Find funnel cake, gold panning, deep-fried Snickers at four county fairs

Photo courtesy of Visit Woodland via Instagram
The Yolo County Fair sets the night aglow in Woodland.

The California State Fair is wrapping up its run of extreme eats and high-flying thrills this weekend, but that doesn’t mean the fair fanfare stops there. Here are four fun county fairs in the Sacramento region to visit over the next several weeks.

Yuba-Sutter Fair

Aug. 3-6 Reach new heights in Yuba City, where you can hop on a Ferris wheel or lollipop-themed swing ride to scope out the sights below, including stilt-walking troupe Stilt Circus and food purveyors like Rosie’s Sno Biz, which will dole out Gunther’s ice cream and colorful snow cones in flavors like raspberry cheesecake. Wheatland chef Kuulei Moreno, who won a January episode of the Food Network reality competition show Cooks vs. Cons, will host the fair’s first-ever cooking expo, using produce from local farms like Yuba City’s Johl Orchards. On Friday night, you can catch a concert by Yuba City-born country singer Tyler Rich, who has shared stages with stars like Justin Moore and Sam Hunt. $10. Hours vary by day. Yuba-Sutter Fairgrounds. 442 Franklin Ave. Yuba City. 530-674-1280.

Get into the swing of summer at the Yuba-Sutter Fair (Photo courtesy of the Yuba-Sutter Fair)

Nevada County Fair

Aug. 9-13 Head for the foothills for this five-day county fair, during which folks can give it their all in friendly bouts like a hands-free Jello-eating contest, a “Minute to Win It” competition based on the hit NBC game show and a live art battle where amateur Picassos have 20 minutes to create a painting. Stroll down Treat Street for some old-fashioned fair fare like smoked turkey legs, corn on the cob, meatball sandwiches and the popular Cornish pasties. Kiddos can step inside the Stingray Encounter mobile truck to pet the winged sea creatures, get down on the farm at the Ag-Sperience area, play in a giant sandbox or pan for gold. $9. 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Nevada County Fairgrounds. 11228 McCourtney Rd. Grass Valley. 530-273-6217.

Yolo County Fair

Aug. 16-20 Over 150,000 fairgoers flock to Woodland each year for this 81-year-old festival featuring everything from deep-fried Snickers to a motor-revving demolition derby. Stop to smell the roses (and dahlias, daisies and sunflowers) at the fair’s flower house, check out the display of antique tractors and ag equipment, or warm up your vocal cords for the Thursday night talent show, culminating in two music competitions: Yolo Idol and the band contest Hometown Heroes. On Friday, county singer James Wesley, who has toured with Taylor Swift as her opening act, will belt out anthems like “Thank a Farmer.” Free. Hours vary by day. Yolo County Fairgrounds. 1250 Gum Ave. Woodland. 530-402-2222.

The popular corn dogs at the Job's Daughters booth on Treat Street at the Nevada County Fair (Photo by DeArlene Hughes-Wiggins)

Gold Country Fair

Sept. 7-10 Meander through a mobile zoo, taking in wild animals like bobcats and Bengal tigers, at this 128-year-old fair in Auburn, or head to the Agventure area to pick up some fresh produce like apples and carrots from the Machado’s Orchard stand. At the fair’s brand-new 1,800 square-foot Best Buy Virtual Reality Center, fairgoers can watch a live stream of a livestock auction, play Sony's new PlayStation VR games and walk through the Home of the Future, featuring the latest inventions from tech giants like Google, including app-powered washing machines and refrigerators. Flip upside down on the Cyclone ride at the carnival and toast the end of summer with a beer from Nevada City’s Ol’ Republic Brewery, which is creating a special fair-inspired pale ale for the occasion. $10. Hours vary by day. Gold Country Fairgrounds. 1273 High St. Auburn. 530-823-4533.

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