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Cloverdale Comments - February 2016


Cloverdale Comments - February 2016

by Carol Russell

Come Rain or Shine!

Join us at the 124th Cloverdale Citrus Fair! “There’s a lot to do – indoors and out.” at this historic event that offers us “a hometown” experience says CEO Bonnie Wlodarczky, who’s career with the Fair began 30 years ago. 

Pirates of the Fair’ibbean (each year’s Fair theme is chosen from residents’ suggestions) comes to town Friday, February 12th, through Monday, February 15th ,  bringing the excitement and fun of animals, a parade, contests, shows, music, exhibits, arts and crafts, food and, of course, the Carnival filled with rides, laughter and screams. We hear Pirate Ships will also be in evidence! 

“It’s all about the animals” with Circus Imagination, a tent filed with animal costumes in which kids can dress as their favorite animal and then become the Circus act showing off for an audience of friends and family. This is only one of the free events providing fun for kids while easing their parents’ pocket books.

The Pet Parade, part of the big Citrus Fair Parade down Cloverdale Boulevard to the Fair Grounds on Saturday at 11 a.m., invites kids, with an accompanying parent, to show off their four-legged friends whether goat, dog or maybe even a condescending cat.

The Pygmy Goat Show on Saturday and Sunday is sanctioned by the National Pygmy Goat Association. Broken into 4 age categories from 5 to 18+, those in the Pee Wee category (5-8 years old) get to learn showmanship skills in a show-ring environment. For those as ignorant of pygmy goat jargon as we were, categories include “freshened and non-freshened”--meaning milk producing or not. And, along with goat does and bucks from all over the state, the line-up includes “wethers” – meaning castrated goats. Always something to learn!

Moving on to the carry-in Cavy Show on Sunday. A Cavy is a guinea pig which, of course, did not originate in New Guinea. Nor is it a pig, as one might think. Rather, it’s a South American rodent. These cute little beings are judged, both sows and boars, using the rules for rabbits. (Go figure??) The Poultry Show is on Saturday, while rabbits are in a double show on Sunday, and the Junior Dog Care and Training Show is Monday. Each of these shows includes a category for Pee Wees and Novices (9 plus, no experience). Participants associated with an organization, such as 4-H and Future Farmers of America, must wear their organization’s uniform.

But this wonderfully local fair is for more than kids and animal lovers. Citrus exhibits,  arts and crafts, foods, shows, contests, the Carnival and more are all part of the excitement at the 2016 “Fair-ibbean”. Come one! Come all! Come rain! Come shine! Come to the Fair!!! For information and tickets (special rates available for Pre-sale/Senior Day/Kids Day):; 894-3992; 1 Citrus Fair Dr., Cloverdale. 

Legendary Wine Competition!   

From Barbera to Zinfindel. From independent and boutique winemakers to major producers. Chances are your favorite categories and labels were among an astounding 7,162 wines from 28 states that entered the “2016 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition” held here last month. From its start in 1983 as the Cloverdale Citrus Fair Wine Competition to its 2000 title naming agreement with the historic newspaper that led to its name change, this legendary annual event (brilliantly administered by Bob Fraser and the Fair’s staff plus 125 volunteers!) has attracted famous sponsors and evolved into “the largest competition of American wines in the world.”          

  From buyers to sommeliers. From wine producers and wine critics to professors. During an intense few days, which are not open to the public, 65 renowned judges from across the full spectrum of our nation’s wine industry and related professions met at Citrus Fair headquarters to select the proud medalists whose wines next will be tasted by the public at Ft. Mason in San Francisco on 2/13. For tickets, competition entry information and the winners’ list in every category, see 

  We would especially like to recognize Bonnie Wlodarczyk. She is one of Cloverdale’s  leaders who sets an inspiring example. Bringing the Citrus Fair and Wine Competition into this century while maintaining their traditional local experience demands of Bonnie a deep love and devotion both to them and to our community.