Courtyard

The Courtyard at the OC Fair Returns in Style as Only the OCWS Can Do!

Just a few months ago no one knew what we would, if anything, be able to do at the Fair this year, and we had very little direction as to what COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines we would need to follow until just a few weeks before opening. Now that the 2021 Courtyard at the OC Fair is becoming a fleeting memory, thanks to the dedication and commitment of 213 members (which was 100 less volunteers at The Courtyard from previous years), and a lot of last-minute changes on the fly throughout the entire run of the Fair, The Courtyard was a resounding success!

Following a very scary and unsure financial year for the organization last year, The Courtyard bounced back in high fashion to almost equal our highest grossing year (2019) under very tenuous conditions. We had members working anywhere from as many as 33 shifts to as few as 4 shifts, and off-shift members pitching in, more often than not, when they were at the Fair to just have fun. You all know who you are, and you were terrific! We also had the behind-the-scenes Courtyard Committee members, cash verifiers, set up and tear down crews, and employees doing whatever was needed to keep the boat afloat. This year proved resoundingly that OCWS volunteers can accomplish anything they set their minds and hearts to.

Some amazing facts from this year included the sale of  28,116 glasses of Varietal Wines, 5,598 Champagne Splits, 3,951 glasses of House Wine, and 1,727 Thursday 3oz Tastes of Fair wines and, just into the beginning of the final week of the Fair, The Courtyard sold out of Govino cups after selling 3,040 Concert Specials and 499 empty Govino glasses.

Our scholarship fund realized $19,800 in donations at The Courtyard and OCWS signed up 97 new dual and single memberships, which equates to 156 new members! All which can be credited to the enthusiasm of our volunteers!

It took every one of our volunteers, no matter how large or small the task, to bring The Courtyard back at full steam and to now having provided the OCWS a great financial foundation going forward. You wore your hearts on your sleeves and worked your a**es off, and the Courtyard Committee could not be more grateful! Thank you to each and every one!

– Fran Gitsham, Courtyard Chair
and The 2021 Courtyard Committee

Best of Fair Food & Wine Pairings

After a non-existent OC Fair last year, we are all ready to get back to some live fun and, if prior years are any indication, back to having a reason to eat some incredible, fun foods that, I imagine, most of us don’t normally eat during the rest of the year. Coupled with camaraderie coming back to The Courtyard and wine from the OCWS cellar, 2021 is finally giving us something great to look forward to. With this in mind, I’ve chosen to share some past Courtyard seminar favorite pairings with you to help temp your taste buds and fuel your enthusiasm for the fare to come. Created and presented by Ed Reyes and Sara Yeoman, the Fair Food and Wine Pairing seminars presented at The Courtyard have become a fan favorite of OCWS members and Fair goers alike.

I have had the pleasure of attending several of these seminars and encourage all of you, if you want to have a fun gathering, to create these pairings at home over lots of laughs with friends.

– Fran Gitsham, Contributing Writer

The Courtyard at the OC Fair IS returning this summer!

OC FAIR, July 16 through August 15. Volunteer sign-ups starting May 1. Detailed information coming soon.

Although slightly modified, under OC Fair rules to meet Covid guidelines at fair time, we expect fun to be had by all and hope all our volunteers consider coming back to the Courtyard to help begin bringing real life fun back to the OCWS.

The Courtyard is the center of membership events throughout a normal year and, during the OC Fair, is the site of our biggest annual fundraiser and, needless to say, having been cancelled last year, we will be working to make 2021 a huge, and much needed, success!

Alcohol Server Training for The Courtyard: To Be Rescheduled

As many of you have heard, all TIPs classes scheduled in the Admin Bldg. have been cancelled due to the OCFEC abiding by the stay-in-place order. We are working on options as it will still be a requirement to be TIPs certified. By the time this issue is available, and the air has cleared a bit, we hope to have a Plan B in the works. Thank you for your patience, and continued support of the Wine Society.

– Rochelle Randel & Marcy Ott, 2020 OCWS Courtyard Committee

TIPS Alert!

It’s time to start thinking about recertifying your TIPS certificate. If you are a new member, or have never taken TIPS training, you will need to attend a TIPS training […]
This post is only available to members.

TIPS Trainer Extraordinaire

Anyone who has worked The Courtyard at the OC Fair well knows that TIPS certification is required by the OC Fair & Event Center and has been trained by Rochelle Randel at some point within the past three years.

The OCWS is so fortunate to have a dedicated volunteer in Rochelle, who has trained and certified 1,026 OCWS members to date!

We are proud to announce that the governing body of this certification process has acknowledged
Rochelle’s dedication and commitment and the fact that, by her expert training, has been instrumental in helping to reduce alcohol related incidents and accidents.

Kudos to you, Rochelle, with our heartfelt thanks!

– The 2019 Courtyard Committee