NEVADA COUNTY (CBS13) – An annual tradition with rides, games and animals, 16-year-old Sophia Christen spent months getting her steer ready for the county fair, feeding and walking it every day.
“That’s why it was so irritating for me when I heard the fair was canceled because all those hours I spent working him were going to account for absolutely nothing,” Christen said.
With two months to go, officials voted to cancel the Nevada County Fair over coronavirus concerns.
“So it’s not just a money thing and for us, it’s not about money at all,” Eric Christen, Sophia’s father, said. “It’s what it means to those students and everything they put into it.”
Sophia’s father couldn’t just sit by and watch, he spearheaded a community-wide effort to bring the fair back.
“Secondly, our nonprofits locally bring in a million dollars a year in from the fair and they are having that taken away now,” Eric said. “For some of them, that’s about 30 percent of operating budget annually that is taken at the fair and that’s done now and we just said, no, that’s unacceptable.”
“I look up to my dad a lot, and without him, there would have been so many people who wouldn’t have had the chance to show their animals or their projects,” Sophia said.
The Christens held a rally and within days and even hours they had 340 acres donated to them for the location, and they’re going to put on a fair with dozens offering their skillsets – and money.
“We have people that are donating everything from porta-potties to barbecues so the goal is to have a sense of community because we can’t just stay inside our homes month after month after month and pretend we don’t exist amongst each other,” Eric said.
“It made my heart drop to actually see our community come together in person and see how many people have our back in the FFA,” Sophia said.