The ‘Country Fair with Ocean Air' Opens, in Ventura

The Ventura County Fair is back for 12 days of rides, concerts, rodeos, and furry critters.

What to Know

  • Aug. 1 through 12, 2018
  • Ventura County Fairgrounds
  • $12 adults, $9 seniors 65+ and kids

County fairs, as a rule, are quite corny, but we don't mean overly sentimental or blatantly mawkish.

Rather, corn has a way of playing a major role in a fair, both via the roasted corn we love to gnaw upon, and in the animal feed, and in the location of many county fairs, events that often occur near fields, sometimes corn-laden fields, in big, open spaces.

The Ventura County Fair, which turns on the midway lights from Wednesday, Aug. 1 through Sunday, Aug. 12, is not corny nor is it especially corn-y, in that it does not take place in or near a field.

Well, maybe a giant, damp field, if you want to look at it that way.

For the Pacific Ocean abuts the Ventura County Fair, and has for years, giving the event its stand-out tagline: "A Country Fair with Ocean Air."

It's a draw that's sure to tempt fair fans in these sultry early days of August, when a Ferris wheel or pig race sounds fun but being outside is less than tempting.

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All of that cool briny breeze-a-tude plays a major part at the Ventura County Fair, serving as a major draw.

But the major concerts are a draw, too — The Fifth Dimension, Plain White T's, LeAnn Rimes, Boyz II Men, and Alfredo Olivas are on the line-up, as are other big acts — as are the popular rodeo happenings, a staple of the historic to-do, which can trace its story back to 1875.

Animal viewing, spinny rides, motor sports, arts and crafts, gooey treats, magic shows, cooking demonstrations, and all of the expo-awesome things that pop up at a county fair are on the docket.

And, yes: Roasted corn has been available for purchase in the past, making the fair a wee bit corn-y, which is good and right.

As far as taking too much sun or feeling the heat? Well, it isn't January, and, yes, the temperatures will feel summery 'round the Ventura County Fairgrounds. That can be counted upon, no matter how hard we wish this heat away.

But A Country Fair with Ocean Air happens to have a stupendously sized neighbor which has a knack for delivering, if not frosty feelings, than the kind of cooling moments we're seeking as we're seeking our nostalgic, goat-petting, fried treat-noshing fun.

Thank you, Pacific Ocean. How many ways we do appreciate you and your gifts, including #382: Cooling us off when we visit the Ventura County Fair.

A ticket to this one-of-a-kind extravaganza? It's twelve bucks for an adult, nine dollars for kids and seniors ages 65 and over.

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