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A royal introduction at the Yuba-Sutter Fair
Runs through Sunday
Admission: $4 and $7.
Gates Open: Today at 4:30 p.m., Friday-Sunday at 1 p.m.
Mini-Miss Competition: 7 p.m.
Cotton Rosser's PBR to the Extreme: 7:30 p.m.
TNT Tuff Truck and Mud Bogs: 6:30 p.m.; tickets $5 and $8, price not included in fairadmission.
TNT Destruction Derby: 6:30 p.m.; tickets $10, price not included in fair admission.
Dawnie Patterson screamed, jumped and nearly cried Wednesday when a dream came true more than a decade in the making.
As her daughter, 18-year-old Alyssa Patterson, was crowned Miss Yuba-Sutter, her entire family cheered with excitement.
But it was Dawnie Patterson who was happiest.
"I won 22 years ago, and she's played with my crown ever since sine was 3 years old," she said. "I had no doubt she would win."
The judges must have been impressed with the Wheatland teen's performance off-stage and on, from her anecdote about shoving a nickel between her teeth to try to mimic her role model father to her tearful first-person monologue about a dead soldier's return home from war.
Dawnie Patterson said when she entered the scholarship pageant in 1990, she did it for the wrong reasons, but her daughter's heart is filled with good intentions and love for the community and the fair.
"She will take this and run with it, and use it for something good," Dawnie Patterson said. "This is a million times better than when I won."
After her victory, Alyssa Patterson was eager to wear her crown on the Midway as she makes rounds to visit friends with their livestock or let out a few elated screams on the rides.
"It's the people I love," she said. "I get to see the fair from a whole new perspective."
Miss Teen Yuba-Sutter Sumana Kondle agreed that she couldn't be happier.
Tears of joy fell from the 16-year-old Yuba City girl's eyes as her crown was pinned to her curls, and she ran to her friends and family gushing "I won! I won!"
"It was on my bucket list," she said. "I just kind of walked in with a smile and said, 'I can do this.'"
Hundreds of people crowded onto the hillside and lawns surrounding the Pepsi Stage for opening day of the Yuba-Sutter Fair to watch the pageants and crowning of Miss Yuba-Sutter, Miss Teen Yuba-Sutter and Miss Live Oak Kaley Shatswell.
They munched on corn dogs and funnel cakes as they admired the teens' vocals and dancing skills and the eloquence of their monologues as sights and smells of the nearby carnival carried over the fairgrounds.
Sutter resident Denise Griffith and her grandson Gabriel Wilkinson, 9, were among the first to set foot in the fair and were quickly sucked in by the carnival workers' pleas to try their hands at basketball tossing and lobbing balls into floating dishes.
"You gotta throw it like a pencil and throw it like a rock," one worker said as Gabriel tried his hand at the darts.
With a few quick pops, the boy had won himself a small stuffed animal and decided to keep wandering among the throngs of other fairgoers.
"My favorites would be the games and the rides," he said. "I'm thank-youing they have the fair, or people would sit and do nothing."
As the gates opened, Live Oak 4-H member Emma Swift was taking a well-deserved rest after a nervous morning of showing steers.
She sprawled across the wide back of her sister's shorthorn, Tank, as he napped in shavings.
"They are really comfy. I could sleep here all day," she said.
But Swift didn't plan to waste too much time.
"I love fair, fair is awesome," she said. "My favorite day is today because you feel like you have something to do. And I love hanging out with my friends."
As some groups eyed offerings of deep-fried Twinkies or cream-filled Hawaiian malasadas, others put off their fair feasts until after their stomachs endured a few hours of whirling and twirling.
Rides are always the first plan of action for Yuba City resident Calvin Ornelas, 16, who lured Mariah McLaughlin, 15, into joining him on the Zipper.
"It's one of my favorites," he said. "I can tell whether I am going to do a front flip or a back flip, and I like when I can rock the cage and scare whoever's with me."
His ploy worked, but his victim had a good attitude about it.
"I was screaming the whole time," McLaughlin admitted with a smile. "It was fun."