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Seeking Community Showcase Acts for the Nevada County Fair

Tommie performing with Pokiejoe. Picture courtesy of Nevada County Fairgrounds

Tommie performing with Pokiejoe. Picture courtesy of Nevada County Fairgrounds

Applications available for those interested in performing or demonstrating at this year’s Fair 

The Nevada County Fair is now accepting applications for local entertainers and community acts to perform at the 2015 Nevada County Fair, August 12 – 16. Do you have a dance group you’d like to see perform at the Fair? Does your group have a skill they’d like to demonstrate to Fair-goers? Want to do a martial arts demonstration or a cheerleading demonstration or show off your baton twirling skills? If so, the Fairgrounds wants your application. This is a great way to share your talents with the community!

Applications are now available on the website at www.NevadaCountyFair.com.  To be considered, the application must be returned to the Fairgrounds by June 5. There is no paid compensation for community showcases and demonstrations.

The application is for those interested in performing on the Dance Pad (available afternoon and evening hours); The Green (available during afternoon hours); or the Tumbleweed Stage (available evening hours only).

This year’s Fair is August 12 – 16, and the theme is “Catch the Fair Bug!”  For more information, visit www.NevadaCountyFair.com or call (530) 273-6217.

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John J. O’Dell Realtor® GRI
O’Dell Realty
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What Calif.’s Drought Could Mean for Housing

Scott’s Flat Reservoir Sept 25, 2014. Lowest I’ve seen the reservoir since I’ve lived in Cascade Shores. Picture taken by John J. O’Dell off my deck in Cascade Shores.

Scott’s Flat Reservoir Sept 25, 2014. Lowest I’ve seen the reservoir since I’ve lived in Cascade Shores. Picture taken by John J. O’Dell off my deck in Cascade Shores.

The Golden State is drying up and it could have repercussions for its real estate market. Lawmakers have called for unprecedented measures to curb residents’ water consumption in response to a severe drought, now running into its fourth year.

Gov. Jerry Brown last week called for a 25 percent reduction in water consumption throughout the state. The move will force a change among home owners and communities.

As water bills get more pricey, home owners will need to find ways to conserve, and their outdoor landscaping may be one likely place to do it. Lush lawns will need to be uprooted in favor of more drought-tolerant ones. Those long-held favored aesthetics for green yards and colorful, water-loving plants will need to shift among residents. “This will change what Californians see as beautiful,” says Heather Cooley, water program director for the Pacific Institute, an Oakland, Calif.-based environmental research group.

Also, resort communities in the state — known for their green oasis looks — are growing concerned at how the water reduction will affect their communities. For example, Palm Springs – which is in the middle of the desert – may see some of the biggest repercussions to its real estate. Known for its green golf courses, businesses will need to look for ways to conserve.

The daily per capita water use in Palm Springs is 201 gallons – more than double the state’s average. Palm Springs has ordered 50 percent reduction in water use by its city agencies. The city plans to replace lawns and annual flowers around the community with water-saving native landscapes. It also is paying residents to replace their lush green lawns with rocks and desert plants, as well as even offering rebates to those who install low-flow toilets too.

“Years ago the idea was, come to Palm Springs, and people see the grass and the lushness and the green,” says David Ready, the city manager. “We’ve got to change the way we consume water.”

Meanwhile, in the agricultural Central Valley of California, farmlands are drying up and unemployment is surging among farm workers. Some communities are seeing an exodus of residents as some farmers are relocating 70 miles out or more in search of work.

The drought could also prompt a reduction in housing construction, says Richard White, a history professor at Stanford University. That could come at a time when more residential development is needed in cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco to meet higher demand too, he says.

“It’s going to be harder and harder to build new housing without an adequate water supply,” White says. “How many developments can you afford if you don’t have water?”

Source: “California Drought Tests History of Endless Growth,” The New York Times (April 5, 2015)

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John J. O’Dell Realtor® GRI
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Coming to a Dying Tree Near You, Bark Beetles

Picture courtesy of U.S. Forest Service

Chart courtesy of U.S. Forest Service

I remember in the seventy’s I had built a home for a client. He insisted that I build the front deck such that it wrapped around some large pine trees. We finished the house in the middle of a drought. Soon enough the bark beetles hit his trees and they died.  We are back again with an explosive growth of bark beetles.

