Friday at the Fair

Fairgoers take in the Ned LeDoux concert Friday night.

Enterprise photo by Guy Dossi

From ferris wheels and funnel cakes, to cowboy hats and cold beverages, there was something for everyone to enjoy Friday at the Calaveras County Fair and Jumping Frog Jubilee. With the fair coming around only once a year, fairgoers didn’t waste any time enjoying the festivities.

One thing most fairgoers had a hard time trying to escape was the intoxicating aroma of food. Billie Coleman, 17, of Valley Springs, made a beeline for one spot once she paid her admission.

“Garlic fries and funnel cakes,” Coleman said of what was at the top of her list.

And although fair food might not be the healthiest in the world, Coleman figured she would just take a couple of extra laps around the fairgrounds before going back for seconds.

Aaron Hatfield, 10, from Valley Springs, built up a mighty appetite after a full day of showing off his sheep and goats. He spent the past number of months preparing his animals for the fair. But when he was able to escape from his barnyard friends, Hatfield knew where he could go to get his fix.

“I like going to the vendors to get free candy,” Hatfield said. “I like the Cal Waste because they give you a recycle can full of candy.”

For those wanting to ride the rides, a belly full of fried fair food or sticky sweets might not have been the best idea. In the mid-afternoon, the lines for the popular fair rides were only six or eight deep. That line, of course, became longer as the night progressed.

Although carnival rides are always a must, some fairgoers feel there is some room for ride improvement.

“I feel like they could be a lot more exciting, but either way, I come here to have fun and that’s what I’m doing,” said Elizabeth Metzger, 14, of Valley Springs.

Kayomi Payne, 15, of Valley Springs added, “I’ve been coming to the fair for a while and I think it’s pretty nice. I think being able to get some newer rides would be nice as well.”

While there was always something to see or a place to go, some who visited the fair just enjoyed a chance to relax and have some alone time. Valley Springs resident Karen Pena knew she had a safe place to let her children go and have fun, while she relaxed and waited for the Ned LeDoux concert to begin.

“It’s really nice,” Pena said. “They are all contained in here and they are enjoying the rides and are having a good experience. I’ve had a good time all day. I’m staying here out at the campgrounds, so the kids are having a ball and I’m just waiting for the concert tonight.”

Whatever the reason fairgoers decided to go to the fair, a smile was seen from all.

“It’s fun seeing our community come together,” Coleman said.

Contact Guy Dossi at (209) 498-2053 and follow him on Twitter at @GuyDossi.