LA County Fair: Take a Bite

The largest county fair in the country heats up the grills.

By Alysia Gray Painter
|  Sunday, Sep 2, 2012  |  Updated 9:44 AM PDT
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LA County Fair

The Los Angeles County Fair opens on Friday, Aug. 31? Will there be interesting food? Ha ha. Will there be interesting food. Where to begin?

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The Los Angeles County Fair, which opened Friday, is often called the largest county fair in the country. That's no exaggeration, as you know if you've been. In fact, the fair is very much like a city within its largest city, Pomona, at least for one month every year.

Like a city, there are districts and neighborhoods all highlighting different businesses and products and happenings. Like a city, there are restaurants and food purveyors. Like a city, there is a green section, full of flowers, and there are concerts, too. Unlike a city, there are Ferris wheels and pig races. That said, if you know of a city where those two things are regular sights, we want to go there.

So taking on Pomona's sudden city can be daunting. How does one plan the optimal day out at a fair that is turning 90, and thus has had the better part of a century to grow what it does best?

Focus is key. Focus on the food, if that's your thing; if you want something deep-fried, Chicken Charlie's'll be doing up the deep-fried cookie dough and Klondike bars this year. Focus on the animals, if you love to see cows standing adjacent to blue ribbons. If you love wine, there's a whole award-laden wine pavilion, with tastings going down throughout the fair. And entertainment? Carly Rae Jepsen, Chaka Khan, and The B-52s will all play.

In short, it is all about taking that first bite with the fair. We know, we know; many of you don't want to pressures of planning. You want to walk in and be happily overwhelmed by the blinking lights and Midway laughter and the sounds of the Demolition Derby. That's cool, but planning that initial bite, and then letting the rest of the day flow from there, seems the key to not getting lost in the colorful city that is the LA County Fair.

The LA County Fair is on from Friday, Aug. 31 through Sunday, Sept. 30, and closed Mondays and Tuesdays.

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