I love the L.A. County Fair. My father took us every year. It was a family tradition. He created the routine I still follow. I park in the blue lot off White Avenue in Pomona. This entrance is great to visit the farms and the exhibit halls. If you are more interested in the carnival rides rather than the exhibits, you might want to use the yellow lot which is off Fairplex Drive south of Arrow Highway.
My routine sends me first to Fairview Farms, the animal exhibits. It is just to the right after entering through the Blue Gate. I go there early because the animals can become quite aromatic later in the day. The farm area is a great way to allow children to explore raising animals and to learn where their food comes from. A great many interactive exhibits are featured in this area. Kids love this. In addition to the usual pig races the fair has added chicken races as well this year.
Next to the farm area is California Heritage Square with readily available food and exhibits that focus on the rich culture of this golden state. Depending on time, I usually take a break here. There is almost always entertainment on the stage here.
For me it is then off to the Flower and Garden building. This year the exhibit is entitled Gateway to Africa with the focus being on the plants and animals of that area. Greeting you will be 2 giant topiaries of elephants spouting water from their trunks. There will even be jeep tours available to allow you to tour not only the Serengeti, but also the Conga and Zimbabwe. There is even an exhibit of live Black Widow Spiders. Throughout the day there will be special shows featuring the birds and animals of the African Continent. This is another area that youngsters will enjoy.
Never fear: there are exhibits for the grown ups as well. Foremost among these is the Wine and Spirits Marketplace. Here you can sample the award winning wines that were entered in the annual competition. There are samplings of olive oil, as well as beer and other spirits. There are even classes on wine tasting available and cooking demonstrations.
Don’t forget the racing at the fair. The horses will be running Sept. 10-13, 16-20, 23-28 (dark Mon., Sept. 14, Mon., Sept. 21 and Tuesdays). Post time for racing is 1 p.m. each day of the meet.
On my own tour of the fair I ensure that I save plenty of time to visit the various shopping venues including the Shopping Place and Palms Marketplace. Here there are those legendary hawkers selling everything from sushi makers to mandolins. In these areas there are also exhibitors from several county agencies. What I love are the spiels created by the vendors. Some of them are true artists.
The fair means Carnival rides for many people. There are even ways to save money on the rides. They are outlined on the fair’s web site. The site will also detail the times of all the special shows and demonstrations each day of the fair.
On weekdays the regular adult admission is $12, children are less, but the prices rise on the weekends. There are many money saving opportunities. These are outlined on the fair’s web site: www.lacountyfair.com.