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Reenergized Placer County Fair ready to entertain

By: Bill Sullivan, Associate Publisher
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When it comes to the facility that was formerly known as the Placer County Fairgrounds, a common phrase lately heard throughout the region is “what’s old is new again,” as the venue that now shines bright as @ the Grounds has been making its share of headlines and news programs lately.

While the facility comes to life this Saturday with the re-launch of the All American Speedway (see related story in sports),  a Placer County tradition next week will return bigger, better and more family-friendly than ever.  It is the Placer County Fair from June 21 to 24, which is themed appropriately as the “RenNEW your LOVE of fair.”

“We had a vision of what this community asset could be and we are excited to show that the dream has become a reality,” said David Attaway, CEO of Placer Valley Tourism, which took over operation of the former fairgrounds and recently debuted the millions of dollars in renovations that have already taken place.

In recent days, @ the Grounds has been bustling with activity as crews prepare both the speedway for Saturday’s opener and prepare the grounds for the return of everything a home town fair is made of.  Among the many highlights will be a variety of still exhibits, live bands, livestock and auctions.   A full midway will be filled with laughter and activity as attendees of all ages enjoy a variety of classic carnival rides and the area will be abundant with the savory smells of classic fair fare to please the palate, along with many new specialty foods.

Want to see what makes Placer County unique?  The Placer County Fair will help you accomplish that.  “Placer Place,” located inside Johnson Hall @the Grounds has partnered with the Arts Council of Placer County (ACPC), Fork ‘N Road Productions and the Placer County Vintners Association to bring this space to life with local vendors, artists, food, beverages and entertainment for the fairgoers to enjoy.  The Arts Council of Placer County has secured a variety of local vendors selling handmade items, including jewelry, oil pet portraits, birdhouse, ceramics and much more.   

A Placer Wine & Ale Trail Lounge will also be inside Placer Place where tastings will be offered as well as local craft beer and wine by the glass exclusively from Placer County Wineries and breweries.  All 20 Placer County Wine Trail wineries and several breweries will be represented throughout the four days of the fair with opportunities to meet the winemaker and the brewers on a special rotating schedule.

“This June will mark the 81st year for the Placer County Fair and here @the Grounds, we are looking forward to hosting the fair with a focus on honoring the roots of Placer County,” said Attaway. “The improvements will undoubtedly enhance the fair experience for everyone who attends.”

In recent years, the annual Placer County Fair saw significant drops in attendance. The event’s promotion and management diminished through the years, much like the faded paint and dying lawns throughout the facility. It was a classic case of continued budget cuts that resulted in a challenging chore in challenging times to overcome.

Placer Valley Tourism has changed all of that as they have transformed the facility into a shining, lucrative asset to all of Placer County.  This year, the Placer County Fair will be enjoyed by families from Roseville, Rocklin, Loomis, Lincoln and well beyond the county lines.

In addition to the vast exhibits, the games and carnival rides and the tasty treats, the four-day event has a strong offering of live music and entertainment, livestock displays, scholarships and much more.  For a complete list of every event, look for the official guide to the fair as a supplement in today’s newspaper that details each and every day at the fair.

The Placer County Fair hours will be 5 to 11 p.m. on Thursday, June 21 and Friday, June 22. On the weekend, hours will be noon to 11 p.m.  Tickets will be $7 for adults, $3 for seniors and kids ages 6 to 16. Family packs are available that admit two adults and up to three kids for $15.  Parking will be $6. For additional information, visit placercountryfair.org.