Nevada County
Fairgrounds Foundation
May 2023 Newsletter

Building a better Nevada County Fairgrounds through
fundraising and contributions to the Fairgrounds

April Fools' Day Crab Feed -
A Great Success!

Annually, on the first Saturday in March, the Foundation produces its big fundraiser – the Cioppino Feed. This year, change was in the air as Nevada County was buried in a massive snowstorm, which shut down most of our community. It was necessary to postpone the event to April Fools' Day.

With the date change, the menu changed to a Crab, Shrimp & Pasta Feed. We were delighted to serve a sell-out crowd! The evening included appetizers served during a raffle, dinner, and a silent dessert auction. Inspired by auctioneer John Renwick and side-kick Tim Reid dressed as a giant crab, the live auction energized lively bidding. The unique auction item was a miniature replica of the Gentle Giant statue that Lorraine Jewett donated to support our beloved fairgrounds. After delightful banter, Fair Foundation director Eddie Garcia was the winning bidder at over $4,000.

The Foundation is grateful to Carrie Renner of Ag Youth Boosters, the 4-H Youth, and the Foothill Lions Club, in addition to John Renwick, Tim Reid, Teresia Renwick, Patti Ingram Spencer, and the Foundation volunteers. We thank our community for attending and generously bidding on live auction items, desserts, and raffle. Your support ensures the Foundation can continue funding projects enhancing our fairgrounds.

Mark your calendars – 2024 Fairgrounds Foundation Crab, Shrimp & Pasta Feed – Saturday, March 2nd ~

Strawberry Music Festival 2023

The Strawberry Music Festival is just around the corner – Memorial Day Weekend on May 25th – 28th! It’s a perfect holiday weekend getaway activity! The festival has a marvelous ambiance with live music featuring nationally recognized touring acts and local up-and-coming performing artists. 

More information on the festival is available by clicking the link below:
We need your help! Strawberry’s promoter greatly supports the Fairgrounds Foundation and offers us the fundraising opportunity of operating Foundation Station during the event. Please consider volunteering at the Foundation Station, pouring beer, seltzer, and wine while enjoying the fabulous festival. 

Volunteer signing up is quick and easy at the following link
Making a Difference! Scholarships Awarded!  
Director Robin Hauck, former Deputy Manager of Nevada County Fair and the Scholarship Committee Chairperson, provided the following report:

The Nevada County Fairgrounds Foundation Scholarship Program is near and dear to my heart. Because of our membership's generosity and year-round commitment, we can award three scholarships annually to local high school students.

Congratulations to Harlie Deschaine, Amelia Glaz, and Lucas Mackey, this year’s Nevada County Fairgrounds Foundation Scholarships recipients.

All applicants have exhibited in the Fair and wrote a personal statement on how their participation at the Fair has influenced their life and how it will benefit them in the future. A committee of five Foundation directors scored applications, interviewed the finalists, and selected the recipients.

All three recipients receiving scholarships this year are graduates of
Nevada Union High School. Harlie is interested in majoring in Animal Sciences and Agricultural Business Management. Amelia plans to pursue a major in Civil and Environmental Engineering with a minor in Landscape Architecture. The Nancy Garcia Memorial Scholarship, which was developed by the friends and family of Nancy Garcia, a great supporter of the Fair, was awarded to Lucas Mackey, who plans to pursue Conservation, Fire Science Technology
along with Welding Technology at Sierra College.  

We wish our scholarship recipients all the best in pursuing their careers and life goals.
Nevada County Fair
August 9 - 13 
Country Roots & Cowboy Boots

Opening Night of the Fair!
Wednesday, August 9th
Draft Horse Classic
September 21- 24
Ticket sales just opened for the Draft Horse Classic, the premier draft horse show on the west coast with the ambiance of an old-fashioned county fair!

The Draft Horse Classic is about elegance, power, and teamwork – a celebration of the magnificent draft horses that helped build America.

This event draws thousands of fans every year. The fairgrounds will feature musical entertainment, barn tours, community exhibits, western trade vendors, a horseshoeing competition, delicious food, and a fabulous art show called Art At The Classic. This year's poster artist is Terri Rose; her art captures the energy of the powerful draft horse teams.