Local, state and federal officials are virtually helpless against the pestilence, which has turned hundreds of thousands of acres of forest brown and left huge fire-prone stands of dead wood.

The trees are being devoured by millions of native beetles, each about the size of a grain of rice. The insects, thriving in the warm weather and lack of freezing temperatures, are overwhelming the defenses of water-starved trees, attacking in waves and multiplying at a frenzied pace, depositing eggs under the bark that hatch into ravenous larval grubs.


Mountain pine beetle (photo: U.S. Forest Service)

“Things are looking really, really bad,” said Tom Smith, a forest pest management specialist for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. “Basically we’ve got native bark beetles that are attacking the pines. They are only successful in attacking the trees when the trees are stressed. Right now all the trees are stressed because of drought.”

The infected trees are on private and public lands, in national parks, wilderness areas and managed forests. There seems to be no solution short of removing the dead and dying trees and hoping against hope for rain and cold. The worst of it is in the southern part of the state, but pest management experts say the plague is moving north.

A healthy tree can usually beat back invading beetles by deploying chemical defenses and flooding them out with sticky resin. But just as dehydration makes humans weaker, heat and drought impede a tree’s ability to fight back—less water means less resin. In some areas of the Rocky Mountain West, the mid-2000s was the driest, hottest stretch in 800 years. From 2000 to 2012, bark beetles killed enough trees to cover the entire state of Colorado. “Insects reflect their environment,” explains renowned entomologist Ken Raffa—they serve as a barometer of vast changes taking place in an ecosystem.

Sheri Smith, the regional entomologist for the U.S. Forest Service in California, said bark beetle and drought-caused tree mortality more than doubled across forests in California last year and is expected to increase even more this year. The Forest Service mapped tree mortality across 820,000 acres of forested land in 2014 compared

with 350,000 acres in 2013, according to the service’s annual Aerial Detection Survey Program results. The results of this year’s surveys, which are just getting under way, are not expected until later in the year.

 

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Call or write today for all your
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John J. O’Dell Realtor® GRI
O’Dell Realty
(530) 263-1091
EMail John O’Dell
BRE#00669941

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Pit Bull Helps Nevada County Woman Detect Seizures

  A woman who wanted a shelter dog as a companion for herself and her son instead got much more than that.

The pit bull the Nevada County woman adopted can detect seizures, something important for her. Danielle Zuckerman, a former Navy nuclear scientist never knew adopting Thor could change her life. “I feel so much more comfortable, going out in public and going to do things, because when you’re an epileptic, you don’t have control over your own body,” she said.

Zuckerman has seizures due to a spinal cord injury. 

Read more CBS Sacramento

Help keep this blog going

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John J. O’Dell Realtor® GRI
O’Dell Realty
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Sierra Nevada Snowpack Is Virtually Gone; Water Content Now Is Only 5 Percent of Historic Average, Lowest Since 1950

Scott’s Flat Reservoir Sept 25, 2014. Lowest I’ve seen the reservoir since I’ve lived in Cascade Shores. Picture taken by John J. O’Dell off my deck in Cascade Shores.

Scott’s Flat Reservoir Sept 25, 2014. Lowest I’ve seen the reservoir since I’ve lived in Cascade Shores. Picture taken by John J. O’Dell off my deck in Cascade Shores.

 April 1, 2015

SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) found no snow whatsoever today during its manual survey for the media at 6,800 feet in the Sierra Nevada. This was the first time in 75 years of early-April measurements at the Phillips snow course that no snow was found there.

Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. observed the survey, which confirmed electronic readings showing the statewide snowpack with less water content today than any April 1st since 1950.

Attending the survey with Governor Brown was DWR Director Mark Cowin, who said Californians can expect to receive almost no water from the meager snowpack as it melts in the coming weeks.

“Today’s survey underscores the severity of California’s drought,” he said. “Water conservation must become a way of life during the worst drought in most Californians’ lifetimes.”

