By Scott Breeden

Watch the “Un-parade” kick off the 48th annual Silverado Country Fair on Saturday morning, Oct. 13, in Silverado. Two days of music, food, gunfights and other light entertainment to follow.

This family-friendly event began years ago as a community gathering and fundraiser to benefit canyon residents victimized by natural disasters. 

Local artisans, crafters, and cooks will display their wares from booths at the fairgrounds (community center) while entertainers serenade from the outdoor stage. Games traditionally include pie-eating contests and “arresting” your friends until they are bailed out of the on-premises hoosegow (with custom “wanted” posters).

Gates open at 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday for admission at $6 per adult, $3 per child, and free for anyone under three. The Saturday night music fest costs $6 for everyone. More fair info is at

This year, perhaps the cafe and the market in “downtown” Silverado will escape being robbed around 9:30 a.m. by gun-toting Old West outlaws known to tag along at the end of un-parades. But don’t bet on it.

Ann Collar
A memorial service for longtime Silverado postmaster Ann Collar was held at Saddleback Church on Sept. 8. She and her husband Bill, who passed away in 2011, moved to Silverado in 1956 where they owned and operated the Arco gas station (near the market). In addition to raising two children, Ann was also active in the community, starting the Brown Baggers lunch group for seniors.

Ann began working at the post office in 1972, and was eventually the postmaster for 22 years.  On at least one occasion, she had a booth at the Silverado Fair that offered a special postmark in honor of the event.

New green, same as the old green?
On Sept. 12, the Orange County Planning Commission held its final workshop on the proposed zoning code revision, dubbed “Orange is the New Green.” (The name refers to sustainability efforts, like allowing permeable driveways for capturing rainwater.) Besides regulating farmers’ markets, front yard chain link fences and “crowing fowl,” this version also included a modified tree ordinance.

In response to commission requests from an earlier workshop, county planning staff changed the proposed tree ordinance to, among other things, apply only to the Silverado-Modjeska Specific Plan area, and not to the Foothill-Trabuco Specific Plan (FTSP) area just south of Modjeska.

The irony, though, is that the tree ordinance was first proposed precisely because of a perceived deficiency in the FTSP:  a few years ago, by persuading the county to alter the FTSP (and the county general plan), a developer got permission to destroy several large, old oak trees along Santiago Canyon Road to allow construction that would not have been approved under the old rules. 

Commissioners will vote, in a future meeting, on what to recommend to the Board of Supervisors, who will have final say.  Meanwhile, public comments can be submitted to

Fire season
This year’s “Fire and Ice” presentation was held Sept. 13 at the Library of the Canyons meeting room (with new reverb-absorbing acoustic panels, thank you, OC Parks). This annual reminder for canyon residents to prepare for wildfire by raking leaves, cleaning roofs and gutters, and having an evacuation plan, was sponsored in part by the Orange County Fire Authority and Fire Safe Council East Orange County Canyons.

Fire danger is high this year due to record low moisture in dead fuel (plants). El Nino is uncertain, but Santa Ana winds are expected before any rain. One way to help out is with Canyon Watch/Fire Watch. On high-fire-danger days, these volunteers watch for fires or other dangers (like downed power lines).  For more information, contact organizers Marion Schuller (949) 230-9348,, or Emily Graham, (949) 484-9045.

And if that’s too tame for you—join the fire department! Both Silverado and Modjeska still have volunteer firefighters, and they currently have openings. Stop by Station 14 (Silverado) or Station 16 (Modjeska) any Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. to learn more.

Safety first 
Supervisor Todd Spitzer has now mailed out several cards advertising “safety tele-town hall” events that he began hosting in August. Listeners can call in to hear him and “safety experts” discuss topics like “Fire Awareness Update,” “Active Shooter Response Preparation,” and “Public Safety in Jeopardy,” and submit questions.

Of course, this has nothing to do with Spitzer’s current election campaign against incumbent District Attorney Tony Rackauckas for his job. And the fact that Spitzer’s safety talks end just before the November runoff against Rackauckas is pure coincidence.  Otherwise, the mailings would be political, paid for by campaign donations instead of by taxpayer money. So there is no reason to bother the state Fair Political Practices Commission ( with any questions about this.

​*Todd Spitzer reports that he has been conducting tele-town hall meetings for a year and a half and that as 3rd district supervisor, he communicates with constituents all the time.  The tele-town halls and related communications stopped 60 days prior to the November election, because that is a legally mandated black-out period.

October 2018

​​Canyon Beat:

Come to the Silverado Fair