- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
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!
- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
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.