The California State Fair drew to a close Sunday after 10 days of livestock shows, seminars, carnival rides, and deep-fried everything.
A number of youth and adults from Colusa County participated in the state exposition, from showing livestock to manning Colusa County’s exhibit in the popular California Counties Building.
This year’s exhibit predominately featured the Sacramento Valley Museum, in Williams.
“I was there promoting Colusa County and promoting the museum,” said Williams Councilman and Museum Trustee Sajit Singh. “I felt like a cheesy car salesman, but I was definitely selling our town. And people, at least, humored me and took the information. I enjoyed talking and it was a nice experience.”
The California State Fair ended its 2019 season with strong food, beverage, and amusement ride sales, which were largely credited to an all-new food Festival Pass, said Rick Pickering, general manager and CEO for Cal Expo. The pass allowed fair attendees to pick four items from over 30 different offerings, ranging from mouth-watering appetizers and one-of-a-kind entrees to desserts from 30 food vendors for just $28.
Food sales from the Food Festival Pass generated roughly $380,000 in revenue alone, Pickering said.
Butler Amusements, the California State Fair vendor responsible for the amusement rides, also reported its highest weekend in history with sales of over $500,000 on Saturday, July 20 and more than $400,000 in sales for rides on Sunday, July 21, making it a $1 million ride weekend. More than 100,000 people rode the monorail and Skyride, taking in views of the entire fairgrounds and the surrounding areas from high above.
The State Fair also provided opportunities for community engagement by providing free entrance to about 10,000 military, veterans, and first responders, Pickering said.
Despite an extremely hot final weekend, Californians from all regions of the state were welcomed and enjoyed the fair for 17 days. Total attendance increased from the prior year, up more than 5 percent, for a total of 601,761 fairgoers, Pickering said.
Colusa County youth participants in the 2019 California State Fair included Katie Williams, from Arbuckle FFA.
Williams showed a wether dam (sheep) on opening day, July 19, but did not place, but then walked away from the arena on July 22 with the title Grand Champion for her Suffolk ewe.
Lexi Hernandez, of Colusa FFA, earned titles for Supreme Champion gilt, Reserve Supreme barrow, and was named Reserve Champion Showman.
Justin Lee, a member of Colusa FFA, and his Reserve Champion Hampshire barrow (swine), made the Sale of Champions opening week, and his 11th overall crossbred guilt made the Golden Opportunity Sale.
Jovanna Hernandez, a member of Williams FFA, showed a heifer (beef) at the 2019 California State Fair, and took home a win in her division.
Lynda Reynolds, of Williams FFA, also showed a heifer, and Drew Hartill, of Arbuckle FFA, showed two heifers, taking a first and second in their class.
Maxwell’s Ryann Dennis showed two cross breed guilts, and Bailee Haywood was there for the Master Showmanship Show on July 22.
“It was a really good experience,” Haywood said. “I had a lot of fun.”
Michaela Sciortino, of Colusa FFA, also competed at Cal Expo during the fair’s three-week run.
Local commercial participants included Organic Roots, of Maxwell, who took home silver for their Koroneiki Olive Oil and bronze for their Arbequina.
Commercial wines were also professionally judged in order to recognize the best wines produced in the state.
Grindstone Vineyards entered four wines, and were awarded silver for their 2016 Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvigno, and bronze for their 2018 Rose Syrah and 2013 Cortina Red. ■