County fair fires up this Thursday: Animals, exhibits and rides are among the attractions |

County fair fires up this Thursday: Animals, exhibits and rides are among the attractions

Susan Wood
The Amazing Rainforest Adventure is expected to transform the El Dorado County Fair, featuring tigers, cougars, monkeys, parrots and an endangered Asian fishing cat.

The blend of tradition and innovation will collide at the El Dorado County Fair in Placerville scheduled this week.

“A Fair to Remember,” according to its nostalgic theme, features the traditional breeds in livestock shows, petting zoos, dog agility contests and farm animal demonstrations like sheep, cows, bulls, goats and chickens. But beyond the food, wine, gardening, exhibits and rides, exotic animals have been added.

An exhibit called the Amazing Rainforest Adventure will bring out tigers, cougars, monkeys, parrots and one of the world’s most endangered and rare cats, an Asian fishing cat. The animals will take center stage in a 40-foot-wide arena complete with native rainforest scenery. The foothills will never quite look the same way. The show is intended to be entertaining and educational.

Also new to the fair, parts of the Portland-based Oregon Museum of Science and Industry will go on display in an over 1,500-square-foot traveling exhibit. OMSI features a wide array of perplexing puzzles and interactive displays meant to tease the most advanced brain and curious mind.

“There’s something for everybody here,” said former South Lake Tahoe City Councilman Tom Davis, who began serving on the El Dorado County Fair Board last October. “What I’ve discovered about this board is they’re looking for new ideas. The fair is always changing.”

New carnival rides will be rolled out, and entertainment is scheduled to rock music lovers when Mickey Thomas of Starship is set to perform Thursday and Cornell Gunter’s Coasters on Saturday.

Saturday evening kicks off the excitement with the popular Destruction Derby that can make any vehicle look like one that’s spent a few fender-bender winters in Lake Tahoe.

A crafty fair for Tahoe

Other things representative of Tahoe can be seen at the fair. Three South Shore women entered their handiwork in quilting and knitting categories, demonstrating the long winters of Tahoe and consistent passion for the activity.

“Knitting is my passion. It’s my therapy and gets me out of the refrigerator,” Ginger Jurickovich said Sunday. Her husband Pete added: “And from shopping.”

Apparently, the deterrent didn’t work this weekend. She went shopping for yarn.

Jurickovich, 65, knits and does needlepoint, the latter being embroidery with wool. She entered a sweater and dress for babies as well as a woman’s sweater and afghan, which she plans to give to her husband’s aunt, Joan. The aunt had lost her husband last year and needs a spiritual lift, Jurickovich said. The knitter incorporated a Navy knot in the pattern in honor of him.

“It’s such a joy when I’m finished with something and I see the look on the face of whoever I’m giving it to,” said Jurickovich, who began knitting at age 15. It’s the second year she’s entered the fair.

A regular entrant, Jonnie Crawford went to the fairgrounds last weekend for the judging and came home with two 1st-place ribbons for two knitted sweaters and four 2nd-place ones for a hat, another two sweaters and a jacket listed under the clothing/textiles category.

First-time fair entrant Kathy Campion entered a quilt she worked on throughout the year.

“This is the winter sport for me. Now, it’s gardening,” she said Sunday.

El Dorado County Fair

Begins noon Thursday and 10 a.m. Friday through Sunday

El Dorado County Fairgrounds, 100 Placerville Dr.; Off Highway 50; Placerville

Admission: $7 for adults; $5 for seniors; $4 for youth (ages 7-12); free to children under age 6


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