Mono, ‘Blue Canyon Gang’ enjoy success at State Fair

Mono County press release and photos

MONO COUNTY, Calif. (Aug. 19, 2015) – Mono County’s ribbon collection from the 2015 California State Fair grew by two to a grand total of five, when the results of the People’s Choice Awards were announced on the closing day of the fair last month.


(L to R around the table) – Don “Tonopah Kid” Wilcott, Richard “Judge Will B. Bought” Atti, Charme “Louisiana Annie” Williams, Ron “Missouri” Williams, Robert “Captain Bob” Lawson, Olivia “Mrs. Vade” Lawson.

Mono County’s display won two of the three categories in the People’s Choice awards – the ribbon for most Educational exhibit, as well as the Overall People’s Choice Award. State Fair judges had previously awarded Mono County with a Gold ribbon, as well as top honors for Best Use of Products, Produce or Artifacts, and Best of Division for Professional Building.

Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, Tim Fesko, said, “It’s very exciting that Mono County was acknowledged with a total of five awards this year at the State Fair — more than any other county that participated. The two People’s Choice awards are a real honor because it’s the fair attendees who do the judging and we thank everyone for taking the time to vote. My hat is off to our Economic Development staff and John Queirolo for designing and constructing such an intriguing exhibit, and we extend tremendous thanks to the Blue Canyon Gang for volunteering their time to bring a ton of fun and animation to our booth for the entire duration of the fair.”


Ron “Missouri” Williams, Terri Geissinger (Bodie Foundation), Charme “Louisiana Annie” Williams

Mono County’s exhibit featured a replica of a Bodie street corner, complete with four different building fronts, a mine shaft, ore cart, hearse carriage and a two-seater outhouse — which turned out to be a very entertaining photo op for fair attendees. Actors from the Blue Canyon Western Historical Preservation Society volunteered their time to staff the exhibit. They dressed in period costume, put on vignettes and skits, answered questions, distributed information, and were excellent ambassadors at the fair for both Bodie ghost town and Mono County.

To show appreciation for the Blue Canyon Gang’s help in promoting Bodie, the Bodie Foundation invited the actors to attend the annual Friends of Bodie Day on August 8. Six members of the Blue Canyon Gang traveled from the Sacramento area to participate in the day’s festivities — Charme “Louisiana Annie” Williams, Ron “Missouri” Williams, Don “Tonopah Kid” Wilcott, Olivia “Mrs. Vade” Lawson, Robert “Captain Bob” Lawson, and Richard “Judge Will B. Bought” Atti.


(L to R) – Don “Tonopah Kid” Wilcott, Richard “Judge Will B. Bought” Atti, Charme “Louisiana Annie” Williams, Alicia Vennos (Mono County), Ron “Missouri” Williams

Charme Williams thoroughly enjoyed both the fair and Friends of Bodie Day and said, “The Blue Canyon Gang is passionate about preserving California’s history, and donating our time to work in the Mono County booth really fits with helping to promote one of our state’s historic treasures. It was amazing to be in Bodie on a day when the town really comes alive with so many people dressed in costume, the mule trains, the ghost walk tours and great music.”
“After talking about Bodie and Mono County to so many people at the Fair, it was wonderful to be there in real life. This was my first time to visit the park – the Stamp Mill Tour was excellent and the whole place is just something everyone should see,” added Mr. Williams, Blue Canyon Gang secretary.


Don “Tonopah Kid” Wilcott, Richard “Judge Will B. Bought” Atti, Charme “Louisiana Annie” Williams, Ron “Missouri” Williams

Along with a few hundred Friends of Bodie members, the Blue Canyon Gang folks enjoyed a barbecue dinner and the popular evening Ghost Walk tour, conducted by Bodie history expert Terri Geissinger, of the Bodie Foundation.

For more information about the Blue Canyon Gang, visit

For a list of 2015 State Fair county exhibit award winners:



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