Baby pigs, giant yard games, and panning for gold in a magical forest – what child wouldn’t want to be a part of the Nevada County Fair? More things kids dream of are pedaling a tractor, riding a pony, and walking on water. This fair is the ultimate kids’ party. Get the RV set for a magic carpet ride to the fun.
Adults won’t miss out either, don’t worry about that. Watch weaving and woodturning, and then learn about early day gas engines. Cheer on the competitive carriage driving, settle in front of a stage for a musical performance, and learn how to build a fairy garden back home.
Gather the family around again to laugh at the goat obstacle course. Giggle at the hypnotist’s antics before heading to an exciting Kung Fu demonstration. Learn how to pack a mule and place your bets on the winner of the food contest.
You will want to be close to the action which is almost non-stop for five days. Between educational opportunities, musical showcases, and farm animal fun, there will barely be a minute free. Your RV will be the oasis of peace in the midst of the excitement. After a day in Grass Valley, relax and rejuvenate at the campground.
Advance ticket purchases save you a few dollars per person for admission and for the carnival rides, too. Check www.nevadacountyfair.com to see which deal suits your family best. Prices range between $5 and $35, and there are special days like Family Friday and Military Appreciation Day. If you are camping off-site, be sure to buy your parking pass in advance.
Scenic is definitely the word to describe the drive into Grass Valley. California Highway Patrol will be surveying the roads to keep everyone safe as the crowds head to the fairgrounds. California State Routes 20 and 49, right in the heart of gold rush country, will set you on track for the festivities. Sign up for CodeRED Emergency Alerts to keep abreast of road closures and weather alerts.
Parking is available for a small fee, and passes can be bought in advance for one day or all five days. The parking crew is well versed in which lots work for what types of vehicles, so relax and let them guide you to the best lot. There is ADA-accessible parking close to Gate 1. If you plan to use this lot, have your ADA placard visible in the window of your RV.
Park at the Nevada Union High School and catch the free shuttle bus that runs at designated times during the Nevada County Fair. Alternatively, use the Gold Country Stage, a bus service with several convenient stops, which offers free fare for transport. Check their website for a list of stops and times.
The Nevada County Fair campground is a fun place to stay but is closed for the duration of this fair, as well as other events throughout the year. You can be close to the entertainment and action still, however, by claiming a spot in a nearby campground. There are plenty of RV-friendly places in paradise only minutes away.
Are you looking for mountain vistas or a retreat beside a serene lake? Perhaps your ideal spot in nestled amongst vineyards or within proximity to hiking through a pine-filled forest. Spectacular surroundings with as many (or as few amenities) as you would like can be found in Grass Valley and beyond. Check out Tahoe National Forest and camp in the Sierra Nevada Foothills. Or claim a spot near Sacramento and visit the city while there.
Guests cannot rollerblade around the fair, or ride a skateboard through the crowds. Bicycles and scooters are not permitted either, so leave these modes of transport home and bring your best walking shoes instead. You can rent a wheelchair if need be, and strollers are available, too on a first come basis.
Dress for hot days and cool nights. The best way to do this is to organize the RV closets for daytime and evening wear so that every member can grab what they need for the day before heading to the fair. Floppy, colorful hats for sun protection are a must. Bring a favorite sweatshirt for taking in an evening concert at the fair. Tote two pairs of shoes, so that you can change your footwear if sore feet slow you down.
Pack lawn chairs for the campground to enjoy sitting under the stars at night. These same chairs (as long as they are small) can be brought into the fairgrounds. Remember, there are dozens of presentations to watch, and a seat may come in handy for resting under a tree. You are allowed to bring food and water to the Nevada County Fair; however, you cannot bring coolers, alcohol, or glass bottles. For camp, add flashlights, bug spray, toiletries, extra blankets and towels, and a small radio to your packing list.
Guest services is the place to head to if a child goes wayward from the group. Instruct your young ones to ask for help and directions to the booth if they get separated from you. Throughout the day, take everyone to the Rock n’ Relax lounge for quiet time and rest in the shade. At the same time, reapply sunscreen, and have the kids refill their water bottles.
Keep the menu light and cool while in California. Hot temperatures will call for refreshing meals and chances are, there will be restrictions on campfires due to drought conditions and fire risk. Top up the propane before leaving home if a light pasta dish is on the menu. Alternatively, choose hearty salads, cold chicken and ham, and desserts built around fresh fruit, so abundant in the area.
California casual dining is the way to go when in Grass Valley. Go Italian, Japanese, Mexican, or American. Try a bistro, a deli, or a cafe. Cornish pasties, hotcakes, omelets, cold sandwiches, and tapas dishes are just a few selections to satisfy the appetite of all family members, from young to old. Don’t forget the dessert menu, and try the freshly baked pie.
Buy your herbs, fruits, vegetables, jams, and honey at the Nevada County Fair. The fact that they are fresh is an understatement. Enjoy the produce and design your menu around choice ingredients. Artisans display crafts like beadwork, quilts, and decorated hats. ATMs are on site; you may want to replenish your wallet because the wares are exceptional.
The Nevada County Sheriff’s office will be patrolling the fair and surrounding neighborhoods 24 hours a day. As well, fairground security personnel will be wearing red shirts for easy identification and are happy to help in any circumstance. Back at camp, keep valuables locked safely in your car or rig and secure the RV every time you leave.
The temperatures will vary from day to night, so even though time at the fair will be hot, you will sleep well in the cool air each evening. Open the windows to hear the sounds of the forest or the frogs singing out on the lake. Extra blankets will keep the family cozy as they dream about the next day’s return to the fair. When at the fair, rehydrate often and have the kids take a break from the carnival rides to reapply sun protection. Take advantage of some of the water rides and cool the kids off.
The First Aid station is manned by qualified staff during opening hours of the fair. The booth is located by Treat Street, where no doubt, you will take the family for fun fair food and a cold drink anyway. At camp, keep cold drinks on hand by the picnic table in an ice-filled cooler. Before leaving home, top up the first aid kit with new bandaids and fresh gauze. Check the best-before dates on the ointment and antiseptic cream.