If Happiness Is a Butterfly...Check Out the Solano County Fair Exhibits

Jul 28, 2017

If happiness is seeing a butterfly, then a visit to McCormack Hall during the annual Solano County Fair, Vallejo, Aug. 2-6, will make you absolutely ecstatic.

We recently watched McCormack Hall superintendent Gloria Gonzalez of Vallejo, and her crew set up the exhibits in preparation for the crowds that will flow through the building next week.

Butterflies appear in many of the entries, including quilts, vests, needlework, paintings, photographs, and arts and crafts. As the crew worked, a butterfly fluttered through the open door, hovered over a display table, and then fluttered out. An omen?

One of the eye-opening, jaw-dropping displays is a butterfly-themed quilt made by LaQuita Tummings of Rodeo. Judges wrote, in part: "Wow, incredible design!" Indeed it is!

"We look forward to seeing her work every year," said Gonzalez, who is serving her fourth year as superintendent. She's a longtime community leader of the Sherwood Forest 4-H Club, based in Vallejo and Benicia. Her McCormack Hall assistants include former 4-H'er Ian Mayhew, 12, of American Canyon, a seventh grader at Napa River Middle School, and his mother, Iris Mayhew.  

The adult division exhibits include a colorful vest of brilliant blossoms and majestic butterflies, sewn by Linda Douthit of Fairfield, a veteran seamstress, 4-H leader and longtime exhibitor. Laura Ryan of Vallejo entered her intricate needlework showcasing bees and blossoms; you can almost hear the bees buzz. Tina Waycie, Vallejo,  is showing her quilling (paper arts); the attention to detail is amazing. In adult collections, Joanne Dalton of Vallejo, entered her case of 93 thimbles, and yes, a butterfly motif adorns one of them.

In the youth division, Gabriel Lang of Fairfeld, entered her monarch-dominated diorama in the 5-8 age group in the science and education category, and Rhesa Scarpase of Vallejo, submitted a monarch painting in the 11-13 age group. Future lepitopderists? Maybe! If not, definitely monarch enthusiasts!

Theme of this year's Solano County Fair, established in 1949,  is "This Fair's for Ewe." The grounds are located at 900 Fairgrounds Drive, Vallejo. Directors of the Solano County Fair Association, appointed by the Solano County Board of Supervisors, aim for a "positive experience for the public" through "educational, cultural, artistic, commercial and recreational programs."

The fair is open from from 3 to 11 p.m., Wednesday through Friday, and from noon to 11 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. The schedule and ticket prices are listed on the fair website, but note the three free admission days:

  • Seniors' Day: Free admission all day on Wednesday, Aug. 2 or seniors 60 and better
  • Kids'  Day: Free admission all day on Thursday, Aug. 3 for kids ages 12 and under
  • Military and First Responders Appreciation Day: Free admission all day on Friday, Aug. 4 for military, law enforcement, firefighters and their dependents

When you go, be sure to look for the monarchs in McCormack Hall. If you're lucky, a butterfly--maybe a monarch, Gulf Fritillary or Western tiger swallowtail--will flutter into the building.

Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you. --Nathaniel Hawthorne