24 September 2010


As those of you who have loyally followed this blog over the past few years already know, I love county fairs. I like little rural ones, I like big extravagant ones. I love the "slice-it-dice-it" booths with people selling geegaws and doodads that are supposed to make your life better. I love the lights of the midway and the sounds. I love the really bad for me food. I especially love the remnants of an agricultural past that show up in big city county fairs - like the Los Angeles County Fair. Up until I was about ten years old Los Angeles County was the biggest agricultural producing county in the United States. I remember farms and orchards in the San Fernando Valley.

So, yesterday I made my annual pilgrimage to the Los Angeles County Fair. I went with my writer pal Ashley who is one of the only people I know who shares my love of county fairs. I won't be surprised if she blogs about it, too. And when she does, you can find her take on it by clicking on this sentence.

There are, of course, animals at the fair. Cute bunnies and the terrifying snakes that would like to eat them.For some reason there are more goats at the LA County Fair than any other sort of animal - other than humans. Look closely, this one has very strange horns.They also have animatronic dinosaurs at the Fair.And animals you can win. This guy won this rather large stuffed dragon for his grandkids by tossing rings over Coke bottles.There's a lot of award winning food on display.

There is truly bad stuff for you to eat at the Fair, although there is only so much I can bring myself to consume. I ate some deep fried artichoke hearts - practically healthfood - a couple of fried chicken wings - nothing so strange about that - and, well, we did share a deep fried Klondike Bar which is actually pretty good.
There are colorful murals to relax under; and there was a display called "Frozen Los Angeles" at which they loaned you blankets since it was ten degrees in the freezer room.
As I mentioned, I love what I call the "slice-it-dice-it" booths. The pink lady wanted to clean our rings - I don't wear any. The guy had some sort of miracle spray that cleaned pretty much anything and everything you own without using any water, and keeps it clean for six months.Who even knew that the Women's Christian Temperance Union still existed? Carrie Nation would be so proud.
And there was a troupe of Chinese acrobats. The big crowd with the fan at the bottom were riding around the stage on a bicycle that you can't quite see underneath them.

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