GRASS VALLEY, Calif. June 9, 2024 - Talk about commitment. Camping out in a parking lot over the weekend to be among the lucky ones to get tickets. No, not concert tickets, but campsite reservations during the Nevada County Fair. That's what's happening at the Nevada County Fairgrounds right now.

The line at the Fairgrounds on June 9, 2024

The long line of 4H and FFA parents are waiting for the Fairgrounds office to open tomorrow morning. Some of them have been in the parking lot since Saturday and all came prepared. BBQ, board and lawn games, comfy camping chairs abound.

“Yes, it's kinda crazy, but come August it'll be great to have a campsite,” one of the parents said, laughing. Having arrived “late,” meaning today, their setup was towards the end of the line.

Further up the line, another parent explained, “Not having to drive 25 miles from home every day makes a big difference. We can be here bright and early, no waiting in traffic and the kids love being close to their animals.”

The FFA and 4H kids are exhibiting their animals throughout the Fair, with the Junior Livestock Auction one of the highlights on closing day. That means the livestock and small animals spend days at the Fairgrounds and need tending.

The mood was great, parents were happy to chat about their weekend.

“It's so much easier to just walk over to the barn at 6 am and take care of the animals. It's well worth spending a weekend in the parking lot.”

“We get to meet parents and kids we'll be spending Fairweek with. This is a way to get to know them.”

“We got here early Saturday. No, we're not first in line but pretty close. I just wish they'd open the bathrooms.”

“Online reservations would be great, maybe next year?”

“Dinner's ready, want a plate?”

The 2024 Nevada County Fair takes place August 7 – 11 and the Competition handbook is available now.