Fairgrounds In Trouble - Act Today To Save Your Fairgrounds

by Placerville Newswire / May 20, 2020 / comments

[Placerville, CA​. Jody Gray, El Dorado County Fair CEO]

Placerville, CA—Every county in our state has one. Every county in our state needs one.  But by the end of 2020, not every county in our state will have one—A LOCAL FAIRGROUNDS.

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. Every year, local non-profits host their fundraisers, raising millions of dollars to serve our community at our fairgrounds. Hundreds of local residents walk their dogs at our fairgrounds. 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.

In 2011, then Governor Jerry Brown eliminated ALL funding for California Fairs. For El Dorado County Fairgrounds, that constituted about 25% of the annual revenue. For some fairgrounds it was much more. Some fairgrounds have never recovered. El Dorado County Fairgrounds cut spending, created new methods of generating revenue, streamlined interim rentals, run a bar during the Fair and 4th of July, and created other events, such as the popular Crab and Chowder Gala. With the shut-down THESE ALL CEASED. As of this writing, the Fair Association has lost more than $200,000 in interim rental revenue, and that will likely rise. If the Fair Association is not able to host the annual County Fair, it will be difficult to keep the gates open.

Here are some facts about California Fairs. Statewide, more than $35 million is generated by non-profits for their community on fairgrounds. Fairgrounds generate more than $3.5 billion in annual economic impact while contributing over $200 million in tax revenue to local and state government.

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. El Dorado County Fair has a sample letter on their website, eldoradocountyfair.org/contact.html, scroll down and find the link to the letter. Or simply write your own, supporting emergency funding for fairgrounds throughout the state.

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.

Below is the contact information for the Assembly members and Senators for El Dorado County. For more information, feel free to contact the Fair at (530) 621-5860, email fair@eldoradocountyfair.org, or stop by the office Monday-Friday 9am-4pm at 100 Placerville Drive, Placerville.


The Honorable Kevin Kiley

California State Assembly, State Capitol

Sacramento, CA 95814



The Honorable Brian Dahle

California State Senate, State Capitol

Sacramento CA 95814



The Honorable Frank Bigelow

California State Assembly, State Capitol

Sacramento CA 95814



The Honorable Tom McClintock

2200A Douglas Blvd., Suite 240

Roseville CA 95661

Staff Email:




Budget Committee Chairs, both Senate and Assembly


The Honorable Holly Mitchell

Senate Budget Committee, Chair

California State Senate

State Capitol

Sacramento, CA 95814


The Honorable Phil Ting

Assembly Budget Committee, Chair

California State Assembly

State Capitol

Sacramento, CA 95814