I’m a fan of county fairs, if I do say so myself. For the majority of my life I’ve been a resident of Orange County, so I’ve gone to the OC Fairalmost every year since I can remember. Now that I’m new to the Los Angeles County area, I figured it was time to head to Fairplexin Pomona and check out L.A. County Fair. I came back impressed. The OC Fair is great, but the L.A. County Fair is bigger and has many more vendors, attractions, and events; color me impressed.
Arrive with an Empty Stomach
First off, let’s start with the food. After being there for about 7 hours, my wife and I only had but a sampling of the many kinds of food. Like you’d expect from a fair, there are a variety of fried cuisine, barbeque, and hamburgers. But the L.A. County Fair was also host to some great food trucks, including a Korean Mexican fusion food truck, crepes, kabobs, and more than you can possibly taste in a single trip. My wife and I started things off right, with a fried Snickers. Don’t let its appearance fool you; this corndog-looking thing is actually quite delicious. If you think your cholesterol can handle it, I’d suggest picking one up. Next, we traveled to King Taco’s stand. I love King Taco, their tacos and burritos are mouth-watering, but the carne asada nachos I tasted were unforgettable. I’m not sure how King Taco does it, but they never fail to impress my pallet or me.
Bring lots of water. It’s expensive and you will buy some. Even with my 1-liter canteen, I was thirsting for more.
Wine, Spirits and More
Next, my wife and I were off to the Wine and Spirit Marketplace. For $11, we were able to test five gold medal wines from a list of over 20, featuring many varietals, from Chardonnay to Zinfandel. Sampling that many high-quality wines, with free snacks, is quite a deal if you ask me. The whole marketplace was entertaining. While we walked around, we saw various whiskeys, scotch, and wine. I was happily surprised that many spirits and wine were judged for more than taste, there were even winners in categories such as “packaging design”. For those new to the subject, they even had wine education workshops. And for those who may not enjoy wine, there is a quaint Italian cafe, free olive oil tasting, and a homemade ice cream vendor.
Olive oil may not be the most exciting food, but I recommend trying the free tasting. You’ll be surprised at the clear variety of flavors.
The vender hall of the LA fair is massive, spanning multiple buildings. Inside you’ll find solutions for many of life’s problems, both real (I got myself a new easy to use grater), and unique. I even found a product that will turn any drink into a slushy, something I never new I needed but I now crave. Just for the window shopping alone the site is fabulous, but the real treat of the vender hall isn’t well advertised and hidden in the back of building 4. About once every hour there are live performances. I was lucky enough to catch the tail end of a performance by a Chinese circus, filled with flips, rolling barrels, drums, and human pyramids, it was so spectacular and unexpected. We waited for the next performance, the Dream World Cirque. Filled with a variety of more conventional circus tricks, from juggling to mimes to dance performances, it was easily the highlight of my LA Fair Experience.
There’s horse racing at L.A. County Fair, and I hear it’s fantastic. The clubhouse and seating are free and I wish I had taken advantage of it.
Walking back to my car, I was amazed at all the things I passed by, but didn’t have the time to experience. Maybe if I could return for another day (or three), I’d see everything. I passed by live sharks, an anatomy exhibit, and an extremely large children’s play area, with castles, dinosaurs, elephant rides, and live performers. I spent all day there, and still hadn’t ridden a ride, visited the horse racetrack, or even looked into who was performing at the End of Summer Concert Series. Not to mention so many kinds of foods I hadn’t the stomach room to stomach. The L.A. County Fair is simply too large to see, in its entirety, in one day. I can’t wait to head back for more.
The Live Shark Encounter looks small but exciting. If you have children, they will definitely enjoy it.
L.A. County Fair is at Fairplex at 1101 W. McKinley Ave., Pomona. The Fair runs September 3 – October 2 and is closed Mondays and Tuesdays (except Labor Day weekend). For more information, call 909-623-3111, log on to lacountyfair.com, or check out the article Pure Fun at L.A. County Fair on VisitThePlace.com.