounds Foundation’s Board of Directors meets on the 2nd Tuesday of the month at 4 pm in Ponderosa Hall at the Nevada County Fairgrounds. Foundation members are always invited – so feel free to join us!

Are you interested in being a Foundation director or volunteering? We like to think of ourselves as passionate about the Fair, dedicated, fun-loving, creative, and warm-hearted. Join us!

Nevada County Fairgrounds Foundation, Inc.
101 West McKnight Way, B-106
Grass Valley, CA 95949
Phone: 530-273-6217, extension 219
Fax: 530-273-1146
As always - your support of the Nevada County Fairgrounds Foundation is greatly appreciated!