Hamilton will be at the 142nd annual Dixon May Fair on Friday, May 12.
Not the crowd-pleasing Broadway musical, but a crowd-pleasing scorpion named Hamilton, a resident of the UC Davis Bohart Museum of Entomology. He's owned by Bohart Museum associate Wade Spencer, a UC Davis student majoring in entomology.
Spencer will be bringing Hamilton, as well as his scorpion named Celeste, to the Dixon May Fair's Floriculture Building on Friday afternoon for fairgoers to see and photograph (but not to hold; they're venomous).
Throughout the four-day fair, May 11-14, the Bohart Museum will be showcasing 17 drawers of "Oh My" insect specimens in the Floriculture Building. Scientists will be showing live critters and chatting with fairgoers on two days: Friday, May 12 (1 to 6 p.m.) and on Saturday, May 13 (noon to 5 p.m.)
The live critters? They're part of the Bohart Museum's popular "petting zoo," which includes Madagascar hissing cockroaches and walking sticks. Fairgoers can hold and photograph them.
On Saturday, May 13, entomologist and educator Jeff Smith, curator of the butterfly and moth specimens at the Bohart, will be bringing part of his global insect collection of specimens. He and other scientists also will staff the live petting zoo of Madagascar hissing cockroaches and walking sticks on Saturday.
Tabatha Yang, the Bohart Museum's education and outreach coordinator, said the 17 drawers of insect specimens spotlight bees, aquatic insects, camouflaged insects, phasmids/mantids, predators/parasitoids, sexual dimorphism, fly-fishing, entomophagy (consumption of insects and arachnids), common California insect pests, leg diversity (Harlequin beetle as center), wing diversity (moth-based), mimicry, orchid pollinators, Hemiptera/Odonata (think dragonflies), cockroaches, and butterflies.
The Bohart display is just one part of the scores of exhibits in the Floriculture Building, organized by superintendent Dave Hutson of Vacaville, a 10-year UC Master Gardener. Exhibits include colorful bee and butterfly motifs.
Elsewhere on the fairgrounds, exhibitors are showing other insect-themed work, such as the scorpion sculpture crafted by Roberto Ortiz of the Dixon FFA. It's displayed in the Youth Building.
Over in the Livestock Barn, you can see Buggy, owned by Sophia DeTomasi, 10, of the Vaca Valley 4-H Club, Vacaville. Buggy, however, is not an insect--it's a fine-looking 275-pound Berkshire hog that Sophia raised. The origin of the name? Sophia's family fondly calls her "Buggy" and she's passed the moniker on to her 4-H project. Buggy shares a pen with a hog named Bea, raised by Sophia's sister, Toni.
Theme of the 142nd annual Dixon May Fair is "Farm to Fair." It's also known as the 36th Agricultural District, the oldest district fair and fairgrounds in the state of California. The fair supports the communities of Dixon, Vacaville, Fairfield, Rio Vista, Elmira, Woodland and Davis, according to chief executive officer Patricia Conklin. The grounds are located at 655 S. First St., Dixon. (For the schedule of events, access thewebsite.)
The Bohart Museum, founded in 1946 and directed by Lynn Kimsey, UC Davis professor of entomology, is located in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building on Crocker Lane, UC Davis campus. It houses a global collection of nearly eight million insect specimens, plus the live petting zoo and a year-around gift shop. The Bohart Museum is open to the public Mondays through Thursdays.
The theme of the 142nd annual Dixon May Fair set Thursday, May 11 through Sunday, May 14, is "Farm to Fair."
But you could also say: "Bugs to Fair!"
That's because the Bohart Museum of Entomology at the University of California, Davis, will have a presence there, all in the Floriculture Building.
Specimen boxes--the "Oh, My" drawers--will showcase butterflies, dragonflies, beetle and bees. Bohart Museum associate and entomologist Jeff Smith, butterfly and moth curator, will be at the fair all day Saturday to meet with fairgoers, talk about insects, and show his insect specimens, collected from many parts of the world, including Belize.
Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator, and graduate and undergraduate students will be there with live insects, including Madgascar hissing cockroaches and walking sticks "and an arachnid (spider) or two," part of the Bohart's live "petting zoo."
Plans call for the Bohart scientists to be at the fair from 1 to 6 p.m. on Friday, and from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday.
The Bohart Museum, located in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building on Crocker Lane, UC Davis campus, is directed by Lynn Kimsey, professor of entomology. It houses a global collection of nearly eight million insect specimens. It's open to the public Mondays through Thursdays.
The Dixon May Fair (the 36th Agricultural District) is located at 655 S. First St., Dixon. It's the oldest district fair and fairgrounds in the state of California, and supports the communities of Dixon, Vacaville, Fairfield, Rio Vista, Elmira, Woodland and Davis, noted chief executive officer Pat Conklin. More information, including a schedule of events, is on its website.
