OC Fair Roundup – Happy Serving Together At 2023 OC Fair

It seems like the five weeks at the Orange County Fair flew by.  Leslie Hodowanec waived her magic wand and the set-up crew started right after July 4th. By Friday July 14, it looked like Cinderella’s carriage.

The wine started to flow at The Courtyard opening and the volunteers kept pouring until the clock struck 10 p.m. on Aug. 13. By the next day, The Courtyard was returned to the loveable pumpkin.

The final accounting is not yet completed, but the summer of 2023 came to be another very successful year by any measure. One metric that takes the forefront is new memberships.

Patrons see OCWS members having a great time at The Courtyard and want to get in on the fun. The new member bell rang 144 times during the fair for 108 dual and 36 single memberships for a total of 252 new Orange County Wine Society members!

The Courtyard is our largest fundraiser of the year and cannot be successful without volunteers. This summer 235 members volunteered and worked a total of 1,440 shifts. Together they filled over 30,000 8-ounce cups!

Liz and Lloyd Corbett worked each Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Featured Winery Bar and added over $16,000 to the Scholarship Fund. The donation jars brought in an additional $17,000. This should be celebrated with Sparkling Splits, of which we sold 3,645.

Bill Redding and Kevin Coy kept the cellar full. We sold 1,906 of Cuvee Coy house wines. Sara Yeoman and Ed Reyes headed up the very popular Saturday and Sunday wine seminars.

Thank you to each member who volunteered during the run of the Happy Together year at the fair. Giving new meaning to, “will work for wine,” members used 3,654 wine tickets!

I want to give a special note to Courtney, who worked 32 shifts; Kevin Lite, who worked 28; Kelly Haggard, who worked 20; and Kevin Coy, who worked 20.

I want to express my gratitude to Co-Chair Fran Gitsham. Fran brings an extraordinary amount of institutional knowledge and worked tirelessly to coordinate with the fair and keep all the pieces in place from the planning through the operation of The Courtyard.

See you at The Courtyard next summer!

—Fred Heinecke, OCWS Director