The County Voice

County Exhibits at the State Fair — Once Again a Crowd Pleaser

When it comes to building an exhibit for the State Fair, Glenn County has it down to an art. For the second year in a row, Glenn County was named “Best of Show” among the ever-popular County Exhibits. Beyond being honored with “Best of Show,” Glenn County walked away with the “Best Craftsmanship” Award.

I had the honor of judging the county exhibits again this year and the competition was stiffer than in years past. Each year the counties get more creative and sophisticated in their exhibits. And the results show that you don’t have to be a large county to win the top awards. In fact, of the 12 top awards, six were won by counties with a population of under 30,000.

The exhibits are a wonderful opportunity to showcase California counties, especially to promote what our counties have to offer, from tourism to products. Around 700,000 people are expected to attend the State Fair during its run – and the County Exhibits are one of the major attractions annually.

This year, counties were asked to follow the theme “From (our) County to Your Table.” The State Fair challenged counties to showcase their products as part of their own definition of the Farm-to-Fork movement.

The produce is abundant, as well as other products produced in our counties, including wine, olive oil, beef, dairy products and even timber. Other counties decided to stick with more traditional tourism themes, highlighting themselves as destination points.

Mono County also was honored with two awards. The exhibit’s depiction of a saloon from the ghost town Bodie, complete with living card players and real artifacts such as original saloon doors is proving to be a big hit with fairgoers. The exhibit was also very popular with the judging panel, being named “Best Visitor Experience” and “Best Use of Products, Produce or Artifacts.”

Sierra County also was honored in two categories, winning “Best of Division for Community Built Exhibits” as well as the “Superintendent’s Award,” which recognizes community activity in building the exhibit.

Kudos to Sacramento County for also winning in two categories: “Best of Division for Professionally Built Exhibits” and “”Best Use of Special Effects/Animation.”

Other top awards were presented to: Yolo County – “Best Content;” Sonoma County – “Best Marketing Presentation;” Placer County – “Best Agricultural Presentation;” and Stanislaus County – “Best Design.”

In addition to the top awards, each county exhibit received either a gold, silver or bronze award.

Gold Awards — Amador County, Butte County, Calaveras County, Glenn County, Humboldt County, Mono County, Placer County, Sacramento County, San Joaquin County, Solano County, Sonoma County, Stanislaus County, Tuolumne County and Yolo County and Tuolumne County.

Silver Awards — Colusa County, Contra Costa County, Inyo County, Lake County, Modoc County, Monterey County, Nevada County, Santa Cruz County, Sierra County and Yuba County.

Bronze Awards — El Dorado County, Mendocino County and Shasta County.

Twenty-seven exhibits – 27 unique and creative displays. So when you go to the State Fair Building A this year, stop by and visit your county exhibit, as well as the other 26 on hand. And if your county isn’t displayed, go back to your community and make sure it happens next year.

To see photos of the exhibits on our Facebook page, click here. And if you tweet a photo or comment about a county exhibit, make sure you add #CountyExhibits and #CAStateFair.

The State Fair runs through July 27 at Cal Expo in Sacramento. For more information on the Fair, go to

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