County fairs bringing late-summer flair to the Sacramento region

Photo via Facebook/Nevada County Fairgrounds

Sacramento's California State Fair may have closed its fun-filled, fried-food gates for another year, but things are just warming up at other parts of our region, starting with the Yuba-Sutter Fair, which kicks off this Thursday. From Woodland to Auburn, consider a trip to one of these county fairs to keep your summer festive through August and beyond.  

Yuba-Sutter Fair
July 31-Aug. 3
This 156th annual fair celebrating Yuba and Sutter counties will see the return of popular events, like a destruction derby and the Tuff Truck & Mud Bogs show. During the day, families can watch the Busy Bee Dogs—featuring highly trained rescue pups—show off their tricks, as well as mind-bending presentations by Las Vegas-based hypnotist Tyzen. Nightly concerts will feature bands like the country-influenced The Cripple Creek Band, the ’80s cover outfit The Spazmatics, and the rock group Apple Z. $8 ($5 for ages 6-11; free for ages 5 and under).$5 parking. Thurs. 4:30-11 p.m. Fri.-Sun. 1 p.m.-midnight. Yuba-Sutter Fairgrounds. 442 Franklin Ave. Yuba City. 530-674-1280.

Nevada County Fair
Aug. 6-10
Get in touch with our region’s farm-to-fork heritage at this event with offerings like beekeeper demonstrations and the “Farmer for a Day” event, which will teach children about farming through hands-on activities like picking apples and digging for potatoes. A number of contests will take place during the five-day affair, including a Family Feud-inspired competition that will have eight clans go head-to-head in four games. Fairgoers will find a feast-worthy variety of eats at the famous “Treat Street,” where vendors will offer everything from roasted corn-on-the-cob to pulled-pork sandwiches and Cornish pasties. $9 ($4 for ages 6-12; free for ages 5 and under). $6 for parking. 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Nevada County Fairgrounds. 11228 McCourtney Rd. Grass Valley. 530-273-6217.

Yolo County Fair
Aug. 13-17
This summer, Woodland will see the return of this long-running festival, which was founded in 1938. Throughout the five-day event, families can see vintage vehicles (like antique fire trucks and old-fashioned tractors), get to know the winners of the annual olive oil competition, and take part in a popular nighttime party where attendees mix and mingle with Yolo County growers and sample local fare. This year will also feature a number of new food vendors, including Jeanne’s Artichokes, which will offer up deep-fried servings of the vegetable, and the Southern Comfort Kitchen food truck with gumbo and other New Orleans eats. Free ($5 for parking). Wed. 6 p.m.-midnight. Thurs.-Sun. noon-midnight. Yolo County Fairgrounds. 1250 Gum Ave. Woodland. 530-402-2222.

Gold Country Fair
Sept. 4-7
The charming town of Auburn and its historic fairgrounds will be buzzing with activity for the annual Gold Country Fair. Each day will feature concerts based on a daily changing theme, like funk and jazz on Thursday and rock ’n’ roll on Friday. Other highlights include the “Cork & Fork” wine-tasting gala featuring Placer County vintners, competitions such as a pie-eating contest, and kids’ activities including a pee-wee rodeo. Fans of traditional fair food will find options like corn dogs and funnel cakes; other eats will include items like fish tacos, doughnuts and ice cream sundaes. $10 (free for ages 12 and under). $5 for parking. Hours vary by day. Gold Country Fairgrounds. 1273 High St. Auburn. 530-823-4533.