Charlie Hawkes Honored with 2017 Exhibitor Guidebook Dedication

Sonoma County Fair Honors Sebastopol’s Charlie Hawkes with 2017 Exhibitor Guidebook Dedication

Colorful livestock auctioneer and longtime Sonoma County Fair Board leader named for top honor

From discovering underground water to leading youngsters down healthy pathways, Charlie Hawkes of Sebastopol has a knack for uncovering and molding great potential. He’s a leader in California’s water well industry, setting policy and—with forked rod in hand—earning a reputation as a talented water witcher/dowser. When not tapping into great sources of water, he’s a dedicated proponent for Sonoma County agriculture—bringing forth the promise of its young, future leaders.  In recognition of his decades of leadership and service, the Board of Directors and staff of the Sonoma County Fair are thrilled to dedicate this year’s 2017 Exhibitor Guidebook to Charlie Hawkes.

Hawkes joined 4-H when he was nine years old. He started showing pigs at the Sonoma County Fair in 1960 and has been involved with the Fair ever since. He says those early experiences molded him into the person he is today.

“We didn’t have money when I was growing up, but I was able to get involved with 4-H and the Sonoma County Fair, which gave me a place to be and something productive to do,” says Hawkes. “I learned an awful lot about caring for animals, leadership, responsibility and good communication. Now it’s gratifying to pass those lessons on.”

Hawkes graduated from Analy High School and attended Santa Rosa Junior College where he studied Ag Business, played football and judged livestock. He started his career in the drilling business in 1972 and went on to become a leader in the industry, serving as president of the California Groundwater Association and establishing Sonoma County’s water well ordinance that’s still in place today. Throughout his career success, he remained close to what’s always served him well—family, athletics and the Sonoma County Fair.

Hawkes and Ella, his wife of 44 years, have three grown children and five grandchildren. In addition to Fair-life, he enjoys golfing, performing magic, coaching and officiating youth sports. One of his favorite memories is of being selected by coaches to officiate the high school basketball playoffs at the Oakland Coliseum.

Hawke’s lifelong commitment to the Fair includes serving on the Swine Advisory Committee, announcing the hog shows, helping volunteers weigh in the market hogs, working on the guidebook, serving as solicitor and auctioneer, and establishing the Barrow Challenge.


The Sonoma County Fair is proud to dedicate the 2017 Guidebook to Charlie Hawkes. The award was presented to him at the Solicitor’s Dinner on Wednesday, May 17 and the Fair celebrated the honor during its annual Awards Ceremony on Tuesday, May 23 at the Fairgrounds. He will also be recognized at the Sonoma County Fair on Farmer’s Day in Chris Beck Arena on Sunday, August 6.

DSCN9712Every day is a holiday during “Holidaze at the Sonoma County Fair!” Get ready to celebrate from August 3 – August 13. You won’t want to miss this year’s FREE Community Concert Series, the thrill of live horse racing, excitement of an ALL NEW giant carnival, nostalgia of “Holidays in Bloom” themed flower show, live entertainment, incredible food, fun contests, new games and more. For details, visit or call (707) 545-4200. Like us on Facebook, and follow us on Instagram and Twitter to keep up with the fun. See you at the Fair!