Meet the manager who keeps the community's fair tradition going strong
By Theresa Phillips
It’s a Lassen County tradition. The third week in July is fair time, and fair manager Kaitlyn Midgley is ready for the action to start.
Kaitlyn, who grew up in Susanville, accepted the position as fair manager in December 2020. Due to COVID-19, the 2020 fair was canceled. It was up to her to bring it back bigger and better, and she did just that.
Armed with a degree in agricultural business and marketing—coupled with her experience developing events for the San Diego Zoo, Kaitlyn did not shy away from the task of re-establishing the county fair. She found creative ways to keep the fair going. Even when the Dixie Fire nearly derailed it, her never-say-die attitude paid off.
The 2021 fair was a success. Despite the smoke, power outages, and other challenges, her infectious positivity gave hope to the community, and folks supported her efforts. People were often heard saying, “If she can do this, she can do anything,” and they weren’t wrong.
In addition to managing the fair, Kaitlyn is responsible for maintaining the fairgrounds. As soon as she accepted the fair manager position, she started looking for ways to improve the grounds.
“One of the first things I looked at was the lighting in our buildings and the outside spaces,” says Kaitlyn. “I contacted Lassen Municipality Utility District (LMUD), and they put me in touch with Theresa Phillips. Theresa and I toured the facility and came up with a plan to improve the lighting.”
The lighting upgrades that were identified qualified for LMUD’s direct-install lighting program. Energy-efficient lighting was installed in the main office; Jensen Hall; the livestock pavilion, which is used for the annual 4-H and FFA livestock sale; the front parking lot; and all walkways throughout the fairgrounds.
“The improvements not only reduced our energy consumption, but the quality of lighting has also greatly improved the usability of the fairgrounds,” Kaitlyn says. “We are so grateful for LMUD’s help.” The Lassen County Fair is July 20 to 24. A complete list of events can be found on the fair website.