Monday, March 8, 2021


Frances M Etchepare Memorial Courtyard to be dedicated during Fair

05272015 - Shiela and Allen EtchepareColusa County Fair’s Etchepare Hall has served as a legacy to the late Leon Etchepare for many years. He has also served as a Fair Board member and president. Following his death in 1976, the Board dedicated Etchepare Hall in his memory.

His widow, Frances Etchepare, an avid gardener, was actively involved in planning the new landscaping for the building when she passed away in 2013. The Etchepare family has continued the project that now completes the Frances M. Etchepare Memorial Courtyard in her honor.

The Colusa County Chamber of Commerce will host a ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony at the Courtyard, on Friday June 5, 2015 at 8:00 PM. Refreshments will be served.

The Frances M. Etchepare Memorial Courtyard is one of the ongoing projects being assisted by the Colusa County Fair Foundation. Allen Etchepare, Leon and Frances’s son, was instrumental in establishing the Colusa County Fair Foundation with former interim Colusa County Fair CEO Susan Clark.

Allen Etchepare approached Clark about his family contributing to the maintenance and repair of the building as well as creating a tax-exempt charitable organization to facilitate community donations for future needs and projects on the fairgrounds.

Clark took the idea to the board, and the Foundation was created.

“The foundation has proven to be a great vehicle for local contributions to the fair,” said Shiela Etchepare, Allen’s wife who serves on the foundation board.

The Memorial Courtyard is one of many ongoing improvements to the fairgrounds that are being made possible through the Foundation.

The new courtyard features a large open area surrounded by raised flower beds and a presentation platform. The design of the gated courtyard will make it a very pleasant outdoor area where meetings and other community events can be held.

It was designed as an educational venue for the UC Master Gardeners and Colusa County Garden Club as well as a social and business gathering place for the community.

The interior garden plant design was done by John and Diane Vafis with a drought tolerant, low water use theme and will be planted by members of the UC Master Gardeners and Colusa Garden Club.

“Master Gardener, Diane Vafis has made considerable contributions to the project by selecting plants that will do well and are water wise,” said Shiela Etchepare. “These plants although water wise, are very beautiful and will showcase the courtyard area,’ she said.

Allen Etchepare explained this project originally came about after he had a conversation with fair board member Bob Vierra.  “I noticed the area always seemed to be a “lake” due to the runoff of a nearby water feature,” he said.

The renovations also include installing a drainage system that will eliminate any flooding issues of the area. “It is always important to keep water away from buildings,” said Allen Etchepare.

Contributions made by the Etchepare family through the foundation have provided painting of the building, a new roof and now the courtyard and garden plus new air conditioning for the building.

The Etchepares said they were very pleased to be honoring Leon and Frances with this project. They also commented that the contributions made through the Colusa County Fair Foundation are a wonderful way to give back to the community.

“I’m a farmer, so I know the value of planting a seed,” said Allen Etchepare. “Hopefully this project is a seed that will promote additional community contributions for the betterment of the fairgrounds and buildings. The Foundation is a perfect opportunity for the community to plant seeds for the future of our fairgrounds.”

For more information about the Colusa County Fair Foundation contact Fair CEO Jonathan Howard at (530) 458-2641 ext. 103.

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