So, you want to wear a hat…

kentucky-derby-picks-colts-contenders-oddsThis Saturday will be my first ever Kentucky Derby Party so I have been doing a little research. I realize that this makes me somewhat of a “nerd” to most, but I’d like to think of it as necessary preparation… it’s not every day that I get to wear a dress and hat, so I wanted to ensure that I was doing everything properly.

I have to say that my research has yielded some fascinating information! I would like to share with you what I found to be most helpful.

How to wear your Kentucky Derby Hat:derbyhat

  • Placed down on the head, with just one finger’s width over the eyebrow to the hat’s brim.
  • Pull the hat down onto the head, so that the crown is touching the top of the head.
  • Tilt your hat slightly to one side.
  • Just the hat and the face should be the focal point.

Now I have to say that I am VERY grateful for the above tips. Having never worn anything more than a baseball cap before, I had no idea that there was so much involved! See?? And you all thought I was being nerdy! Ha!

The Kentucky Derby is more than just magnificent horses, calculated wagering, and delectable mint juleps; it is also a true day of fashion! The best part is that you don’t have to head out to Churchill Downs just to be part of the fun. You can stay right here in sunny California and join us for a spectacular Kentucky Derby Party – tilted hat and all!

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Ode to a Deep-Fried Wedding

deepfriedtwinkiesThe entire L.A. County Fair family would like to extend a heartfelt congratulations to “Chicken” Charlie Boghosian and Dawn Clasen – who are getting married tomorrow, April 25. Chicken Charlie is  the Deep-Fry King at fairs throughout the region. He is the one who comes up with the deep-fried Oreos, deep-fried Twinkies, deep-fried frog legs and last year’s deep-fried Pop Tarts. Basically, he’ll deep fry anything if you’ll eat it. So, as one more deep-fried bachelor bites the dusty powdered sugar, we take a look back at one of our favorite people in the whole wide oil-splattered world – Chicken Charlie:

There once was a man named Chicken Charliecharlie
Whose whole existence was frying up things gnarly

He trailered his deep-fried treats from Fair to Fair
Concocting unusual menu items from his lair

Deep-fried Snickers – always a treat
Let’s try something new - deep-fried Spam with pineapples can’t be beat

Deep-fried cookies, Coke, candy bars and Hostess snacks kept his eye
Until, one day, Dawn walked by

Chicken Charlie thought, “Now, there is something I can’t deep fry.”
But, wait, he thought, maybe I can try.

True love blossomed, with no canola oil involved
Two hearts together, this love cannot be dissolved

Not by frying or battering or chocolate sauce
Charlie and Dawn, a greater love is hard to come across

Chicken Charlie is loving life
He now has a Deep-Fried Wife!

Congratulations to our friend Charlie and his lovely bride Dawn! May you find many deep-fried blessings!

In case you haven’t seen it, here is Chicken Charlie in action at last year’s L.A. County Fair:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6jOVvlQqec

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Ice Cream… Anyone??

I love food – I can’t help it! When I’m eating I think about how soft_serve_icecreamdelicious it is and when I am not eating I am planning my next meal.

I have to say that working on this year’s L.A. County Fair is not helping much. All of this food talk just makes me hungrier. Whenever someone mentions the Fair all I can think about is vanilla soft serve with caramel and sprinkles. I know it’s a little lame considering all of the other fried goodies we have to choose from, but I’ll take soft serve any day of the week – sometimes twice! What can I say – I love Dairy!

Needless to say with my love for Dairy comes one of my favorite competitions of the year – the Los Angeles International Dairy Competition! Last year was my first competition and I have never seen so much ice cream, cheese, milk, butter, yogurt, or sour cream outside of a grocery store! I have to say – it was a magnificent sight! It’s only April and I can’t wait for this year’s competition and it’s in August!

I’m not an official judge or anything – especially since I have never met an ice cream I didn’t like, but just taking part in the competition is gallons of fun. The best part is that the winners of the competition will be on display in FairView Farms for all to see… just follow Daisy to the pink and brown aisle!

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It’s Almost May…

hatsIt’s almost May and I have to say that I’m getting excited! The Fair is right around the corner, the Los Angeles International Wine and Spirits Competition, and the Los Angeles International Commercial Beer Competitions are coming up VERY quickly, and on May 2nd we are having a Kentucky Derby Party!!!

Yup… I said PARTY and everyone is invited. I know what you’re thinking….. what a fun place to work, and you would be correct. The fun will begin at 7am for you die-hard fans, and for those of you who will still be in bed at 7am (like me) it will still be exciting at around 10am… I promise!

We will be celebrating in true Churchill Downs fashion with mint juleps, big crazy hats, and the loudest cheering possible! While most of my Fairplex friends are excited about the race, I admit that I am most excited about the hats!!! We are even having a hat contest and you can sign up that day! I work here so I can’t participate in the contest… but I will still be wearing the most outrageous hat that my creative mind can come up with.

Join me at Fairplex Satellite Wagering – It’s going to be a great party so bring on the horses and the hats!

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Deep-Fried and Healthy, Too

saladDid you read that recent story in the the LA Times about the healthy fare being offered at Dodger Stadium? They’re offering Greek salads with fresh basil, turkey sandwiches on wheat and fruit parfaits. They said with the rising cases of childhood obesity, they wanted to offer an alternative to the 240-calorie Dodger dog and 1,000-calorie nacho plate.

