In the weeks leading up to the Cloverdale Citrus Fair, Cheri Ann Tipler can be found handling the still exhibits. Tipler, who serves as the superintendent of arts, crafts, citrus, displays and other still exhibits, has been working at the fair for 13 years.
“It’s the kids. I love seeing the kids come in, and their reactions,” she said, discussing her reason for working the fair. “It keeps me close to the roots, seeing everything I grew up doing.”
Walking around the fairground, it’s evident that people are hard at work putting together exhibits of all sorts.
On the afternoon of Feb. 4, members of the Rotary Club of Cloverdale and the Cloverdale Lions Club were hard at work drilling, sawing and pasting on foodstuffs — all in the name of building featured exhibits for next week’s fair.
This year’s fair theme is “Making of America,” and centers around innovation in America. Each adult-created exhibit needs to adhere to the fair theme and contain 90 dozen pieces of citrus, half of which are oranges.
The Rotary Club is working on an exhibit that centers around the 1969 manned moon landing.
“It’s certainly a uniquely American thing,” said Rotary member Robin Wilkerson, who is credited with suggesting this year’s Rotary exhibit.
The exhibit, in addition to being ‘uniquely American’ in nature, also gives the club enough freedom to divvy up responsibility.
“It works nicely for our club because you have the main structure of the exhibit and you have different components that everyone can take on,” she said. “We know what the main pieces will be, and then you start thinking about what you can add on.”
The Lions Club is working on building a history of transportation — the trains that made America.
“It’s creative, to say the least,” Lions Club member Tex Dickens said. “I’ve been working on these since high school.”
The Lions Club decided to focus their exhibit on rail history because of how integral the railway was to bringing people west.
“The railroad really brought people here,” Dickens said.
For those who may not be making an exhibit this year, the fair has you covered — both Wilkerson and Dickens expressed excitement surrounding a featured exhibit that will give fairgoers the chance to learn what making one is all about.
“I think that’s what’s really positive — getting the kids involved,” Wilkerson said.