The theme of next year's Calaveras County fair could be something about leap year. Or sequoias. Or Merlot.
Fair directors yesterday agreed the theme of next year's theme should tie in with any "commodities" the county is known for like wine grapes, tall trees, local businesses and quality of life.
But, rather than choose a theme themselves, board members voted to turn to the public and see who comes up with the best idea. From the suggestions that come in, the board will make the final call.
A professional artist will design a fair logo once the theme is decided.
"Only good can come" from this new way of finding a theme, Acting Fair Manager Buck King said.
"You've got to have the community involved, but you also have got to have that professional touch in there, too," he said.
King, acting as fair manager until newly hired Chief Executive Officer Ray Malerbi finishes his job with the California Exposition and State Fair, said the new way of finding a theme will generate more ideas.
Three themes will be chosen for use during the next three years. Winners will get four daily passes to next year's fair, a profile spot on the fair's Web site and $200 in gift certificates, called "Mark Twain Dollars," that can be spent at the fair.
Entries must be turned in or mailed by Sept. 30 to the Calaveras County fairgrounds at P.O. Box 489, 2465 Gun Club Road in Angels Camp.
In past years, the fair board chose the theme but had a public contest to see who could draw up the best logo.
"There's always time for a change," King said.