MARIPOSA, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – The Mariposa County Fair has been a yearly tradition and has welcomed all into its fairgrounds to celebrate agriculture and local vendors since 1939.

While the fair took place in 2022, it came less than a month after the Oak Fire was completely contained on August 10.

The fair wrapped up for the year on Monday, as free admission was offered to all, as residents came over to celebrate the event that helped to bring the community together.

The fair had it all, from the livestock to the vendors, the rides, games, food, and so much more.

“We were driving by and we saw it,” said Daniel Jensen, a Sacramento County resident. “We were at Yosemite all weekend, we saw it, we have four little boys, we thought let’s stop in. And we love it so far.”

The 2023 edition of the fair was a nice return to normalcy after many witnessed the inferno in 2022.

“Last year was pretty stressful. People had to evacuate, they lost their houses, so they had to move their animals. And that’s really stressful for the animals. So, we weren’t really sure how last year’s was gonna turn out. It ended up being okay,” said Bella Twiss, the president of Mariposa Unified Schools’ Future Farmers of America. “And this year, without that stress, it was really nice,” she said.

Twiss says that less stressful environment resulted in a great fair, one where she and her classmates were able to show off all they had learned.

“We raise our animals just for the fair. And as the president, I really get the ability and the opportunity to spread awareness of agriculture, both in my community and surrounding communities,” she said.

Ag is a major theme of the fair, one which Twiss and others say has played a big role in keeping spirits high.

Outsiders could only agree.

“I can’t think of a better way to foster community than to have something like this. Especially if there’s been tragedy and especially if it’s been difficult for the community. You gotta let people come and see each other face to face and enjoy an event like this,” said Jensen.

Those unable to catch the fair this year will have an opportunity to attend when it returns for its 85-year anniversary in 2024.