Great specialty acts, such as the amazing Bobbie Kerr and his incredible Mustang, are returning to the delight of many fans!
Meet the Foundation's new President
Patti Ingram Spencer

"Long before I was old enough to sit in The Union's information booth, my brother and I spent every day at our fair, from opening to closing. My parents volunteered their time at the Jaycees, Jaycettes, Grass Valley Sportsmen, and Nevada City Lions Club booths. It was a wonderous time at the Nevada County Fair, and it still is.

I am very proud and honored to represent the Nevada County Fair Foundation as the Board of Directors President. This Foundation is more than one person. Our board, membership, and volunteers are committed to supporting our fairgrounds and ensuring the beauty and prosperity for all to enjoy long into the future."

Patti has been a passionate volunteer at the fair for many years, as evidenced by the August 1966 fair photo of her volunteering at The Union's booth.

Patti Ingram Spencer's family's roots run deep. Her great-grandfather, Thomas Ingram, became the managing editor of the local newspaper, the Union, in 1899. He came to Grass Valley at the age of two with his parents, Thomas Charles Ingram and Christiana Ingram, who immigrated from Cornwall, England. 

You could say public service runs in the family because, in addition to managing the paper, from 1921 until his death, Patti's great-grandfather was not only Mayor of the City of Grass Valley but served as the area's California State Senator and was the founding President of the Rotary Club of Grass Valley. In 1946 her grandfather became the publisher of the Union and managed it for 35 years. Patti's father followed in their footsteps and worked at the paper for many decades in various roles, including editor/publisher at the time of his retirement. They shared their love for the community and a deep commitment to serving its residents. Patti's great-grandfather, grandfather, and father were always supporting, prompting, and involved in creating the "fabric" of Nevada County. Inspired by her heritage, Patti has reflected, "It's the reason I do what I do."

Patti brings extensive leadership experience to the Foundation, having served two terms on the Grass Valley City Council as Mayor for two years. She also served on the Grass Valley Planning Commission for five years. Her community leadership experience also includes service on the Greater Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce as both a member and Chairman.
Annual Membership Drive ~
The stated mission of the Fairgrounds Foundation is to build a better Nevada County Fairgrounds through fundraising and contributions to the fairgrounds. During the recent Covid years, we’ve realized that our mission is far more than that – our mission is to provide financial resources to save our beautiful fairgrounds and ensure that it will continue to thrive and remain a valuable community asset for future generations.

Your annual membership is critical to protecting and enhancing our great community asset, the Nevada County Fairgrounds.

Do you have a friend, relative, or neighbor who loves the Fair? Please encourage them to join the Foundation and protect the Fair! We greatly appreciate your support!

Membership benefits for the 2023 season include the following:
  • Tickets to the Fair and the Draft Horse Classic
  • Benefit packages tailored to your desires
  • Invitation to the October Appreciation Dinner Party
  • Contributions are tax-deductible

Now is the perfect time to make a difference by supporting donations, volunteerism, and general enthusiasm. Please join us in making a difference!
As always - your support of the Nevada County Fairgrounds Foundation is greatly appreciated!
Nevada County Fairgrounds Foundation
Board of Directors
Patti Ingram Spencer, President
Mike Novo, Vice President
Larry McDonald, Treasurer
Colleen McClain, Secretary
Peggy Anderson
Anita Daniels
Eddie Garcia
Robin Hauck
Joe Lester
Ed Mertens
Jay Nau
Coleen Novo
Teresia Renwick
Sandy Woods
Member Suggestions and Inquiries ~

We’re open to your suggestion and inquiries. Please email us at
The Nevada County Fairgrounds Foundation’s Board of Directors meets on the 4th Tuesday of the month at 4 pm in Ponderosa Hall at the Nevada County Fairgrounds. Foundation members and the public are always invited – so feel free to join us! 

Are you interested in being a Foundation director or volunteering? We like to think of ourselves as passionate about the Fair, dedicated, fun-loving, creative, and warm-hearted. Join us!

Nevada County Fairgrounds Foundation, Inc.
101 West McKnight Way, B-106
Grass Valley, CA 95949
Phone: 530-273-6217, extension 219
Fax: 530-273-1146