Choosing a fair theme is fun and difficult at the same time. Fair boards have considered thousands of ideas over the past few decades, and it is never easy.
The theme sets the tone for the annual event, which begins the second Wednesday of August. Every entry in the Fair Parade is guided by the theme, as well as almost all 4-H and FFA projects. There have been many ideas that sound great in a meeting, but are very difficult to portray during the fair.
A good fair theme sets an image or feeling in a visitor’s mind. The theme should be easy to convert into decorations throughout the fairgrounds, and also carried through by the entertainment.
Ideally, the theme can be part of a colorful piece of artwork for advertisements and posters. It should be short and to the point. It should mean something, and, in a perfect world, should be unique to the Plumas-Sierra County Fair.
The first theme for the Plumas-Sierra County Fair appeared in 1951: “Lumbering Progress.” There was no apparent theme before that, and after 1951, it was hit or miss whether there was a theme or not.
Early themes promoted Plumas County and all it had to offer. This is not surprising, since early fair board members included Link Peckinpah and Bob Moon, presidents of the chamber of commerce.
“Plumas Glory,” “Better Living in the Feather River Country” and “Progress’n Plumas Style” dominated themes in the ’50s and ’60s.
After that, things became more generic: “Mountain Magic,” “The Old West at its Best” and “I Can’t Bear to Miss the Fair.” Nostalgia has always been popular and rhyming themes are used heavily throughout the fair industry.
For the 2013 fair, the Plumas-Sierra County Fair Board has decided to let the public decide the theme.
There are two guidelines: it should have something to do with Plumas and Sierra counties, and it should be kept short.
The author of the winning theme will get his or her picture in the exhibit guide and the fair program, and will receive a T-shirt that says: “I Came Up with This Year’s Fair Theme.”
Finally, the winner will get a week-long family pass to the fair and one unlimited carnival ride bracelet.
Ideas may be submitted by mail or in person at the fair office located at 204 Fairground Road, Quincy, CA 95971; or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ideas — with name and contact information — may also be submitted at plumas-sierracountyfair.net.
The deadline for the 2013 Fair Theme Contest is Dec. 17, at 5 p.m.
The 2013 fair is set for Aug. 14 – 18. Call 530-283-6272 for more information.
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