Kids and Bugs Go Well Together: Check Out the Dixon May Fair

Kids and bugs go well together.

Take the entries in Today's Youth Building at the 143rd annual Dixon May Fair, which opened Thursday, May 10 and continues through Sunday, May 13.

Some of the exhibitors focused on honey bees, butterflies, dragonflies, and bumble bees--and some ventured out of the insect arena and into spider territory.

  • Bianca Currey, 8, of Dixon, wowed the judges with a dragonfly drawing, a blue-ribbon winner. She does crafts projects with the Dixon Grange.
  • Beekeeper Ryan Anenson, 16, of the Tremont 4-H Club, Dixon, won a blue ribbon for his close-up photograph of a honey bee.
  • Jake Vinum, 15, of Vacaville, scored a blue ribbon for his wall hanging, titled "Horseshoe Spider," cleverly crafted with a horseshoe and "spider legs."
  • Khole Cahoon, 13, of Vacaville tempted the judges' sweet tooth with a chocolate ganache cupcakes, decorated with bees. The prize: a blue ribbon.
  • Riley Mark, 13, of Fairfield, created a colorful butterfly drawing, garnering a red ribbon.

And then there were all the bumble bee pillows entered by Solano County 4-H'ers. The colors and creativity came through.

Beekeeper Francis Agbayani, 12, of the Vaca Valley 4-H Club, Vacaville, went one step farther by displaying his 4-H project, "Don't Bee Making Mistakes," a blue-ribbon winner. He touched on:

  • Starting with only one hive
  • Judging the health of a colony based on "bee traffic"
  • Opening the hive too often
  • Failing to identify a hive without a queen
  • Harvesting honey too early
  • Harvesting too much honey

Building superintendent Stephanie Hill of Yuba City and assistant building superintendent Pat Connelly of Vacaville expressed delight at all the talent.

Speaking of insects, if you want to see insect specimens and live insects at the Dixon May Fair, the Bohart Museum of Entomology at UC Davis will be staffing a table in the Floriculture Building on Friday, May 11 from 2 to 8 p.m., (entomologist Jeff Smith) and on Saturday, May 12 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Bohart associate Brennen Dyer, undergraduae student).  Fairgoers can not only view the insect specimens but handle and photograph the permanent residents of the live "petting zoo," which includes such insects as Madagascar hissing cockroaches and walking sticks, but also tarantulas (spiders).

The four-day Dixon May Fair, themed "Home Grown Fun," opened Thursday, May 10 at 4 p.m. and concludes at 10 p.m. on Mother's Day, Sunday, May 13. Also known as the  36th District Agricultural Association Fair, it's located at 655 S. First St.. Hours are from 4 to 10 p.m. on Thursday; noon to 11 p.m. on Friday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday, and from noon to 10 p.m. on Sunday. 

The fair is the oldest district fair and fairgrounds in California, according to chief administrative officer Patricia Conklin. It is linked closely with  the communities of Dixon, Vacaville, Fairfield, Rio Vista, Elmira, Woodland and Davis.