By Wendy Oakes
Butch Butler, along with Art and Ann Grosse, have been named to the Nevada County Fair’s Hall of Fame. The Fair’s Board of Directors recognized the individuals for their long-time support and dedication to the Nevada County Fair.
Butch Butler, CEO and President of Butler Amusement, helped start Butler Amusement in 1970 with his parents. At the time of his death in December 2011, he was the company’s CEO and President, and had contracted with more than 100 festivals and fairs, including the Nevada County Fair. During his lifetime, Butch made significant improvements to carnival ride safety and game legislation in California. He was a member of the Western Fairs Association’s Hall of Fame, and past president of Showmen’s League of America & Showfolks of America, and the Pacific Coast Showmen’s Association.
In nominating Butch, the Fair Board recognized Butler Amusements’ great partnership with the Nevada County Fair. They applauded Butch for his leadership in the fair industry; his mentoring; and his generosity, as evidenced by his contributions to the Junior Livestock Auction as well as his capital investment contributions.
“Butch has always been a great friend to the Nevada County Fair,” said Sandy Woods, CEO of the Nevada County Fair. “He will be missed within the Fair industry, and especially by the Nevada County Fair team. We are honored to be able to recognize him in this manner.”
Jill Moyer, Butch’s daughter, explains her father’s love for the Nevada County Fair. “My father loved the Nevada County Fair – especially the trees at the Fairgrounds, and the challenge of placing the correct ride into the center of a group of trees, as if it was also grown there. He also valued his relationships at the Fair – the partnerships with Sandy Woods and Ed Scofield were more of a friendship than a business relationship, and he loved and respected both Sandy and Ed. Our family is honored that our father has been chosen for the Hall of Fame. He would have taken great pride in this honor.”
Butch is the father of five children, and had 10 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren.
Ann and Art Grosse are being recognized for the their time and commitment to the Nevada County Fairgrounds, particularly during the annual Country Christmas Faire held each November, where they have served as Santa and Mrs. Claus for the past 26 years.
“We’ve been doing this for so long, we now see the children of the children who used to visit us when we first started,” laughs Art. When asked what made them return each year, Art says without hesitation – the children! “We’ve love the children – listening to them and their requests each year. More often than not, children would ask for something for their parents or siblings or friends, instead of something for themselves. It’s quite heart-warming.”
The Grosses live in Rough and Ready, and are both active with the Rough and Ready Chamber of Commerce, where Ann is a member and Art is on the Board of Directors. Art also serves as Chairman of the Board for the Rough and Ready Volunteer Fire District. They have been married for 51 years, and have three children, five grandchildren, and nine great grandchildren. Art proudly reports that all of their grandchildren, with the exception of their seven-week-old great grandchild, have sat on their laps as Santa and Mrs. Claus at the Christmas Faire.
“Art and Ann have unselfishly dedicated 26 years to bringing the joy and magic of Christmas to thousands of boys and girls,” said Sandy Woods. “They have been great examples of the importance of inspiring a child’s hopes and dreams, particularly during the magical Christmas season.”
Butler and the Grosses will be formally inducted into the Hall of Fame at opening day ceremonies on Wednesday, August 8. Butch’s daughter, Jill, will accept the award on behalf of her father.
The 2012 Nevada County Fair is August 8 – 12. For more information, visit Nevada County Fair.com or call (530) 273-6217.
Facebook: Nevada County Fairgrounds
Nevada County Fair August 8 – 12, 2012
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Halloween at the Fairgrounds October 27, 2012
Country Christmas Faire November 23 – 25, 2012
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