Fair Oaks Historical Society President Bob Sour observed that today is tomorrow's history in a June newsletter. Soon, the parks and buildings in the village would undergo significant changes we needed to capture for future generations.
Working with the Park District, the Historical Society, and Ryan Griffith, President of VoterFly, a local software company specializing in contest software, we launched the Village Parks Photo and Story Contest.
The goal was to capture photos and stories for future generations that captured the village parks' look and feel before their big makeover. The community responded with almost 50 entries divided across five categories.
We had a total of 7 nominations in this category, and the winner goes to Mary Howard's photo of
Mad Hatter Trivia sponsored by Rotary. Great Minds Drink Alike take first place out of 8 teams.
Best Plaza Park Photo
Photo by Mary Howard
With ten entries in this category, the winner again goes to Mary Howard for this beautiful photo she describes as “Christmas in the Village - Making Memories.
Best Theatre Photo
Photo by Chrysti Tovani
In our most competitive category with a total of 14 different entries, the winner is Chrysti Tovani for this clever photo within a photo she describes as “Paperback Writer Concert at Fair Oaks Theatre Festival."
Best Village Park Photo
Photo by Chrysti Tovani
In our second most competitive category with a total of 13 different entries, the winner is once again Chrysti Tovani for a holiday photo she describes as “Christmas in the Village 2016."
Best Village Park Story
In our final category, we asked for stories about the village parks to share with future generations. Our winner in this category was Keith Walter.
While I was born in upstate New York, my career allowed me to live in several states and countries and the freedom to retire anywhere I wanted. My wife and I decided to take a year to explore different potential retirement communities before settling down. During one of those trips, we had started in Carson City, Nevada, and we were working our way towards the Bay Area when we happened upon Fair Oaks. Based on recommendations, we had explored Cameron Park, Grass Valley, Auburn, and other areas before stopping in Fair Oaks for lunch. Sitting on the patio of The Village Bistro across from the park, we watched as children chased the chickens, people gathered to talk and aspiring musicians practiced in the park. After lunch, we stopped by the local hardware store, which sold popcorn bags that seemed to be a favorite of the chickens. Strolling in the park, feeding the chickens, and talking with some locals, we soon realized what a special place we had found. With a clubhouse and amphitheater in the center, parks on either side, chickens running wild, the American river trail nearby, and unique restaurants and shops nearby, the world somehow seemed more relaxed and enjoyable. Digging deeper, we soon realized that things like the ocean, mountains, bike trails, wine country, and world-class arts and entertainment were all within an easy drive. Fair Oaks hadn't been on our radar when we began our search, but it only took one lunch watching life unfold before us in the park to make it our number one choice. A decade later, the park is about to go through a significant renovation that promises to make it an attraction for generations to come. We couldn't be happier about our choice to retire here, and we have the park and its chicken to thank for it!
Prizes and Next Steps
The winners will be announced this afternoon at the Chicken Festival and receive $50 Village eGift Cards for each winning entry. FOVEC would like to thank all of our contestants for their entries. We will be passing your contributions to the Historical Society for future generations to enjoy.