About an hour and a half north of the capital, you’ll find Butte County, the “Land of Natural Wealth and Beauty.” What’s important to this old gold-mining county is staying firmly seated in its rich history and culture, and it shows. You’ll even find remnants of a ghost town there. The county is filled with rivers and streams, and the sixth largest waterfall in the country. Butte’s defined by its majestic countrysides and parkland preserves, and is home to the town of Gridley where the Butte County Fair has been held for three-quarters of a century.

Members of the community pride themselves on their values, and each year their goal is to reflect those values in the Butte County Fair. This is probably one of the friendliest fairs you could possibly attend with its guided choo-choo train, fun events and shows, and of course, fantastic food. We spent the afternoon there on Sunday, and got a glimpse into something more than nostalgic.

Parking at $5.00 and admission at $7.00 each were both very affordable, lending to its long-standing reputation for being a family event. We arrived around 3:30 in the afternoon, and stayed for a few hours. This place was packed with shows, contests, demonstrations, and some of the best smelling food this side of the Mississippi. As we walked through the fair, we noticed that even the food not only smelled great, it was also family-priced. We visited three incredible food vendors, and spent less than $50.

Read about the amazing sausage links, chocolate-dipped cheesecake, and lusty lattes we experienced at the fair in our reviews.

We watched an amazing demonstration by The George Kenny School of Chainsaw Carving – tree trunks sculpted into beautiful art and furniture, completely with a chainsaw. The Indian bust is the end piece of a 2-person bench, and the artist was seen carving a bear. It was absolutely fascinating. Of course, just behind us, the fair was buzzing with the typical carnival games and a packed carnival.


One of the things I love the most about any county fair is all the fun, little challenge games they always have. These two guys were deadly serious about winning a giant teddy bear. And, when I say giant, I mean it was huge. This mega-bear stood 10 feet tall! Unfortunately, I couldn’t get a picture of it, so you’ll have to go next year to win one for yourself!

As a kid, I couldn’t ever get enough of the bumper cars, and these kids sure did bring back some memories. The Butte County Fair was filled from gate to gate with kids, young and old, as well as their families.

New proposed budget cuts could make it difficult for Butte County to hold its fair again next year, but they’re not going down without a fight! The community is banning together to find some creative solutions to their financial shortcomings, and they fully intend to push into their 73rd year without blinking an eye. We wish the fair the best in the coming year – if you’re interested in being a sponsor, visit the Butte County Fair website

Until next year, Butte County! Thanks for the memories!

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About the Author

Chris Ford is the founder of Stitches 'n Dishes and editor in chief with a passion for food, photography and travel. Chris is a Media Correspondent for the Food Network TV show, Eat St, a syndicated blogger, seasoned event organizer and promoter, a food critic, a marketing consultant and Social Media Marketing expert. Chris is also a fashion and entertainment photographer. When he's not dining on the sidewalk, he's snapping photos on the catwalk.