And the Fair Continues Another Year: Fair Foundation Auction Raises Over $50,000

Lake County Fire Fighters win the bid for their first $1,000 dessert

Dust hovers in the thick late summer air. The slant of the sun’s golden-orange glow drifts in the sky, reminding me fall is near. But for now, it’s still summer. The smell of freshly made caramel corn takes my attention because there’s no other smell quite like it. I pause for a moment, but my hands are already full with several corn dogs and a cold beer that requires my immediate attention. So I decided that the caramel corn could wait.

Smiling faces pass by. I stop to greet a neighbor I haven’t seen since . . . when was it? We laugh and catch up for a few minutes before continuing. Ahh, there they are; my family is eagerly waiting for me at a table. I settle in before taking that first anticipated bite. There’s nothing quite like a fresh hand-dipped corn dog. It’s still hot from the fryer and the smell is irresistible. My mouth is moist in anticipation. Mmmm, nothing quite like it. I smile and take another bite.

A local band plays music on the stage. Everyone knows the words and sings along. The family next to us sips homemade lemonade as they sway to the music. A little boy drops his ice cream and begins to cry before the father hurries off to make things right. Soon we’re all done eating and talking about what we want to do next. There are animals to see, rides to ride, vendors to visit, and all the exhibits to see, some being our own. And let’s get it all done before the boat races begin!

The Lake County Fair is an annual tradition that’s been around for decades. But it doesn’t just happen all by itself; it takes funding and support from the community to make it happen.

Right now, it’s mid-February, and summer is many months away. But tonight, things are busy at the fairgrounds. It’s the Wrangler Round-Up Dinner, dance, and live auction. But really, it’s the auction itself that makes the evening special. It’s also a chance for the community to come together, especially those who support the Fair and Agriculture and 4-H.

Richard Schmidt and Diana Liebe enjoying dinner

The room is full of happy faces; a group of people makes their way down a long table full of donations for the silent auction. There’s the wine from the local wineries, a hand-made fire pit, gift cards, gift baskets, dinners, and nights away, to name a few things. On the other side of the room sits a table with items for the live auction. A handmade quilt hangs on the wall next to an airplane ride, hand-made sculptures, and desserts all to be sold after the dinner.

Eventually, everyone finds their tables before the local 4-H club begins to serve dinner. It’s all things barbecue, starting with coleslaw and dinner rolls, followed by a generous serving of smoked tri-tip, pulled pork, mashed potatoes, and cooked carrots. It’s casual and family style, just as you would expect for the Fair where good food and friends always come together. Now the fun begins. It’s time for the live auction. Sherrif Martin starts the bid on the first dessert at hundred dollars. The room erupts, and the bidding begins. One lucky table gets the cake for $350. Lakeport firefighters end up with two one thousand dollar desserts, only to get outbid for the third. A flower statue created by a young 4-H sells for eleven hundred dollars and the quilt for two thousand. The auction continues into the evening, and so does the mayhem and laughter. I don’t recall seeing so many people so happy to give away their money. The auction generates over $50,000, ensuring that our community will have the fair again this year. But, in the meantime, how can I get my hands on some of that caramel corn in February?

Similar events will be happening all around Lake County, supporting our local community and organizations. It’s not too late for you to join in the fun. So check out the Big Calendar and find the one you want to support.

Trudy Wakefield

Trudy and David Wakefield started The Bloom in 2018 to showcase the best parts of Lake County and to provide a local outlet for community events, arts, music, and writing.

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