If you attended the 141st annual Dixon May Fair, held May 5-8, and saw the honey bee display in Madden Hall, you probably heard the buzz.
In keeping with the theme, "Buzzing with Excitement," bees buzzed in the bee observation hives as fairgoers singled out the queen bee, worker bees and drones. Images of bees pollinating almonds graced the walls. Youths in Garry Haddon's beekeeping project in the Vaca Valley 4-H Club, Vacaville, displayed their decorated boxes. A smoker, gloves and beekeepers' suits lined a fence.
The UC Davis E.L. Niño lab, headed by Extension apiculturist Elina Lastro Niño of the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility, Department of Entomology and Nematology, shared beekeeping equipment, facts about bees, pollinator posters (Guess if I'm a pollinator or not?) as well as bee observation hives. They told fairgoers that bees are responsible for a third of the food we eat, and if there were no bees to pollinator our crops, we wouldn't recognize the produce section of our supermarkets. Most of the shelves and bins holding fruits and vegetables would be empty.
Just think about the bees.
The 141st annual Dixon May Fair, California's oldest fair, is "Buzzing with Excitement," and that's the theme of the fair, which opens Thursday, May 5 for a four-day run.
Fairgoers will make a beeline for Madden Hall, the main thematic attraction. A glass bee observation hive from the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility at UC Davis will entice visitors to find the queen, worker bees and drones. In addition, Extension apiculturist Elina Lastro Niño and her fellow Laidlaw facility apiarists are providing beekeeping equipment, informative posters, decorated bee boxes made by the UC Davis Art/Science Fusion Program, and interactive displays, including a pollination poster ("Can you guess if I'm a pollinator?"). The El Niño Bee Lab will answer questions from fairgoers on Thursday and Friday.
Garry Haddon, beekeeping project leader of the Vaca Valley 4-H Club, will showcase his honey as well as decorated bee boxes crafted by his 4-H'ers.
Chief administrative officer Patricia Conklin expects fairgoers to learn a lot about the importance of bees. Meanwhile, the final touches are underway.
In the Interior Living building, superintendent Debee LaMont is surrounded by a display of tasty desserts made with honey, and the proverbial bear ready to partake. Or just take.
Indeed, there's much to see and do at the fair, located at 655 S. First St. It's meant to inform, educate and entertain. Hours are neither "bankers' hours" nor "bee time." It's "people time":
- Thursday, May 5 from 4 to 11 p.m.
- Friday, May 6 from noon to 11 p.m.
- Saturday, May 7 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
- Sunday, May 8 from noon to 11 p.m.
The biggest bargain is Thrifty Thursday Day with everyone five years and older admitted for $5. (Children under five receive free admission.) Check out the website at http://dixonmayfair.com for more information on prices and activities.
Meanwhile, it's good to see the focus on bees!
When the 141st annual Dixon May Fair opens May 5-8, 2016 at 655 S 1st St.,Dixon, the grounds will be buzzing, in keeping with the theme, "Buzzing with Excitement."
The fair is putting the "buzz" in bees and the bees in "buzz."
“As an agricultural-based fair in Solano County, we can never underestimate the role of bees, not only for necessary pollination of our crops, but also with honey as a food source, and beeswax as a byproduct," said chief administrative officer Patricia Conklin. At the same time, the theme incorporates fun.
Bee scientists at the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility, University of California, Davis, will provide expertise and displays, including a bee observation hive and educational information.
Talented graphic artist Steve Dana of Dixon drew the bee-themed fair logo. The colorful logo make you think of animal identity theft. It features horses, cows, pigs, chicken, rabbits, and dogs in the familiar bee attire.
"Creating art for the Dixon May Fair is one of his favorite projects," said Dana, a graphic designer and illustrator at UC Davis for more than 25 years and the owner of a freelance graphic design and illustration business that he launched in 1990. He specializes in publication and logo design as well as cartoon and medical illustrations. Dana has illustrated three children's books with author and fellow Dixon High School graduate, Karen Emigh.
This is the seventh year Dana has created the Dixon May Fair logo. "I've loved the themes each year, " he said, "but this is my favorite so far."
Dana, a lifelong resident of Dixon, where he lives with his wife, Jodi and son and daughter, Eric and Keley, received his bachelor's degree from California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly), San Luis Obispo in 1987. Growing up on a farm just east of Dixon, Dana said he "rode motorcycles and sketched cartoons whenever possible, always wishing that I could be as good as my older brother, Jim."
Art runs in the family. Their parents both "enjoyed various forms of art from acrylic painting to metal sculpture," Dana said. A nephew, Sutton Betti, is a professional sculptor in Colorado.
Meanwhile, it's all about the bees in this Dixon community where agriculture reigns supreme. If agriculture is "king," then "queen" refers to the honey bees.