Today’s readings are historically significant, since the snowpack traditionally is at its peak by early April before it begins to melt. Electronic readings today found that the statewide snowpack holds only 1.4 inches of water content, just 5 percent of the historical average of 28.3 inches for April 1. The previous low for the date was 25 percent in 2014 and 1977.

The Phillips snow course, which has been surveyed since 1941, has averaged 66.5 inches in early-April measurements there. Four years ago today, the measured depth at Phillips was 124.4 inches. The deepest April 1st Phillips measurement was 150.7 inches in 1983, and the lowest previously was 1.04 inches in 1988. Photos of previous surveys at Phillips can be found here.Images from today’s survey will be posted at that link as soon as possible.

Electronic readings indicate the water content of the northern Sierra snowpack today is 1.4 inches, 5 percent of average for the date. The central and southern Sierra readings were 1.5 inches (5 percent of average) and 1.3 inches (5 percent) respectively.

Today’s manual survey was the fourth of the season conducted for the news media at the Phillips snow course just off Highway 50 near Sierra at Tahoe Road 90 miles east of Sacramento. When DWR conducted the first three manual surveys on December 30, January 29 and March 3, the statewide water content in the snowpack was 50 percent, 25 percent and 19 percent respectively of the historical averages for those dates. The decline reflects California’s significantly lower precipitation and the warming trend that made this winter the warmest in the state’s recorded history. What precipitation there was fell mostly as rain due to warmer temperatures.

In what were considered normal precipitation years, the snowpack supplied about 30 percent of California’s water needs as it melts in the spring and summer. The greater the snowpack water content, the greater the likelihood California’s reservoirs will receive ample runoff as the snowpack melts to meet the state’s water demand in the summer and fall.

Continue reading “Sierra Nevada Snowpack Is Virtually Gone; Water Content Now Is Only 5 Percent of Historic Average, Lowest Since 1950” »

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NID Adopts Drought Plan; Calls for 20% Conservation

Looking over Scott's Flat Reservoir Picture taken from my deck John J. O'Dell

Looking over Scott’s Flat Reservoir Picture taken from my deck John J. O’Dell

March 25, 2015

Directors of the Nevada Irrigation District on Wednesday (Mar. 25) adopted a series of drought measures that include limits on outdoor watering and a call for continued 20 percent reductions in water use by all district customers.

In a presentation to the NID Board of Directors, Water Operations Manager Chip Close recommended a package of conservation measures designed to meet requirements adopted Mar. 17 by the State Water Board and to ensure that NID has adequate carryover water storage going into next year in case the drought continues into a fifth year.

Urban Water Use

Drought measures in effect for users of piped, treated water include:

  • Outdoor watering no more than three days per week, with no watering during the heat of the day (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.).
  • No watering until 48 hours after a rain.
  • No drinking water service in restaurants unless requested.
  • Hotel and motel guest option of not having towels and linens changed daily.
  • No water use that creates unnecessary runoff.
  • Use of shutoff nozzle on hoses.
  • No washing down of sidewalks
  • Fountains must recycle water

NID and other water purveyors are being required to provide the State Water Board with monthly reports on water use, conservation compliance and enforcement efforts.

Irrigation Water Use

Drought measures in effect for users of canal water include:

  • Voluntary reductions of 20 percent or more with mandatory reductions possible later in the year if conservation goals are not being met.
  • New and increased irrigation water sales are limited to the smallest amount of water necessary for the customer’s beneficial use.
  • All customers are encouraged to use efficient irrigation practices.
  • The irrigation season, which normally runs Apr. 15-Oct. 14, could be shortened this year depending on water availability.

In a water supply update, Water Resources Superintendent Sue Sindt said this year’s water outlook is slightly worse than last year.  She said the mountain snowpack is only about 6 percent of average water content for this time of year and that seasonal runoff is anticipated to be only 20-25 percent of average.

Officials credited district customers with reducing water use by an overall 16.4 percent during the 2014 drought and said an equal level or more will be needed to get through this year.

