El Dorado County Fair & Event Center a 501 c 3 nonprofit
2020 FAIR UPDATE as of 6.10.2020 It is with a heavy heart that we must inform you that the 2020 El Dorado County Fair has been canceled. We have held out as long as possible, but unfortunately due to the circumstances of the COVID-19 global pandemic we have to make this call. However, the good news is that ALL EXHIBITS WILL STILL BE JUDGED. The swine show will continue as planned in June and all other livestock shows in July via an online auction. Check out the Livestock Auction web page for more information. All still exhibits (arts, photography, quilts, etc) will be judged so get your entry forms in and let's all make this time a little more 'normal.' Check out the Entry Guide web page for more information. The Fairgrounds will lose 1.3 million dollars in revenue by not having the County Fair or rentals through the year. Every year, local nonprofits host their fundraisers, raising millions of dollars to serve our community, here at our fairgrounds. During wildfires, fairgrounds stage emergency vehicles & fire equipment, shelter displaced residents and animals. Hundreds of local residents walk their dogs and ride their horses at our fairgrounds all throughout the year. Canceling the 2020 County Fair will make it difficult to keep the gates open. Y O U C A N H E L P - S E N D A L E T T E R sample letters below Your local Fairgrounds are the go-to place during disasters in your community—such as wildfires, floods, pandemics and other disasters. They are the hub of the community. In El Dorado County, the Sheriff utilized the fairgrounds for a press conference when Jaycee Lee Dugard was found. Domestic animals displaced by fire are housed here. Local law and fire departments test and train here. The Speedway hosts races throughout the summer months, bringing fans from all over for a little clay track action. And there is our annual County Fair where local youth learn lessons that will last them a lifetime by raising and showing their livestock. Couples meet and fall in love. Longtime residents listen to the bands of their youth. Thousands of tacos are consumed. All of this could change due to the consequences of COVID-19. If the Fair Association is not able to host the annual County Fair, it will be difficult to keep the gates open. There is a movement within the California Fair Network to request emergency funding. THIS IS WHERE YOU COME IN. The fair industry needs the public to show their support by urging their local politicians to support emergency fair funding. Below is a sample letter for you to use (in PDF & Word Doc. Versions) or you can simply write your own. Sample Letter PDF | Word Doc List of Elected Officials PDF | Word Doc Please share this with your family and friends throughout the State and urge them to write letters as well. It is important for ALL fairgrounds in ALL California communities! PLEASE ACT TODAY to save your fairgrounds. Thank you.[ full press release ]
F A I R B U C K S P R O G R A M for local businesses What are Fair Bucks? Fair Bucks are part of a new program for the El Dorado County Fair Association, a 501c3 nonprofit, to help care for our extraordinary Fairgrounds and the annual Fair. How does it work? Local businesses collect one dollar from their guests from purchases of movie tickets, grocery bill, restaurant bills, hotel accommodations, and other items at participating businesses in El Dorado County. As an “opt-out” program, guests may choose not to participate and the contribution will be removed from their bill. Where will the money go? Proceeds from the Fair Bucks program will support the operations of the Fairgrounds and the Annual Fair. With your help a little gift goes a long way! Fair Bucks is a win-win for residents and visitors. The program creates a simple way for those who love the Fair and Fairgrounds to help keep the fairgrounds open. Since the beginning of the Pandemic, “Phase 4” businesses, such as your fairgrounds, have lost 99% of their revenue stream. With your support, we can raise money to keep the Fairgrounds open and available for our community in emergency situations, such as fire camps, evacuation centers, heating and cooling centers, law enforcement and fire training, daily walkers, equestrians, sprint car races, fundraisers, weddings, reunions, and of course the annual fair, which is a huge economic engine to our County. If you are a business interested in participating in the Fair Bucks program OR just want to learn more, please contact the Fair at 530-621-5860 or firstname.lastname@example.org You love the Fair… now you can do something simple to help take care of this Historic Community Fairgrounds.
