Los Angeles County Fair
If you are looking for something fun to do, and bored with your usual routine, the Los Angeles County Fair is your solution. Whether you go to see a concert or this year's "Going Green" exhibit, there are plenty of options to keep you occupied and entertained.
On Thursdays any college student with identification can celebrate "College Day" and be admitted for $5. That helps make up for the roughly 45-minute drive with no traffic from Santa Monica to Pomona and the $10 general parking fee.
Unfortunately, if the lines to get in prove to be as bad as opening day, you will definitely need patience. The wait was a little over an hour at 7 p.m. on opening night. Fortunately, it was really worth the wait once inside.
You'll need to get into another, much smaller line to buy tickets for the rides and games and you are set to go. There are all of the classic rides like the Hammer and bumper cars, as well as game booths to win some of the fair's ridiculously oversized stuffed animals.
At night, all the rides are glowing and lighting up the sky. You can smell the fried deliciousness heavy in the air, tempting you to gorge. The Outlaw Grill is one of the many places to get the Fair's famously indulgent foods. They have an 83-feet grill that can cook 1,500 turkey legs at once, according to lacountryfair.com. They also offer enormous onion rings, pork sandwiches and other foods.
Chicken Charlie offers an uncommon variety of foods, including fried Pop-Tarts, fried White Castle sandwiches, fried frog legs, fried Twinkies, fried Spam with pineapple and of course, chicken.
The widely advertised End of Summer Concert Series is one of the fair's best attractions. Gavin Rossdale, Lifehouse, Jessica Simpson, The Doobie Brothers, and WAR are some of the many artists to perform. General admission is free with fair admission and is first come, first served.
The shopping center offers a wide assortment of products, ranging from clothes and incense to spas and barbeques.
The "Going Green" exhibit has information on recycling, water conservation, forest-friendly products and several other green issues. In the same exhibit, Shangri-La Chinese Acrobats will be putting on a show displaying their skills in martial arts and balancing acts.
Another thing to see, if you are over 21, is the Wine and Spirits Marketplace. You can learn how to properly taste wine and tequila. The wine is selected from their assortment of over 300 wines. It is $17 for a class for a minimum of six wines. In addition, you can sit in on a few cooking classes taught by well-known local chefs.
Another popular attraction is the Winter Wonderland. There is an ice-skating rink and sledding ramps to enjoy the snow that comes down every half hour. It is a nice break from the pleasant and unchanging weather that Santa Monica has to offer.
Throughout the entire fairgrounds, there are 49 special events scheduled. There will be parades, meet and greets with the Budweiser Clydesdales, a hypnotist, and many musical performances. On Sept. 14, there will even be lucha libre. Some other exciting events that may interest you are Monster Truck Madness, Mariachi USA Festival, and professional bull riding. If you are interested in any of these events, all the information on specific times and dates can be found at the L.A. County Fair website: www.lacountyfair.com.
The fair is a great place to hang out, so don't miss the opportunity. Be safe as well. A fight did break out at around 11 p.m. on opening night, but there was plenty of police to keep things under control.
The L.A. County Fair is located at the Pomona Fairplex on 1101 W. McKinley in Pomona, Calif. Admission to the fair is $12 for adults on weekdays and $17 on weekends and lasts until Sept. 28.