We got word that the 59th Army Band stationed in Sacramento will be performing at our fair this year! They are the band that plays for any of the Governor's offical events. They have been here before and were very well received. Planning goes on...
Fairs generate revenue. The Plumas Sierra County Fair creates the equivalent of 79 jobs by the Fair itself, it's support businesses and attendees. The Fair and the events that occur throughout the year generate an estimated $95,500 in additional business taxes. In 2009, our fairgrounds was an economic engine that generated around $6,450,000 in spending activity. All this came from the California Department of Food & Agriculture, which is facing budget cuts of 30%, including a 100% elimination of funding for California Fairs. That report says that California Fairs generate upwards of $2.5 BILLION in economic activity. The State gets that sort of return from $32 million. That's right. Only $32 million creates thousands of jobs, millions in tax revenue and billions in spending. It's funny how quickly people forget what fairs have done.
For those that remember the Great Depression, they may also remember the proof that fairs are the "original" stimulus program. During the worst economic time in our history, North American fairs grew from under 300, to more than 3,000. California had nine official fairs going into the Great Depression and had 54 by the beginning of World War II. The Plumas Sierra County Fair was one of those.
Look, we all know something has to be done to right our financial ship. Fairs know they have to help. If you could take some time and write your representative in Sacramento, tell them how important the Fair is to Plumas and Sierra Counties, we would appreciate it.
January, 2011. For those of you that think these are quiet times on the fairgrounds.... oh boy! We started the week with MAJOR power issues. Aging power lines on the fairgrounds gave out, caught on fire in a ground vault and melted big wires together. All I know is it involves high voltage lines and will be expensive to fix. Nothing we could have done about it, and we can't say it's lousy timing, because ANYTIME would be lousy for this.
Then we got the new Governor's budget proposal. It has lots of stuff in it, but what jumped out at us was....no funding for California Fairs. To us, that's around $200,000 a year. We don't know if his proposal will go through, and if it does, we don't know what we will do. Cross your fingers and call your congressperson. What we have going for us is our excellent return on investment. Throughout the State, fairs return over $1 billion in economic activity for only $32,000,000. It seems like a no-brainer, but we shall see. I know the Plumas Sierra County Fair generates over $6.5 million in wages, taxes, local spending and corn dogs. That's a lot of action for $200,000 in State money.
I don't know what will happen, but please know that Kathy, Oran, Willo and myself love this Fair and will do anything we can to make it something our community can be proud of. Thanks for your support!
John is the CEO of the Plumas Sierra County Fair. He lives in Portola and has been coming to the Fair in Quincy since he was a young boy. Chipper has allowed his name to be used in the title of this blog, but the viewpoints are all John's.