County fairs bring fun, food and festivities to the weeks ahead

Images courtesy of Gold Country Fair and Nevada County Fair
From fried food to fast-paced carnival rides, there's still time to get your county fair fix before the summer ends.

The 17-day California State Fair may be over, but that doesn’t mean the revelry of fair-going has to end. From Woodland to Grass Valley, check out these hometown festivals around the region with plenty more fried food, dizzying carnival rides and outdoor activities to keep the summer alive. 

Yuba-Sutter Fair
Jul. 30-Aug. 2

The Yuba-Sutter Fair descends upon Yuba City, living up to its theme “where fun grows.” Watch local ropers show off their skills in the team roping competition on Thursday or vehicles battle it out at the “Tuff Trucks and Mud Bogs” destruction derby show on Saturday. Live bands like The Chris Gardner Band, The Madison Hudson Band, and Yuba City country singer Tyler Rich will perform at this year’s fair, and youngsters can revel in the festivities with a circus troupe, magicians and a friendly, juggling scarecrow named Jeremy. $8 ($5 for ages 6-11; free for ages 5 and under). Yuba-Sutter Fairgrounds. 442 Franklin Ave. Yuba City. 530-674-1280.

Nevada County Fair
Aug 12-16

Known as one of California's most beautiful fairgrounds, this year’s festival in Grass Valley is touting the theme “Catch the Fair Bug,” which will include the Create a Litter Bug challenge (where competitors make an insect out of recycled material), honey bee hive demonstrations, creepy crawlers at the Bug Zoo and new exhibits like Tiny World Terrariums. Don’t forget to walk down “Treat Street,” where you’ll find fair fare, such as traditional Cornish pasties, corn on the cob, pulled pork sandwiches and one of the fair’s most sought-after items: a corn dog from the Job's Daughters stand. $9 ($6 in advance; $30 for festival pass). Nevada County Fairgrounds. 11228 McCourtney Rd. Grass Valley. 530-273-6217.

Yolo County Fair
Aug. 20-23

This classic 74-year-old fair will return to Woodland this year with a fleet of vintage cars (including old-timey tractor engines), the “Midway of Fun” with dizzying pendulum and swing rides, and a slew of carnival treats like corn dogs, ice cream, gyros, fish and chips, and kettle corn. Catch the auction action at the livestock ring, watch local performers compete during the Yolo Idol singing competition, and don’t miss the Yolo County Bounty Gala on Wednesday, an evening event celebrating the region’s rich agricultural heritage and featuring local food and wine. Free (Gala: $20 in advance; $25 at door). Yolo County Fairgrounds. 1250 Gum Ave. Woodland. 530-402-2222.

Gold Country Fair
Sept. 10-13

This Auburn fair will feature concerts and a kids’ zone with pedal tractors, pig racing and a destruction derby, along with an abundance of fair foods like cotton candy, corn dogs and funnel cakes. As you stroll through this year’s fair, look for a new entertainment lineup that includes magicians and a barbershop quartet. And don’t leave your taste buds hanging: check out the pie-eating and pie-baking contests, both of which will use apples to tie in with this year’s fair theme of “As American as Apple Pie.” $5 on Fri. $10 on Thurs., Sat. & Sun. Gold Country Fairgrounds. 1273 High St. Auburn. 530-823-4533.

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