Pigs, Rides, Ice Cream, Sun

The Ventura County Fair makes its sugar-spun, animal-cute, Huey Lewis-laden bow on Wednesday, August 5th, marking the continuation of county fair openings throughout Southern California. We'd call this about halfway through '09 county fair time in the area, what with San Diego unfurling in June, Orange County in July (it remains open through August 9th), and the Los Angeles County Fair in September.

We know, Riverside. You're February, and for that we are thankful. We need some fried food fun around that time of year, and you do deliver. And the dates. All the dates. We enjoy.

Smaller than most of its county cousins, but just as sweet, Ventura has one distinct advantage which we must tout: proximity to the ocean. Well, Del Mar is pretty close, too. And Costa Mesa isn't *all* that far from beachy breezes. But we've wandered around the Ventura festivities, snacking on Mackinac fudge -- you know the kind we're talking about -- and it feels like beach living and some Midwest hoedown got blended into a ride-filled, food-packed to-do.

Huey Lewis is on board to rock the fair's run; "American Idol" guy David Cook and Rick Springfield will make appearances as well. Rodeo, petting areas, and things dipped in copious amounts of chocolate can also be expected.

Us, we like to be near that grill with the turkey legs. It's the woodsmoke. It says late summer and the livin's easy. And breezy. Beach breezy. Ventura County Fair, August 5-16th, Ventura County Fairgrounds.

Oh, and pie. Lots of pie. Beer. And more pie. Turkey legs. And fudge...

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