Just so you know, we care about your health as well! And we know that not every visitor to the L.A. County Fair comes for that deep-fried whatever. We jumped on this bandwagon awhile ago – afterall, part of the edutainment of FairView Farms is teaching visitors about nutrition. We offer an array of healthy cuisine, from salads to fruit smoothies made with fresh fruit (not frozen) and chicken gyros with all white-meat chicken and vegetables.

Last year nutritionists from McDonalds came out every weekend to offer tips on healthy eating. The message was: make the right choices. It’s ok to indulge once in a while. So if you’ve waited all year long for that deep-fried snickersSnickers bar or deep-fried frog legs or Ten-Pound Buns or massive deep-fried onion blossom or Hot Dog on a Stick (sorry, that’s for me) – go ahead and try one at the Fair (ONE, we said one. Well, one with each visit). And don’t even think I’m going to provide you with the calorie count on these goodies! Sheesh – I’m trying to encourage you to come to the Fair!

So, from now until September, eat your fruits and vegetables, whole grains and drink plenty of water. Come Sept. 5, you can cheat a little.

hotdog

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Who Let the Dogs Out?

wiry-haired-dogWe did! Well, we are going to. After a successful run last year, the L.A. County Fair is going to the dogs again this year – with Bark Park. Bark Park is our canine adventure where four-legged furry creatures become the most evolved species on the grounds. They get to wear fancy clothes, they get to eat fancy (and healthy!) treats, and they live in awesome houses on a grassy hillside.

Visit Puppy Paradise: A Gated Community and Trailer Park. It’s almost like dog-housesAnimal Planet’s Puppy Bowl – just larger and more domestic. Watch little doggies frolick and play, sleep and eat. It’s like being in your own backyard. Visitors will get an opportunity to learn about 30 different dog breeds. Next door is the Extreme Canines Stunt Show and Splash Dogs. See the shows and see what you can teach your puppy when they get older.

And, really, would this be Los Angeles without some kind of shopping mall? dogballerinaBarket Place has all the latest clothes and accessories for your pampered pooch. And don’t forget the fashion show! Woof Lauren, Oscar Dog La Renta, Jimmy Chew – we got ‘em all!

So, dawgling, make plans to take a walk to Bark Park. Unleash yourself in the world of canines. Don’t forget to paws for a snack or two – but no lifting of the leg! This is family entertainment for Rover’s sake!

Now go fetch me a Hot Dog on a Stick…

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It’s time for Wine, Spirits and Beer!

wine20tastingAs we all continue to work diligently to bring everyone the most amazing 2009 Fair, we are also working on the Los Angeles International Wine and Spirits Competition and the Los Angeles International Commercial Beer Competition. When it comes to the best of the best… it all comes from these competitions!

Entries are pouring in (not literally… yet) and keeping everyone on their toes. The most exciting part is where the entries are coming from- Italy, France, Canada, Boston, Mexico, Poland, Spain, Netherlands, and that is just the beginning!

The best part of all of this for our Fairguests is that you all get to taste the beerselectionaward winners. Yes…you heard right! During the Fair, you can stop off at the Los Angeles International Wine and Spirits Marketplace, presented by Ralphs and taste award winning wines, learn about the different spirits, and taste award winning beers in the brand new beer tavern. This amazing new tavern will serve the award winning beer both inside as well as outside!

So get your taste buds ready because our award winning entries are going to knock your socks off this year!

P.S. Don’t forget! If you want to join in on the fun, enter your homemade wine and homemade beer into the Fair competition. Every entry will be displayed in The Village on Broadway so you can brag to all of your friends!

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Join the Fun

blue_ribbon

Do you enjoy the thrill and excitement of competition? Does the sight of a blue ribbon make your heart skip a beat? If this is you, then you are in for a treat!

All contests and competitions for this year’s L.A. County Fair are now posted on our site, and there is a contest or competition for everyone. For those of you who are masters of the culinary kitchen, you can enter everything from baked & preserved foods to homemade wine, homemade beer, and even tablescaping! However, if your passion is for fashion, decor, quilting, knitting, pottery, art, scrapbooking, or even jewelry, then Tapesty is your place to shine.

Hundreds of people enter every year and you can too. Join us in The Village on Broadway and you’ll be amazed at how much fun you will have!

 If you are under 18, check out America’s Kids - there are amazing competitions just waiting for you!
 
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Calling All Cooks, Crafters and Kids

blueribbonAll right all you competitive souls of all ages – time to break out the recipes, sharpen those knitting needles and get your crayons and water paints ready. It’s contest time at the L.A. County Fair! There are blue ribbons to be won (and in some cases, cash!) That’s right – we are putting the call out for your best chocolate chip cookies, your best scrapbook page and for you youngsters, your best art work.

Culinary, home arts and kids contests and competitions are the heart of tradition here at the Fair. They’re fun and exciting, and our crew tries to keep them current by adding new additions each year.

OK, no shoving or hair pulling, no name calling. Everyone walks away with at least a participants ribbon and the knowledge that they tried their best! Here is a link to our competitions page. Make sure you read the rules and note that there are different deadlines for the competitions! So, what are you going to enter into the L.A. County Fair? Here are a few contests to think about:

Tablescaping – categories this year include Under the Sea, Motion Picture Perfect, Return of Romance.

In Culinary, there is the amazing perfect pasta sauce, best chocolate chip cookie, the always-fun BBQ contest, run for the fair (where contestants have to find ingredients for their masterpiece from food vendors at the Fair), newkidspam this year is the live cupcake decorating and, everyone’s favorite, SPAM!

America’s Kids has a ton of fun contests for kids, including art, sewing, cooking and events for families to enter.

Come on – enter! Next year it could be your picture up here holding the coveted blue ribbon!

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