Close said that continued conservation, tight measurement and controls on the canal system, and the purchase of an available 20,000-25,000 acre-feet of additional water from the Pacific Gas and Electric Company will help meet the district’s water supply needs for this year and next.

For drought information and helpful water efficiency advice, please see NID’s website atwww.nidwater.com.  Water waste may be reported through an online form or by telephone, (530) 271-6799.

 

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John J. O’Dell Realtor® GRI
O’Dell Realty
(530) 263-1091
EMail John O’Dell
BRE#00669941

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Troubled Waters On The Delta

Picture courtesy of the California Department of Water Resources

Delta–Picture courtesy of the California Department of Water Resources

– By Bill Wells
The fabulous California Delta is within an hours drive of the Bay Area, yet you will feel you are in a different world.

The Delta is formed by the confluence of two major California rivers; the Sacramento and the San Joaquin, and covers some 500,000 acres in the central part of the state. It is home to 225 species of birds, 54 fish species, and 52 species of mammals. The Delta produces some $2 billion in annual crop revenue.

You can spend years exploring the 1,000 miles of local waterways by boat. If you travel by car, motorcycle, or bicycle, there are hundreds of miles of back roads, villages, and towns to visit.

You can ride on some of the only remaining ferry boats in California. Bird watching, wine tasting, local museums, antique shops, and art galleries are but a few of the points of interest you will encounter.

The Delta is also noted for it’s excellent fishing and duck hunting. The Rio Vista Bass Festival attracts 15,000 fishermen and friends each year It has been in existence.

Unfortunately, all is not well in this treasure we call “The Heart of California”. The State Water Project and the Central Valley Project divert much of the Delta water to Central and Southern California. The lower water flows in the Delta caused by the diversions have contributed to the decline in fish populations and proliferation of invasive plants that have clogged waterways over the last few decades.

Now with the administration’s plans to divert the Sacramento River around the Delta via twin 40 foot diameter tunnels, it is possible that what is left of the Delta will be destroyed.

Many local grass roots organizations have banded together to fight the project and the Environmental Protection Agency wrote a scathing letter to the National Marine Fisheries Service which has sent the California Natural Resource Agency back to the drawing board to modify the plan to make it less harmful to the estuary.

We are hopeful that the tunnels will never be built and that water flows will be restored to a level that will be beneficial to the native fish and plant life. With a finite water supply and an ever increasing population, California needs to look at ways of creating new water – not reallocating it from one area to another.


Bill Wells is the Executive Director of the California Delta Chambers & Visitor’s Bureau and has been active in the fight to preserve and protect the California Delta. He served for two plus years on the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) public meeting panel and is currently a member of the Delta Protection Commission Advisory Committee.

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Call or write today for all your
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John J. O’Dell Realtor® GRI
O’Dell Realty
(530) 263-1091
EMail John O’Dell
BRE#00669941

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Nevada Irrigation Districts Lakes and Canals have Unusal Titles

Scotts  Flat Reservoir. Picture taken from my deck. John J. O'Dell

Scotts Flat Reservoir. Picture taken from my deck. John J. O’Dell

How’s the water out there in Wiskey Diggins Canal? Was the Fiddler Green Canal titled after an early day musician? Did you ever wonder how the DSL Canal was named?

The names of water storage and distribution facilities throughout NID are colorful and unusual but, unfortunately, the origination of many of them has been lost through the years.

Many facilities are named for builders, such as Faucherie Reservoir, or for the geographic areas they serve, such as Bald Hill or Pet Hill canals.

Of course, many lakes and canals carry names that are rooted in the area’s rich mining history.

The DS Canal is the lowest elevation of the two NID canals crossed by Red Dog and Banner Lava Cap roads near Nevada City. It was built by NID in 1927-28 to carry water from Lower Scotts Flat into the Nevada City-Grass Valley area.  The DS Canal follows the south side of Deer Creek, hence DS for Deer Creek South. If NID had followed through with an initial plan for a canal on the north side, we would today have the DN Canal.

How Scott Flat was named is unclear, but it is widely understood that it was due to the Scottish miners who lived and worked there in the 1850’s and 1860’s.  Schools once stood near what is now the campground on the north side of the lake.

