Yolo County’s exhibit at the California State Fair earned a gold medal and two blue ribbons, one for “best craftsmanship” and the other for “best of produce, products or artifacts.” The display was jam packed with items showcasing the county’s agricultural tourism offerings, including bottles of wine from Clarksburg, beer from Sudwerk in Davis and rice from a grower in Robbins. Posters advertised tours of Davis and Woodland.
West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon, however, noticed that something was missing. He took to Twitter after visiting the fair and complained that his city was cut out of the Yolo exhibit. Where were the beers from the city’s burgeoning roster of breweries, he wondered?
“Everything is through the eyes of Davis,” Cabaldon said in an interview with The Sacramento Bee. “That’s not the Yolo County of the 21st century.”
Cabaldon’s tweet claimed that the county’s exhibit mentioned Davis 11 times, Woodland five times, Winters once and West Sacramento not at all.
Alyssa Manprin of the Yolo County Administrator’s Office coordinated the booth and said West Sacramento was represented, since she placed Sacramento River Cats memorabilia in the booth herself.
“His tweet was pretty much way off base, if you ask me,” Manprin said, adding that she asked all the cities in Yolo if they wanted to be involved in the booth’s creation, but none responded.
Some counties, Manprin said, spend as much as $40,000 on their booths, but Yolo County had just $10,000 for the project. She relied on donations and help from the Yolo County Visitors Bureau and the Yolo County Farm Bureau, which supplied information and contacted members to supply products for the display. Manprin said she also bought some items at a grocery store.
West Sacramento is not a member of the Yolo County Visitors Bureau, so the bureau didn’t supply any information relating to that city. The bureau’s website also largely ignores the city’s existence.
“The only thing we do represent in West Sacramento is we’ve sort of dipped our toes into the breweries that are over there,” said Alan Humason, executive director of the visitors bureau. “It’s also partly the direction of my board that if we’re not getting any financial support out of West Sacramento, they are kind of off on their own doing their own thing, and we’re doing ours.”
Other than providing Yolo County staff with information and posters, Humason said the visitors bureau had no other involvement in the booth.
Humason said West Sacramento would be welcome to join the visitors bureau, which is supported by hotel taxes in Woodland and Davis, and a direct financial contribution from Winters.
Cabaldon said the city’s lack of membership in the visitors bureau shouldn’t make a difference when putting together a State Fair exhibit that purports to represent the entire county, he added.
Manprin, who supervised the booth’s construction, said she certainly didn’t mean to slight West Sacramento, a historically industrial city that has seen major growth in housing during recent years. “It has nothing to do with the cities,” Manprin said of the exhibit. “It was about reaching out to the farms and Yolo County.”