Weekend: OC Fair Opens

Pigs, cattle drives, the Caviar Twinkie, concert, and midway nights await.

125TH ORANGE COUNTY FAIR: When this animals-music-foods-carnival wonder first debuted in the 1800s, it unveiled marvels aplenty, and neato things to be all agog over, too. The neato things continue, in Costa Mesa, when the giganto-scale party opens for its month-long run. A cattle drive, big-name concerts, deep-fried Starbucks, midway games, an ice rink that runs into the late nights, wine tastings, and all of those jam/quilt/bread competitions fill out the OC Fair's full-to-bursting dance card, nearly every day, through Sunday, Aug. 16.

CATALINA SKI RACE: If you happen to be around the Queen Mary on Saturday, July 18, very early in the morning, you're likely to see a bunch of water skiers gearing up, for one of the most unusual trips around. They're going to Avalon, several miles across the ocean, and back, in the annual summer rite known as the Catalina Ski Race. It's been around for decades, but if you can't fathom the idea of this pretty epic effort, you can always have a mimosa from the deck of the ol' ocean-liner, and ogle the action.

LA, GROW! The fruitful concept of urban agriculture continues to sprout like a beautiful stalk of corn, and a special day at The Wiltern turns the watering can on the many local growers who are making this happen right within our city limits. A farm-to-table dinner on Sunday, July 19, made by Jennie Cook's Catering, will support RootDown LA, which helps high school students "build stronger communities" via healthy food. The dinner is vegan, there's a cocktail hour, and plenty of LA-local green-grown love. 

GALCO'S SUMMER SODA TASTING: The pop stop on York Boulevard in the Highland Park-Eagle Rock nexus is beyond beloved, as is this yearly summer fundraiser for the Southwest Museum. The theme this year? "International Sodas," so count on sipping a carbonated drink you've likely never tried before. Live tunes and lots of fizz-fun doings shall be afoot inside the historic grocery store and in the parking lot, too, on the afternoon of Sunday, July 19.

ON THE TRACK(S): Del Mar Thoroughbred Club is so Hollywood-history-full that one wonders if the actual Tinseltown is ever jealous. All of that past lore leads up to a big opening weekend for the ocean-close track, and that weekend is now (plus, Triple Crown winner American Pharoah is on the grounds, not competing but training). Like your animals a wee bit, well, wee-er? Dachshunds shall dash at the Wiener Nationals, in Los Alamitos, on July 18. And wine country shall land not too far from the train tracks of Union Station, when East LA Meets Napa serves up a flavorful fusion-fun fundraiser for AltaMed on Friday, July 17.

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