Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds Foundation                Organization of the Year

The Fairgrounds Foundation was presented with the Organization of the Year Award by Pajaro Valley Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture at it’s 58th Annual Awards Dinner in February. Honored for its continued help with essential funding for the amazing and very unique Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds, the foundation makes sure that our Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds and Fair are not only a very rare glimpses back into the past at what county fairs looked like, but also helps with the current up-to-date needs of the community.

The fairgrounds is a vital evacuation site in emergencies not only for people, but for animals which is much needed. It is a community space for large groups which is more and more difficult to find in this area. The Foundation keeps this jewel of the community here in our community which is very important to us all.

Founded in 2002 as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit Foundation with the mission to provide funding for maintenance and upgrades to the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds. It is vital to the maintenance and improvements to the Fairgrounds and is responsible for some major accomplishments, including the renovation of the Heritage Hall, an upgrade of the water system and installation of two 65,000 gallon water tanks to ensure the Fairgrounds has water for large events and when the grounds are used for disaster relief. This organization has also done the installation of 410 outdoor light fixtures, the renovation of the shop building, an upgrade of the Livestock bathroom, construction of a large storage building, 110 new benches on the grounds, installation of yards and yards (and yards!) of paving and concrete and the purchase of maintenance equipment.

The Foundation also sponsors two youth programs: Heritage Hog Scholarship ($2,000) and Youth Leadership Program (with $350/youth stipend).

The Foundation holds the Heritage Holiday Craft and Gift Fair each year on the first weekend in December. There are over 125 vendors in three exhibit buildings and the event attracts over 4,000 attendees from throughout the tri- county area and is put on by nearly 100 volunteers. The Foundation also organizes the annual Crab Feed during the first Saturday in March each year. This event is put on by over 60 volunteers and sells out each year with over 550 attendees.

Over it’s lifetime, the Foundation has given the Fairgrounds more than $2,000,000 for projects. As California State funding has diminished, the Foundations donations to the Fairgrounds have increased.


What can you do to help……

Be a Donor: The Heart of the Fairgrounds Foundation

Ask yourself, or your neighbor, what memories the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds bring to mind and you’ll get all the real reasons why it is so important to our community. Some of the comments you might hear are:

“Most of the special moments in my life have taken place at the Fairgrounds – my first date was there, I had some of my birthday parties there, my wedding and reception were there, and recently my dad’s celebration of life.”

“I was so glad the Fairgrounds were ready for me when we had to evacuate our home during the fire.”

“Every year the Fair is like a big reunion where I see friends I haven’t seen since last year’s Fair.”

Whatever your memories, they are worth keeping – and so is the place where those memories were made. Your donation will preserve this Fairgrounds for many more memories just like yours.

Every year the Foundation funds various projects on your Fairgrounds. And during the time the Fairgrounds Foundation continues to support the Fairgrounds operations by providing necessary equipment and project support for our Fairgrounds. Your tax-deductible donation of any amount makes a tremendous difference in the ability to complete these projects.