Ocean Breezes and Midway Rides: Ventura County Fair

The Pacific-close charmer sets up the Ferris wheel, fried food booths.

THAT MARINE SCENE: The term "county fair" can connote a rather cozy scene of baby goats bleating and ice cream melting and Ferris wheels turning and the whole shebang happening within a very small area that can be easily walked in under fifteen minutes. But county fairs have grown, at least 'round Southern California. This is not a bad thing -- some people want their midway to be epic -- but it isn't the whole story. A county fair that is charmingly true-to-form still exists in the area, and it has a pretty special extra: ocean breezes. Not too many fairs, which can gain fame for summer swelter, have an air-conditioning system provided by the Pacific, meaning that those ice cream treats won't melt quite as fast (well, in theory). But saying that the Ventura County Fair is well-proportioned shouldn't suggest that you won't need the better part of a day to admire all of the pigs and eat cotton candy and ride the twirly rides: It's big enough to stretch out an afternoon packed with pleasurable pursuits. So, are you ready for some breeze and breezy times? Then clear out Thursday, July 30 through Sunday, Aug. 10 for the fair.

ON THE ROSTER: Little Big Town, The Spinners, Carmen Jara, and The Beach Boys are some of the musical acts set for the fair. The P.R.C.A. Rodeo and a demolition derby are also part of the fairly doings, as well as sheep-themed demos, special admission days, lasso round-ups, scarecrow contests, cooking shows, and the All-Alaskan Racing Pigs. Sweet stuff, tasty stuff, stuff worth cheering for and sampling and riding and listening to? For sure.

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