Rollins Reservoir was named for J.L. Rollins, manager of the Bear River Water and Power Co., the company from which NID acquired the land to build the reservoir.

NID’s first modern water treatment plan, the Elizabeth L. George plant on Banner Mountain, opened in 1969 and was named after the long time community leader who helped gain funding for its construction.

In the high country, Faucherie Reservoir, built prior to 1880, was named after a French engineer who worked for the Eureka Lake & Yuba Canal Co.  “The French must have had a strong influence because French Lake, located upstream of Faucherie and constructed in 1857-59 was originally called Eureka Lake and later changed to French Lake,” wrote NID retiree Terry Mayfield who documented much of the district’ history during his 34 years with the district.

One of NID’s most historic canals is reputed to be the first mining canal in the state.  The Rough & Ready Canal was begun in 1850 as the first effort to build a large-scale mining ditch in California.

According to the Thompson & West History of Nevada County, “a man named Moore commenced to dig one from Deer Creek above Nevada City to Rough and Ready. The magnitude of the undertaking astounded the miners and they thought Moore was a lunatic, but he persevered until he had completed one mile, and then abandoned the enterprise.”

Moore’s project was taken over by a company in 1851 and by 1854 the canal to Rough & Ready was complete. NID took over the canal in 1925 as part of a water system acquired from the old Excelsior Water & Power Co.  Portions of the 13-mile-long Rough and Ready & Ready Canal remain in use today.

Source: Nevada Irrigation District newsletter Volume 35 Number 4 Winter 2014/2015

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John J. O’Dell Realtor® GRI
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Home Sales Off to a Bumpy Start in 2015

Photo courtesy of http://www.funnyautos.com/funny-mobile-home.html

Photo courtesy of http://www.funnyautos.com/funny-mobile-home.html

Existing-home sales dropped in January to the lowest rate in nine months, according to the National Association of REALTORS®’ latest housing report. All regions across the country saw declines in sales in January, with the Northeast and West posting the largest losses.

Still, the pace of sales was higher than a year ago – at a 4.82 million seasonally adjusted annual rate remains up 3.2 percent compared to a year ago.

“January housing data can be volatile because of seasonal influences, but low housing supply and the ongoing rise in home prices above the pace of inflation appeared to slow sales, despite interest rates remaining near historic lows,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “REALTORS® are reporting that low rates are attracting potential buyers, but the lack of new and affordable listings is leading some to delay decisions.”

5 Stats to Gauge the Market

Here’s a closer look at where the housing market stands, based on NAR’s existing-home sales report for January.

1. Inventory: Total housing inventory at the end of January rose 0.5 percent to 1.87 million existing homes available but sale. Unsold inventory is at a 4.7-month supply at the current sales pace.

2. Home prices: The median existing-home price for all housing types was $199,600 – 6.2 percent above year ago levels. “Although sales cooled in January, home prices continued solid year-over-year growth,” Yun notes. “The labor market and economy are markedly improved compared to a year ago, which supports stronger buyer demand. The big test for housing will be the impact on affordability once rates rise.”

3. Distressed sales: Foreclosures and short sales comprised 11 percent of sales in January, down 15 percent from a year ago. Broken out, 8 percent of sales in January were from foreclosures and 3 percent were short sales. The average discount that a foreclosure sold at was 15 percent below market value, while short sales were discounted, on average, 12 percent.

4. Days on the market: Properties tended to stay on the market slightly longer in January – 69 days compared to 66 days in December. Short sales remained on the market the longest at a median of 128 days, while foreclosures tended to sell in 63 days. Overall, 30 percent of homes sold in January were on the market for less than a month.

5. Cash sales: All-cash sales made up 27 percent of transactions in January, down from 33 percent a year ago. Individual investors, who account for the bulk of cash sales, purchased 17 percent of homes in January, below the 20 percent in January 2014.

