Placer County Fair logo

One of the First Large Events to Return to Sacramento Region

ROSEVILLE, Calif. – Adorable baby pig races, baking contests, corn dogs and cotton candy, get-your-hips-swaying live music, and make-your-heart-race rides are back this summer – thanks to the Placer County Fair.

The Placer County Fair opens @the Grounds in Roseville on Thursday, June 24, and continues through Sunday, June 27. The fair is open 5-11 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and noon to 9 p.m. Sunday at 700 Event Center Drive in Roseville (formerly known as the Placer County Fairgrounds). You can learn more at https://www.placercountyfair.org/.

“Mooving Forward Together”

The 83rd annual event’s slogan “Mooving Forward Together,” a combination of ideas from resident submissions by Tank Boyotti and Alena Hansen, is appropriate since the fair was canceled because of the Covid pandemic in 2020. The Placer County Fair is one of the first in the state to return, opening a little more than a week after the state expects to reopen the economy June 15.

“We’re very excited for the return of the fair and taking a huge step in getting back to a new normal from what has been such a difficult period for everyone,” said David Attaway, Chief Executive Officer of @the Grounds and Placer Valley Tourism. “The fair’s slogan is very appropriate, recognizing the resiliency of the community while also providing a positive look to the future.”

The fair “celebrates our rich heritage and highlights the best of where we’re going.”

Robert Weygandt, Placer County Supervisors Chairman
pig races at Placer County Fair

Local economy

The long-awaited return of the fair will benefit the economy and help the community recover from the devastating and life-changing effects of the past 15 months. The Placer County Fair creates jobs and generates some much-needed revenue to fair vendors and businesses in the region, from gas stations to restaurants. But, perhaps more importantly, the fair allows the community to connect, officials say.

“The Placer County Fair is an extremely important annual event,” said Placer County Board of Supervisors Chairman Robert Weygandt, who grew up showing livestock at the fair. “It celebrates our rich heritage and highlights the best of where we’re going. The fair is a chance for all of us to come together, experience our diversity and have a great time.”

Rib Cook-off, Concerts and Games

The fair’s lineup will look familiar to frequent fairgoers, from carnival rides, games and food booths to concerts. The Family Fun Zone, complete with free games and crafts, and exhibits – such as pie-baking and photography contests – return as well. Plus, the Miss Placer County Scholarship Pageants and Placer County Rib Cook-off are scheduled. And, of course, livestock exhibits and auctions are back.

“I would go every year and watch the pageant,” said one-time contestant Tami Uhler, founder and CEO of Up Pageantry, the organizer of the annual Miss Placer County Scholarship Pageants. “We are the big draw on opening night. It’s a community tradition. This is what fairs are all about.”

Placer County Fair Carnival

Carnival Fun

The carnival rides, games and food also draw many to the Placer County Fair. Carnival operator Wold Amusements will bring about 20 rides to the fair, including a new 100-foot drop ride and an all-time favorite: the Ferris wheel.

Tickets and info at » https://www.placercountyfair.org/copy-of-tickets

“We may have a heck of a run in Roseville,” said company CEO Jason Wold, who brought his carnival to about 30 fairs and festivals every year before the pandemic; the last was the San Benito County Fair in October 2019. With all of the pent-up demand for events, “the Placer County Fair might be the biggest event in the Sacramento region.”

First fair with the Roebbelen Center, a 160,000-square-foot building that makes social distancing and following occupancy limits easy.

The annual fair brings some hope that life is returning to normal, albeit slowly. But every step forward helps, especially for vendors that have been without events for more than a year.

“I could not do what we do without the fair,” said Uhler, who held the Miss Placer County Scholarship Pageants to much-smaller crowds at two locations last year. Returning to the fair will generate more interest in the pageant and make Uhler’s efforts easier. @the Grounds handles the lighting and sounding for the pageant. “They support us in so many ways.”

The Placer County Fair is back, in part, because of @the Grounds’ commitment to the health of the community and retaining its workforce.

@the Grounds first served as a Covid testing location and more recently as a mass vaccination site for Placer County. More than half of the county’s residents have received at least one dose of a Covid vaccination, and about 40% are fully vaccinated, with many of those getting their shots from the mass vaccination clinic located @the Grounds during the past several months. The county will close the clinic May 25.

Roebbelen Center

A Fair Debut

The Roebbelen Center located @the Grounds in mid-February 2020, but was forced to close with the statewide lockdown a few weeks later to prevent the spread of Covid.

The 160,000-square-foot building will make its fair debut this year, with events and vendors following indoor safety protocols. But given the size of the building – able to accommodate 12 full-length basketball courts – social distancing will not be an issue, Attaway said.

“We’ve gained a lot of experience during the past year,” he said. “We know how to hold events and follow health and safety guidelines, and we will follow the requirements that are in place when the fair opens.”

The Placer County Fair is also able to return because @the Grounds has been able to keep much of its staff. Some fairgrounds have been forced to lay-off employees and are now struggling to find or rehire workers. So far, 15 fairs have either been canceled or postponed this season, including the California State Fair at Cal Expo, according to the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

Coming Full Circle

The Placer County Fair is the first major event @the Grounds since February 2020, and will hopefully serve as one of the first chapters in the economic recovery story.

“We’ve come full circle, from the grand opening and the excitement surrounding the Roebbelen Center to quickly canceling events with the state lockdown and later shifting to meet the needs of the community as a mass vaccination center,” Attaway said. “Now, we can finally share what we have accomplished and our long-term vision with the Roebbelen Center and the renovation of @the Grounds. But, as we’ve shown during the last year, we’re here for whatever the community needs.”

Family Road Trip Directions

About Placer Valley Tourism

Placer Valley Tourism is a Business Improvement District that serves South Placer County and the cities of Roseville, Rocklin and Lincoln. The BID operates to help generate incremental room night stays in hotels within Placer Valley Tourism’s geographic footprint through various conferences and youth and amateur sports events. PVT’s aim is to coordinate community and sports events with the best hospitality options in the region. Placer Valley Tourism is a nonprofit and classified as a 501(c)6. For more information, please visit https://www.placertourism.com/.

About @the Grounds

@the Grounds, formerly the Placer County Fairgrounds and Event Center, is a multipurpose event facility on 61 acres in the heart of Roseville, California. @the Grounds includes the Roebbelen Center, a 160,000-square-foot event center that can accommodate major amateur sports competitions, large meetings, trade shows, concerts and other events. For more than 80 years, @the Grounds has been the home of the Placer County Fair – an annual celebration of the diversity of the community – along with countless other community, family and corporate gatherings. @the Grounds hosted almost 200 events in 2019. For more information, please visit https://www.atthegrounds.com/.