Keep the summer fun going at these four county fairs

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Photo courtesy by Lenka Vodicka
Attendees can hop on high-flying carnival rides, nosh on fair foods and participate in a Jell-O-eating contest at this year's Nevada County Fair

The 2018 California State Fair may have wrapped up its 17-day run last Sunday, but the summer fun continues. Here are four county fairs around the Sacramento region where you can get your carnival fix.

Yuba-Sutter Fair

Aug. 2-5 Mark this county fair’s 160th anniversary with four days of festivities, which will include train tours on Cowboy Ken’s Rawhide Express, little oinkers fighting for first place in the Great American Pig Races, and live music on three stages from the likes of Yuba City rock group The Catfish Hunter Band and Sacramento country act Madison Hudson Band. Wash down the fair fare—including turkey legs and cheese on a stick—with suds from the beer garden. Youngsters can race on pedal tractor pulls or meet the animatronic Charlie the Dinosaur, who will be roaming about the fairgrounds. $10 (free for ages 5 and under). Thurs. 4:30-11 p.m. Fri.-Sun. 1 p.m.-midnight. Yuba-Sutter Fairgrounds. 442 Franklin Ave. Yuba City. 530-674-1280.

Rides like this Himalya carousel will abound at the Nevada County Fair (Photo by Lenka Vodicka)

Nevada County Fair

Aug. 8-12 Nearly 90,000 fairgoers flock to Grass Valley each year for this five-day celebration in the Sierra foothills, featuring everything from a giant Ferris wheel and other carnival rides to a Minute to Win It competition based on the hit NBC game show. Catch performances from Nevada City folk artist Chris Crockett and Yuba City-based singer-songwriter Amanda Gray, as well as hula dancing and taiko drumming demonstrations, participate in a Jell-O-eating contest, or take a stroll down Treat Street, where you will find a smorgasbord of carnival eats like funnel cakes, corn dogs, root beer floats and tacos. Kiddos can watch the animal costume contest before getting up close and personal with goats, chickens and pigs at the Ag-Sperience. $9 ($5 for ages 6-12; free for ages 5 and under). 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Nevada County Fairgrounds. 11228 McCourtney Rd. Grass Valley. 530-273-6217.

Yolo County Fair

Aug. 15-19 This 82nd annual fair will include sweets like deep-fried Snickers and Twinkies, as well as the popular demolition derby. Little ones can pet sheep and pigs at the animal barns, while full-grown fairgoers can grab a cold one at the three beer gardens on site and watch local talent battle it out on Thursday night in two music competitions: Yolo Idol, an American Idol-style vocal contest, and Hometown Heroes, a battle-of-the-bands bout. On Saturday, country musician James Wesley, who has toured with Taylor Swift as her opening act, will headline this year’s music lineup. Free ($20 for demolition derby). Hours vary by day. Yolo County Fairgrounds. 1250 Gum Ave. Woodland. 530-402-2222.

The 129th Gold Country Fair will feature fair foods like hot dogs, mini doughnuts and pizzas. (Photo courtesy of Gold Country Fair)

Gold Country Fair

Sept. 6-9 This yearly fête looks toward the future for its 129th birthday with the Best Buy Virtual Reality Center, where folks can try out VR goggles and play racing games. Attendees can also watch local lumberjacks get crafty at the chainsaw carving event or catch everything from a monster truck show to a taekwondo exhibition. Nevada City’s Ol’ Republic Brewery will be on hand pouring a brand-new IPA specially made for this year’s fair and the three main stages will feature live music from Sacramento-based country-pop trio Auburn Road, Bay Area-based ’80s rock group The Spazmatics and Oregon singer-songwriter Jackson Michelson. $10 ($8 for ages 6-12; free for ages 5 and under). Hours vary by day. Gold Country Fairgrounds. 1273 High St. Auburn. 530-823-4533.

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