EXHIBIT EXPERTS — Volunteers haul out the base of the Rotary Club’s sunburst exhibit, which will feature water and light bursts made of oranges, lemons and limes.

Community members are working to put together exhibits for the Citrus Fair

The work was just getting started Tuesday night, Feb. 4, as people trickled into the Cloverdale Citrus Fair exhibit hall to work on large- and medium-scale exhibits for the fair. A week and a half away from opening day, some participating groups had the bones of exhibits all completed, while others were hauling in base pieces and putting them up.

When folks first walk into the exhibit hall, they’re greeted by a large, half-finished carousel.

“Sam Beeson came up with the idea, him and Fred Besio. Sam has always wanted to do a carousel,” said David Ojeda, Lions Club member and President of the Cloverdale Citrus Fair Board of Directors. He said that the people willing to take charge of the club’s exhibit usually get to decide what the group puts together for that year.

Last year the club put together a large train, which was created with the goal of expressing how integral the rail system was to bringing people west (last year’s fair theme was ‘Making of America’).

Ojeda said that the Lions Club’s carousel follows a Disney theme, which loops it into the fair’s 2020 theme, “California Dreamin’,” which centers around everything that makes California great.

“We have Mickey Mouse, we have stuffed animals, we have spinning tea cups — it’s not really a standard carousel with the horses and lions and tigers,” he said.

The frame for the carousel was made about two months ago in Beeson’s shop, Ojeda said, where they worked on making sure some of the exhibit’s moving parts were ready to go before the club began building it out.

“It takes a lot of hands to make these things,” he said. “When I was a kid I used to come here all the time and watch my parents make these exhibits — of course there were 12 exhibits in here too.”

The Lions Club tries to be unique with its builds, Ojeda said, adding that the group tries to “build something that nobody else is going to try to build.”

Each adult-created feature exhibit needs to adhere to the fair theme and contain 90 dozen pieces of citrus. Junior citrus feature exhibits are required to contain 40 dozen pieces of citrus. Additionally, exhibits must have every part that can be seen covered with an edible substance or food byproduct.

Across the exhibit hall, the Rotary Club was getting to work on their piece, hauling in the large wooden structure that will serve as the base for their “sunburst” exhibit.

The exhibit concept was thought of by Michelle Caspary, said Rotary member Bob Cox.

Cox said that he enjoys the time in between hauling the bones of the pieces in and the exhibits being finalized, he likes the process of watching everything come together.

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