80th Colusa County Fair planning underway 

The 44th District Agricultural Association will be celebrating “80 Years of American Flair at the Colusa County Fair,” when the area’s largest exposition gets underway in June.

The 2019 Colusa County Fair will return with a full lineup of new and returning events, but with a few minor changes in store, officials said.  

The popular Destruction Derby will remain as Sunday night’s main attraction this year, although the Fair Board anticipants taking a more serious look at moving the popular event to Saturday night in 2020. 

“Sometimes change is a good thing,” said Laura Ford, chief executive officer, at the March 27 Fair Board meeting. 

While 77 percent of people who responded to a poll on the subject said they would like to see the Destruction Derby moved from Sunday to Saturday night, Ford said it was not possible to make the change this year.  

About 56 percent of those surveyed also said they would like a two-day Destruction Derby held Saturday and Sunday nights. 

Ford said she started the poll to gauge the pulse of the community, who said a Saturday Derby would boost derby participants.

“Drivers can come and not have to leave,” Ford said. “They could come from a greater distance away, and not have to leave so early to be home for work at 7 AM.”

Moving to the Derby to Saturday would also allow Ford to round out the traditional La Familia Day on Sunday to include a Hispanic event in the Grandstands that same night. 

But with limited revenue and staff, Ford said it would be impossible this year to turn a wet arena into a dry arena in less than 24 hours to change nights.

“I will want to reexamine this for next year,” she said. 

Of the more than 500 people who responded to the poll, 55 percent to 45 percent said that they would like to see pig races over a magic show, and 61 percent to 39 percent voted for Tuff Trucks/Mud Bogs over a Tractor Pull. 

“We just wanted to feel out what the public wants for the future,” Ford said. 

To most people, the Colusa County Fair seems as timeless as the events that have defined it for decades, but Fair officials said nothing can or should stay the same. But with the cost of main attractions costing upwards to $25,000, Ford said booking top-of-the-line events is difficult with limited revenue. 

Most of the traditional activities that occur before and during the four-day exposition this year will still include livestock shows Tuesday, June 4 through Friday, June 7; Colusa County Mini Miss Pageant and the Fair Foundation Redneck Rodeo and Barbecue on Wednesday, June 5; Miss Colusa County Pageant on Thursday, June 6; Mr. Cinderfella on Friday, June 7; the Junior Livestock Auction on Saturday morning, June 8, and the 2019 Destruction Derby on Sunday, June 9.  

Without the revenue for a main event in the Grandstands on Saturday, Ford is looking at booking a self-promoted Hispanic concert this year, although the event has not been finalized. 

The Fair Board on March 27 voted unanimously, however, to begin collecting a gate fee at all events, with the exception of the Junior Livestock Auction, even when the Fair is not officially open. 

Gate fees when the Fair is officially open (carnival, exhibit buildings) are $10 for adults and $5 for children 6-12.  

“If the Ferris Wheel is not turning and the Kettle Korn is not popping, then the gate fees for adults will be half price at $5,” Ford said. “This will help generate revenue and, by gosh, we need the revenue.” 

Gate fees of $5 for adults and $2 for children will be collected at the gate for the livestock shows for all species, as well as the Colusa County Mini Miss Pageant, and the Fair Foundation Redneck Rodeo. 

Ford said with the implementation of gate fees to auxiliary Colusa County Fair events, value is greatly added to purchasing a season pass, which will not change in price. 

“Adults can still get a season pass for $20 and get into everything,” she said. 

Season passes will be available soon at the Colusa County Fair Office, 1303 10th St., Colusa, and various businesses throughout the county. 

Season passes for children 6-12 are $10. ■