Fine-Tuning the Fair: Foothill Fibers Guild

The Foothill Fibers Guild (California) has a long history of demonstrating and exhibiting at the Nevada County Fair to help educate the public about fibers and textiles. Volunteer committee members have developed and refined procedures designed to provide fairgoers a rewarding experience each year. A key element to their success is their reflection immediately after the fair to make plans for the next one. The fine-tuning this year included the following ideas: replace the Fair Theme Award for their category with a People's Choice Award; relabel their category in the fair book from "Wool" to "Wool, Fibers, and Textile Design" to encompass the wide variety of fibers and skills displayed; request that handspun entries include a sample of the fiber on a card so viewers appreciate the transformation into yarn; and purchase props specifically for the event that can be placed on a pallet, shrink wrapped, and stored for the next year. The purchase of an inexpensive, sturdy wheel to use as hands-on equipment for people asking to try out a spinning wheel at the fair is being considered. In October, members formed teams for a friendly Fleece to Shawl competition to complement the conference of  the California Alpaca Association. The shawls have a warp with a minimum of 50 percent alpaca fiber, and the weft is 100 percent alpaca fleece. A silent auction of the shawls to the highest bidder benefitted the University of California-Davis Veterinary School.

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