Monday, September 27, 2010

the l.a. county fair

i grew up knowing that when fall rolled around it meant two things - my birthday, and fall fair season.  we lived close to a few, but the markham fair was the pinnacle for me.  so it was with great anticipation that i ventured with some friends to the l.a. county fair.

i'm not sure what i was expecting, but what i found was different than any fair i've ever been to.   most fairs i've been to involve three elements - judging competitions (for food (where i was able to find blogger stan's (of stans obligatory blog) award winning cookies), arts, and farm animals), carnival midway (with rides and food), and entertainment events (concerts, demolition derby, tractor pull, etc).  this fair had them all, but they were kind of different.  what i began to notice is that the rural farm influence just isn't as strong at the l.a. fair.  where the fairs i grew up going to would have building after building of show-quality animals, there was just one area that included a few cows, some pigs, and a few other random things.  all of the food and crafts were in one building, and i certainly did not see any signs of a tractor pull on the schedule.

what we did find were several massive buildings containing novelty items and "as seen on tv" stuff for sale.  there was a massive toyota showcase, and a few strange additions like a pirate play area and a large tent where hot tubs and jacuzzis were for sale.

the food was pricey, but it did meet my carnival expectations, and in some cases the size of the portions were bordering on ridiculous (as you can see from the footlong sub claiming to be a sausage sandwich, and the ridiculous krispy kreme chicken sandwich featured on the gastronomer's blog).

never-the-less, we did have a great time.  an experience that differs from your expectations is not always a bad thing!  if you want to see some more photos, jt over at daily photo l.a. has been posting all week.


Tash said...

Gorgeous wheel shot - a real crowd pleaser. :)
Love the classic family fair's timeless and priceless.
Interesting perspective about the fair, I haven't been in years...since High School, I guess, when we played there in a youth marching band. A co-worker went this year (he is originally from Taiwan) and was so impressed by the pigs, and the cows, and the non-city type things... :)

ben wideman said...

I think the farm animals are there to educate. Instead of seeing 20 different ribbon winning chickens, you get to see two or three - just so that you see what a chicken actually looks like. Same goes for the other animals.

Steve Scauzillo said...

Ah, the LA County Fair. I love all those table settings and the nasty comments left by the judges.

Petrea said...

I'm glad you went, Ben. I haven't been in a few years but yeah, it's sure different than the county fairs I remember in Illinois farm country.

Great post and photos.

ben wideman said...

Steve, that was a pretty funny part. I'm not sure I've ever seen table setting as a judged competition.

Thanks Petrea!