Sneak Peak at a Couple of Solano County Fair Entries

A sneak peak at a couple of Solano County Fair entries...think insects!

The COVID-19 pandemic derailed fairs and festivals, but now they're back on track.

Take the 73rd annual Solano County Fair, themed "Bales of Fun." Located at 900 Fairgrounds Drive, Vallejo, it opens June Thursday through Sunday, June 16-19, and gate admission is free.  Headed by president Lee Williams of Rio Vista, the board of directors includes Valerie Williams of Vacaville, better known as "Mrs. Solano County 4-H." In fact, Valerie has served tirelessly for some 25 years as the Solano County 4-H program representative. The 4-H program is part of the University of California's Agriculture and Natural Resources or UC ANR.

Our favorite part of the fair? The exhibits at McCormack Hall, particularly those that are insect-themed.

One entry, by talented photographer Matthew Agbayani, 17, of the Vaca Valley 4-H Club, Vacaville, shows a syrphid fly and a honey bee sharing a sunflower. It takes a special kind of patience to be able to capture two species on the same flower. 

Many folks mistake syrphid flies, aka hover flies or hover flies, for honey bees. They're both pollinators.

Three of the easiest ways to differentiate a fly from a bee:

  • A fly has one set of wings. A bee has two sets.
  • A fly has short, stubby antennae. A honey bee doesn't.
  • A fly has no corbicula or pollen basket. A honey bee (worker bee) does.

Among the other insect-themed displays: Rio Vista resident Richard Laswell's exquisite watercolor depicting three dragonflies that he entered in the amateur art division; and Vallejo resident Ashley Workman's  colorful blue butterfly (oils and acrylics) that she entered in open art division.  

Art by Iris Mayhew of American Canyon also caught our eye. She drew inspiration from a safari in Kenya.  "I love animals," she said. That includes monarchs and Gulf Fritillaries. She'll be depicting them next.