|Chico ER & Oroville MR: Butte County wins State Fair gold medal|
SACRAMENTO "Just up the Road", Butte County's cultural tourism theme hit the jackpot with California State Fair judges at this year's annual Counties Exhibits, featured at the California State Fair, which opened Friday and will continue through Labor Day, Sept. 4.
"We never really know what's going to impress the judges," said Butte County Cultural Tourism Director Debra Lucero, "but we just keep plugging away at exposing the natural beauty, agricultural adventures, heritage, arts and culture of our region. We want people to understand the extended outdoor experiences, cultural richness and history Butte County has to offer."
A touring vehicle dubbed the Butte Mobile featured two tourists whose heads bobbled up and down with the motion of the vehicle. In addition to this creative animation, cutouts that rotated up and down featured a bird watcher (highlighting Gray Lodge); a mountain bike rider; boats that circled on top of Oroville Dam (the tallest earthen dam in America); a Butte County artist with a paint brush; an olive oil producer; and finally rice plants that appeared to be growing.
The multi-layered exhibit was built by Richard Bay, who works in the theater department of California State University, Sacramento.
Bay is responsible for the construction of the booth, while Lucero works with him on content and theme. "This year, the painting of the booth was as beautiful as any I have ever seen," Lucero said. She credits this to Chico trained artist Roger Landerman, 53, who now lives in Yolo and has worked for Bay for several years as a paint designer.
With only $5,000 to construct the booth, the budget is always tight, Lucero said, explaining the monies come out of the county's general fund. Local businesses help with cash and product donations. It's a challenge to go up against the larger counties -- some of whom spend upwards of $150,000 on their booths," she said.
Historical ag highlights featured the Bayliss Ranch in Biggs, which dates back to 1865 when wheat was grown (during Abe Lincoln's era) and was then switched to rice to feed the growing Chinese immigrant labor population; to product from Lundberg Family Farms in Richvale; tomato products from Mooney Farms; wines from local vintners; olive oil, and apple products from Noble Orchards in Paradise.
Bidwell Park, Cherokee, Table Mountain, Feather Falls and various other Butte County attractions are highlighted.
The exhibit also features a glass vase filled with various nuts, provided by Golden West Nuts. Fair-goers can guess the number of nuts to win tickets to the upcoming cooking demonstration at the California Nut Festival. In addition, the Sierra Oro Farm Trail is giving away passport weekend tickets Sept. 30-Oct. 1, while the City of Chico's Artoberfest Arts & Cultural campaign is partnering with Cory's Country Inn to give away an overnight stay during its kick-off Chico Palio event on Sept. 30 or during the month of October.