SACRAMENTO, CA – The official Humboldt County display received a gold medal at the 2014 California State Fair, the second year in a row it has earned such honors in the popular counties exhibition.
The booth, put together by the Humboldt County Convention & Visitors Bureau with assistance from the Humboldt Made business cooperative, showcases a variety of agricultural and related products from the region.
“Given how great our local food, wine and beer products are, I’m not surprised that the judges rewarded us with the gold,” said Tony Smithers, executive director of the Humboldt County Convention & Visitors Bureau, which coordinates the booth each year on behalf of the county.
The prize-winning exhibit, which resembles a historic general store, complete with tasteful displays of local products and an old-time bean counter showing their logos, reflects the theme this year for the counties exhibition, From Our County To Your Table.
“Humboldt makes such a wide variety of products so it was an easy theme for us,” said Dianne Oneto, who with colleague John Queirolo designed the booth for the bureau.
She noted that more than 12,000 of the popular Redwood Coast Map & Guide, the official travel publication of the county, which the bureau produces each spring, had already been given out at the booth as of this week.
Humboldt Made, which does marketing and development for many local products, rallied many of their members to supply the booth with everything from coffee to cheese to beer to bagels.
Kathleen Moxon, executive director of Humboldt Made, thinks the benefits of the exposure will go far beyond the fair. These local products are “ambassadors for our county,” she said. “It’s great that many of these patrons will recognize Humboldt on grocery stores shelves, wherever they may live, after seeing the exhibit.”
Don Banducci, a Humboldt Made board member, was quite pleased with the honor too. “The gold medal recognition for our display is a perfect reflection of what we like to call Humboldt’s ‘rural sophistication.’”
Besides sharing products, the exhibit serves as chance to market the county as a place to visit, Smithers said. Some 800,000 people are expected to visit this year, including many people from outside the state and country.
“When they see our travel guides, with pictures of giant trees, pristine beaches and Victorian masterpieces, they find that the greatest product from Humboldt County is Humboldt itself,” he said.
Visitors to the Sacramento area this week can still enjoy the exhibit and fair, which includes a kids park, carnival rides, live music, a petting zoo, and countless exhibitions showcasing everything from flowers to tractors to livestock to technology. The 17-day event, a California tradition for more than 150 years, runs until Sunday, July 27th at the CalExpo Fairgrounds. For ticket and fair information, visit: www.CaStateFair.org.