Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Solano County Fair helps itself as it helps nonprofits

By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen
Posted: 05/04/2010 01:48:55 AM PDT

Every Solano County city will be strutting its stuff at this year's fair as the annual event moves back to its roots, a spokeswoman said Monday.

All cities will have an "exposition style" booth at the fair, entitled Join The Fun, fair spokeswoman Debbie Egidio said.

Also new this year is a way for any Solano County tax exempt organization to sell fair tickets and help themselves raise funds in the process, Egidio said.

Any Solano County nonprofit can get its own unique Promotional Code by requesting one at mpassey@scfair.org
and including certain information, she said.

Then, anyone buying tickets and carnival wristbands at SCFair.com
, can use that code, generating an added discount and money to the organization, she said.

"The organization gets the difference between the regular price and the promotion price," Egidio said. "It's pretty exciting. It's the first time we've been able to give back to the community in this way."

Fair officials suggest participating organizations spread the word in newsletters, e-mail blasts, on their websites or in mailings.

The city booths will highlight what each city has to offer, Egidio said.

"I'm sure there will be some friendly competition between the cities, because everyone has pride in their city, but there will be no official competition," Egidio said.

The idea was born out of a desire to take the fair back to its local origins, she said.

"They were brainstorming ways to bring something unique and special, and we really wanted to focus on Solano County, and what better way than to have the cities focus on themselves?" Egidio said.

In other fairgrounds-related news, county supervisors today will consider several matters related to the area's development.

The supervisors will consider approving agreements with Brooks Street, SWA Group and the city of Vallejo for the entitlement phase of the so-called Solano360 Fairgrounds Project.

This would move forward the plan to develop the fairgrounds to include retail, housing, commercial areas, a water feature and walking trails, while maintaining the annual county fair site, Supervisor Linda Seifert said.

In February, the supervisors approved an updated agreement with Vallejo and the Vallejo Redevelopment Agency regarding the project.

The process for environmental documents is included in this next step.

"I think there are community concerns, which I'll listen to," said Seifert, who represents Benicia and part of Vallejo. "No one knows what information will be revealed by the closer look we're asking for. But we want a realistic assessment of the plan, so that when the economy turns around, and such a project is viable, we know the proposed vision for the fairgrounds is the right one."

Contact staff writer Rachel Raskin-Zrihen at (707) 553-6824 or rzrihen@timesheraldonline.com