The Adventure Continues… El Dorado County Fair
This summer has not been a good one when it comes to wildfires, not only here in California, but unfortunately all around the world. This morning part of my sadness comes from the fact that a beautiful area I’ve very recently visited and enjoyed hiking and photographing has become ground zero for our region’s latest forest fire — El Dorado County near Pollock Pines and Jenkinson Lake.
One thing I especially love about driving east into the mountains on Highway 50 is that just as I reach Pollock Pines, the fresh piney scent of evergreen forest washes over me — and it’s nothing like the fake stuff available at the store! Every single time, without fail, I take in a deep breath and fervently wish there was a way to bottle it and carry it home with me.
With all this in mind, today I’ve chosen to highlight an episode from Huell’s Golden Fairs series celebrating the El Dorado County Fair, located in Placerville. It’s held on Father’s Day weekend and in the same location for the past 80 years. I must admit I’ve never visited this fair, but I first learned about the history of the Studebaker company and the county fair’s wheelbarrow race in one of my absolute favorite episodes of California’s Gold, which I wrote about back in May 2017. This episode dates from 2011, and it’s hard to believe that 20 years has already gone by, but the fun-loving spirit of El Dorado County’s small mountain communities lives on. Here’s hoping for better days in the future for all of us.
Huell travels to Placerville to attend the El Dorado County Fair which is filled with all the wonderful food, rides, games and happy fairgoers that you would expect, but the big “event” is the John Studebaker Wheelbarrow Race where hardy contestants drag wheelbarrows through a chaotic obstacle course filled with water and mud. There is a rich history to this madness, as the Studebaker car company got its start in Placerville where John Studebaker made wheel barrows for the early gold miners before moving onto wagons and eventually cars.