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

The Courtyard at the 2020 OC Fair

It’s hard to imagine, but the OC Fair is right around the corner! The OC Fair’s theme this year is ALL FOR FUN. As any of you who have worked at The Courtyard during the Fair know, we have known that it is almost all for fun and the Fair is finally catching up to […]
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Alcohol Server Training for The Courtyard: TIPS Training

The 2020 OC Fair will be here soon, which means it’s time to schedule alcohol server training. Most Training for Intervention Procedures (TIPS) classes will be held in April, with only a few classes held in May and June. Do not wait to sign up. If classes do not fill, they are cancelled and you […]
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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 class if you plan to volunteer at The Courtyard during the 2020 OC Fair. Class schedules will be available on the OCWS website in March. […]
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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

A Record Breaking Year at the 2019 Courtyard

The 2019 OC Fair, now just a fading memory, is still very fresh in the minds and hearts of the 330 OCWS volunteers whose dedication and enthusiasm made this year’s Courtyard the most successful in OCWS history! With over 1,500 shifts worked at The Courtyard this year, and thousands of hours spent behind the scenes before and after the Fair, records were smashed from previous years. The Courtyard grossed the largest revenue in OCWS history.

As a partner to the OC Fair & Event Center, we run both the Commercial and Home Wine Competitions. In return, we are given the opportunity to run The Courtyard during the OC Fair, with derived income paying for both competitions and covering OCWS overhead for the following year.  Generous donations from the general public are contributed directly to the OCWS Scholarship Fund.

The success of The Courtyard is due, in no small part, to The Courtyard Committee, the cash verifiers behind the scenes, the seminar presenters, the set up and tear down crews and the Featured Winery program, along with too many other positions and programs to name, and all the OCWS volunteers who manned or maintained The Courtyard in any number of capacities.

It took every one of our volunteers, no matter how great or small the task, to make The Courtyard a success and provide the OCWS with a fabulous financial foundation going into next year.

Thank you to each every one of you who volunteered!

– Fran Gitsham & The 2019 Courtyard Committee

2019 Courtyard News: Required Training

As you may have heard, we will be using new cash registers at The Courtyard this year. The credit and debit card reader will be connected directly to the register so credit and debit card sales will not have to be entered twice. This change should really speed things up!

All managers, assistant managers, and cashiers will have to be trained on the new registers. We anticipate scheduling training sessions to begin in early February through the end of March.

We hope to have two sessions per week (depending on what is happening at the OC Fairgrounds), one on a weekday evening and one on a weekend afternoon.

We also anticipate that a training session will be no longer than 30 minutes. We are planning on having multiple sessions each day.

Please be on the lookout for an e-blast as to the training schedule.

If you are interested in being trained as a cashier, please reach out to either Fran at or Brian at

Fran Gitsham & Brian McDonald, Courtyard Chairs

2019 Courtyard: TIPS Training Alert!

Members, it’s time to start thinking about recertifying your TIPS (Alcohol Server Training) certificate. TIPS certification is valid for three years.

If you are a new member, or have never taken a TIPS training class, you will need to attend and become certified if you plan to volunteer at The Courtyard during the 2019 Orange County Fair.

As a concessionaire of the OC Fair, the OCWS must adhere to contractual requirements established by the OC Fair Board of Directors and Staff. Before any volunteers work in The Courtyard during the OC Fair, everyone must be “professionally trained and certified in alcohol awareness techniques.”

Click here for Class schedules.

– Rochelle Randel – TIPS Trainer
– Marcy Ott – Badging Coordinator

2019 Courtyard at the OC Fair

Our biggest fundraiser of the year will be upon us sooner than we can imagine, and the foundation for this year’s success has now been in the works for several months. As most of you already know, it takes several hundred OCWS volunteers to run The Courtyard each year. For your planning purposes, please keep in mind the following:

  • This year’s OC Fair runs from July 12 through August 11
  • Invitations to those of you being invited to manager, cashier or steward will be emailed by the end of January
  • Sign-ups for managers will begin on April 1
  • Sign-ups for cashiers and stewards will begin on April 15
  • Sign-ups for servers will begin on May 1

One very exciting and much needed addition this year will be new, integrated cash registers/credit card machines. Anyone invited to manage or cashier will be required to be trained on the new machines sometime in February or March in order to be assigned requested shifts. Dates for these sessions will be provided in your invitation. It is of the utmost importance that everyone is properly trained this year.

We will also be having, as in the past few years, training sessions for stewards and servers sometime in June and early July and will gladly train anyone else at that time interested in learning the new registers with the intention of possibly cashiering. These dates will be posted at a later time.

We look forward to your participation and all the fun and laughter that go along with working The Courtyard during Fair time. Thank you.

Fran Gitsham & Brian McDonald, Courtyard Chairs

Always Wanted to Get More Involved in The Courtyard?

We are looking to expand the number of people involved in running the Courtyard for 2019. If you are interested in becoming involved
in scheduling, training, etc., please contact Brian McDonald at or Fran Gitsham at

– Fran Gitsham and Brian McDonald,
Event Chairs