WHY DID FAIR CANCEL? It is important to the Fair Staff and Board that our community understands the reasons behind the decision to cancel the Fair—that the decision was taken with a heavy heart and great difficultly. This is what they spend all year working on. This is their passion. By early March, fair coordinators had accomplished a significant amount of what it takes to put on a county fair—judges and exhibit staff had been chosen, entertainment, sound, lighting and tents had all been booked. Food and commercial vendors had signed up, contests and fair fun were developed, the carnival was booked, a brand-new e-ticket process was set-up, and the fair schedule had been through a few drafts. Things were lining up for another record-breaking Fair. On March 19th, the governor issued a “Stay at Home” order. No one could imagine back then that it would last this long or be so devastating to our economy. As resilient Americans do, we made the necessary adjustments, hoping and praying that this would soon be over. Fair staff continued to work towards having our Annual County Fair. Fast forward to now. For some of us, March 19th 2020 feels like a year ago. Our lives have changed so much in such a short period of time. Once the Fair Board and Staff understood the governor’s reopening phases, and what it would look like for the Fair, they made the decision to postpone. Surely by July things would be back to normal… Sadly, no. And based on what needs to happen to get us into Phase 4 (where mass gatherings can take place), it won’t happen in August, probably not in September—maybe not this year. Some may feel rebellious— “what if we did it anyhow?? This is American—the Land of the Free.” And some believe, “If it’s okay to protest, why can’t we have a Fair?” And with the news that Disneyland is reopening, there is the thought, “If Disneyland can open, why can’t we have a little county Fair?” Here is why First, the Fair would be unable to obtain the necessary permits for food vendors. The State issues liquor licenses too, so no alcohol could be served. The State also inspects the carnival rides—No rides would be inspected. Second, the world is still in the middle of a Pandemic. In some areas, cases are increasing, in some, like El Dorado County, not very much. There is a moral obligation that Fairs have to their communities to help protect them. If El Dorado County was able to have its Fair in July, or even August, it would have been the very first and only large event occurring. People from all over the state would attend. Our “safe bubble” here in El Dorado County would be significantly impacted. Disneyland is able to open with numerous and expensive safety protocols in place, as well as allowing only 25% attendance. Once the staff, volunteers, vendors and exhibitors inhabited the fairgrounds, the fairgrounds would be at 25% capacity—No room for patrons. The ability to practice social distancing at El Dorado County Fairgrounds would be impossible. Imagine the line for 20/30 Club tacos... It would be down the freeway. And finally, there are these two points: If the Fairgrounds decided to throw caution to the wind and host the County Fair with zero permits, licenses, inspections—there is a high probability that Relief and Disaster Funds for all of El Dorado County could be withheld. AND this would be the very last Fair to take place at El Dorado County Fairgrounds. Many people have asked what they can do to help? There is zero funding in the state budget for fairgrounds which will be the very next tragedy if things don’t change. Where will the communities gather during disasters? Since Fairgrounds are “Phase 4” businesses—funding is absolutely necessary during this Pandemic. The Fair is a huge part of the fairground’s budget, without the Fair and with the loss of revenue from cancelled events and rentals, the fairgrounds is in a precarious position. The Fair has been managed frugally for the past 18 years. Because of that, they are relying primarily on savings and significant budget cuts to get through the rest of 2020. Barring anything catastrophic and hoping that things open up by the end of the year, our fairgrounds can survive. El Dorado County Fair is one of the lucky ones—there are fairs in our state that don’t have the funds to pay their employees earned vacation pay when closing their doors forever. There are a few ways to support your fairgrounds:
When you hear a conversation about why the fair was cancelled or read a post on social media, YOU can help keep the record straight.
You or your business can help support the Fairgrounds. (See the Donate button at the bottom of our main webpage.) Every little bit helps.
If you own a business, please consider signing up for the "Fair Bucks" program (details above or call the Fair Office, 530-621-5860).
AND PLEASE write to your legislature to request funding for fairs throughout California. For more information about that, with links, addresses and a sample letter please visit eldoradocountyfair.org.
El Dorado County Fair & Event Center - a 501 c 3 nonprofit 100 Placerville Drive, Placerville, CA 95667 530.621.5860 eldoradocountyfair.org