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Intermountain Fair Opens Thursday

For some Shasta County residents, the “county fair” is not the Shasta District Fair that occurs in Anderson every June. No, it’s the very folksy, agriculture-intensive Intermountain Fair in McArthur every Labor Day weekend.

The Intermountain Fair begins its five-day run this Thursday, September 1, at the fairgrounds on Highway 299 in far eastern Shasta County. Despite its remote location, the Intermountain Fair attracts upwards of 30,000 people every year, making it by far the biggest annual event in the Fall River Valley. The fair serves as a gathering place for people who live in small towns of Shasta, Lassen, Modoc and Siskiyou counties, as well as for “big city” types from Redding who might not even own a pair of real boots.

The fair officially runs from noon to 10 p.m. on Thursday through Sunday, although the grounds open earlier every day. Both admission and parking are free on opening day and on Monday. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, admission costs $6 for adults, and $4 for kids 6 to 11 and seniors 60-plus. Seniors get in for free on Friday (Senior Day).

Thursday’s featured attraction is Travelin’ Band, a Creedence Clearwater Revival tribute band, which takes the main stage at 7 p.m. for a free show. On Friday, truck pulls and the daredevils of freestyle motocross are the big attraction at 7 p.m. Saturday’s action gets started early, as the roping competition begins at 8 a.m. Bull riding is the evening’s top draw at 6 p.m.  Sunday begins with a parade at noon; a destruction derby is scheduled for 7 p.m. On Monday, everyone focuses on the junior livestock auction, which starts at 9 a.m. There is an extra charge of $10 to $14 for tickets to Friday’s truck pulls and motocross action, Saturday’s bull riding, and Sunday’s destruction derby.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening all conclude with a “street dance” and live music. For further information, call the fair at (530) 336-5635.

On today’s A La Carte menu:

 • Love him or hate him … As comments to Phil Fountain’s recent cartoon indicate, Kent Dagg is a guy who evokes strong opinions. I don’t know why Dagg lost his job with the Shasta Builders Exchange, but I do know that local construction activity continues to be extremely slow for reasons that have nothing to do with Dagg or the builders exchange. In the months of June and July combined, only 11 new housing units received permits in all of Shasta County, according to the California Building Industry Association, and there were only 69 housing starts permitted during the first seven months of 2011. That is about half of Shasta County’s total for the same period in 2010, which itself was an extremely slow year. The numbers are aren’t much better anywhere in the state. “Builders are still competing with a glut of foreclosed and distressed properties while buyers are sitting on the sidelines due to tight lending restrictions and the current climate of economic uncertainty,” said Mike Winn, president and CEO of the building association.

• Paper recognizes unrecognized tribe … It’s not often that you see a Redding dateline in the Christian Science Monitor, one of the great national news outlets in the United States. However, a recent Monitor story about the plight of American Indian tribes that are unrecognized by the federal government focused on the Winnemem Wintu. The tribe’s people once lived along the McCloud and Sacramento rivers in and northeast of Redding, including on land now submerged by Lake Shasta. Their story is not a happy one.

• Ask for the day off … The Shasta Family Justice Center is celebrating its first anniversary in about the best way I can imagine – with a golf tournament! The fund-raising event is scheduled for September 16 at River Tasalmi (formerly River Bend) Golf Club in Redding. Organizers have a whole cartload of prizes available for duffers. Learn more or get signed up at the center’s website.

Paul Shigley is a freelance journalist based in Western Shasta County, CA, and not a contender in the long drive contest. He may be reached at pauls.anewscafe@gmail.com.

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