Regional Breakdown

Here’s a closer look at existing-home sales in January across the country:

  • Northeast: existing-home sales dropped 6 percent to an annual rate of 630,000. Sales are 3.3 percent above a year ago. Median price: $247,800, up 2.7 percent from a year ago
  • Midwest: existing-home sales fell 2.7 percent to an annual level of 1.08 million in January. Sales are still 0.9 percent above January 2014 levels. Median price: $151,300, up 8.2 percent from a year ago
  • South: existing-home sales dropped 4.6 percent to an annual rate of 2.07 million in January, but are still 5.6 percent above year ago levels. Median price: $171,900, up 7.4 percent from a year ago
  • West: existing-home sales fell 7.1 percent to an annual rate of 1.04 million in January, but are still 1 percent above a year ago. Median price: $291,800, up 7.2 percent from a year ago

Source: National Association of REALTORS®

John J. O’Dell Realtor® GRI
O’Dell Realty
(530) 263-1091
EMail John O'Dell
BRE#00669941

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Nevada County Fair – August 6 – 10, 2015

Photo courtesy of Nevada County Fair

Photo courtesy of Nevada County Fair

Five days of fun in Grass Valley

It’s Fair season, and the Nevada County Fair, happening August 6 – 10, has five days of “Simply Fun” planned for Fair-goers of all ages. Held under the shade of the tall pine trees in Grass Valley, the Nevada County Fair is the perfect opportunity to listen to musical entertainment, eat delicious food, enjoy carnival rides and games, visit barns full of animals, and see thousands of community exhibits – all in a community-friendly environment.

While visiting the Fair, zip line across The Green, check out the sky diver flying into the arena during the rodeo, try your hand at gold panning, walk in a water balloon, see baby chicks hatch in the embryology display, watch the Fair’s Family Feud competition, or listen to Mogollon’s music as they celebrate 20 years of performing at the Nevada County Fair. Or, how about visiting Circus Imagination, where children become instant stars by being selected from the audience, put in costume, and then performing in a spontaneous circus for the crowd.

Long-time crowd pleasing events will soar into the Fair’s arena Wednesday through Sunday evening. There’s the Flying U Extreme Rodeo happening on Wednesday and Thursday evening; while Friday and Saturday night features Tuff Trucks and Monster Trucks. On Sunday, the ever-popular Destruction Derby returns to the arena. All arena events begin at 7 pm.

Enjoy ongoing, musical entertainment at one of the outdoor stages. This year features a variety of music – pop rock, country rock, traditional country, Chicago-style blues, jazz, traditional and contemporary bluegrass, rockabilly dance, and rock and roll. Barbershop quartets, hula dancing and dancers, and Nevada County’s Concert Band will also be featured on the various stages.

For more fun, enter one of the special contests held daily in the Special Events tent. There’s a Cell Phone Photo Scavenger Hunt, an Instagram contest, Field Games, Kids Duct Tape Art Challenge, a Yo-Yo Contest, a Scrapbook Page Layout Contest, “Minute to Win It” fun, a Diaper Derby, a Just Dance Contest, and nightly karaoke. No pre-registration required – just show up and have fun. Details for contests are available on the Fair’s website.

A visit to the Fair wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Treat Street. It is here that you’ll find an array of delicious foods and drinks – pasties, tacos, corn on the cob, beer, tempura zucchini, baked potatoes, nachos, hamburgers, corn dogs, caramel corn, and more – all while supporting local, non-profit organizations.

For best deals, purchase your tickets before the Fair begins. Tickets are on sale now and advanced sale discounts are available through August 5 at 5 pm. To purchase tickets, visit NevadaCountyFair.com, stop by the Fair Office, or call the Fair Office.

Join us at this year’s Nevada County Fair, August 6 – 10, and find out why we’ve been voted as the “Best Community Event” for 12 years in a row. The Nevada County Fairgrounds is located at 11228 McCourtney Road in Grass Valley. For a list of daily activities, event details, tickets, or general information, visit www.NevadaCountyFair.com or call (530) 273-6217.

Live in Nevada County? Call or email today
for a your free home market anaylsis

John J. O’Dell Realtor® GRI
O’Dell Realty
(530) 263-1091
Email John

BRE#00669941

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