End of Summer Concert Series ends this weekend!

Think there were enough “ends” in that headline?

But really, it all ends this weekend to close an amazing 19 nights of music during the End of Summer Concert Series.

A limited number of free general admission concert tickets is available the day of each concert, so don’t miss out on these chart-toppers.

Hall & Oates

Tomorrow night, Hall & Oates take the stage to perform such mega-sellers as “Rich Girl,” “Kiss On My List,” “Maneater,” “Private Eyes,” “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do),” “Sara Smile,” “She’s Gone” and “One On One.” H&O were just named to VH1’s 100 Artists of All Time list, at 99 just ahead of Alicia Keyes. Tickets range from $19.50 to $100.

Saturday night rocks hard with Bad Company led by legendary frontman Paul Rodgers teamed with original band mates Mick Ralphs and Simon Kirke. Their hits are legendary: “Feel Like Makin’ Love,” “Bad Company,” “Rock n Roll Fantasy” – can’t you just hear yourself humming along right now? Tickets are $25 to $125.

3OH!3

The grand finale Sunday belongs to 3OH!3 and OK Go. 30OH!3’s Sean Foreman and Nathaniel “Nat” Motte say that making their loud, distorted, electronic-pop music is not about the trophies and notoriety.  No, forming 3OH!3 (named after the duo’s area code in Boulder, Colorado) was always about something larger than themselves.  It was and remains about being FUN! So much fun that their song with Ke$ha “My First Kiss” jumped to number 2 on the iTunes charts within hours of its release.

OK Go’s videos, especially those treadmills for the Grammy-winning “Here It Goes Again,” have made the band a YouTube sensation (“Here It Goes Again” has had almost 48 million views!). What makes OK Go great is that they write and perform great songs. “Of the Blue Colour of the Sky” is their adventurously, emphatically musical latest release. Ready, set, OK Go. Sunday’s concert tickets range from $19.50-$100.

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It’s Not a Can’t Food Drive

No, it’s a canned food drive – and, yes, you can come! This is the best drive we’ve ever had! Tomorrow is the last Ralphs Food Drive Friday at the Fair. Grab your five cans of Ralphs private label canned products and get into the Fair from noon to 6 p.m. for FREE. Plus, you get to serve your community and help those in need.

With one Friday still to go, we’ve already exceeded the total amount of cans collected last year. In 2009 we collected a little more than 60,000. As of last Friday, we’ve collected 66,318. All canned food is going to the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank for distribution to families in need. This is a total win-win opportunity.

Thank you to all our Fairguests who participated in the Ralphs Food Drive Fridays and to the staff and volunteers of the Fair who worked behind the scenes to get it all done.

See you tomorrow with cans in hand!

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Get some new ideas for pizza and pumpkin this weekend at Culinary Styles

There are two more Culinary Styles contests that will close out a tasty season of cooking and baking competitions here at the 2010 Fair.

Just in time for fall (and to give you ideas to use your jack ‘o lantern post-Halloween), the Pumpkin Contest will attract amateur chefs on Saturday vying in three categories: pies, breads or other baked items.  Judging starts at 1 p.m. First place wins a blue ribbon and $25.

As football action heats up this fall, so will the Homemade Pizza contest on Sunday at 1 p.m. Amateur chefs must create a 12-inch round or square pizza pie and will be judged on taste, appearance, originality and ease of preparation. Maybe you’ll get some ideas for your own homemade creations!

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Gourds transformed into one-of-a-kind artworks at Tapestry

An artist’s canvas can take many forms — take for example Sandra Heidlebaugh of Lakewood and Evelyn Young of West Covina, whose canvasses are actually dried gourds. 

Evelyn Young of West Covina carves away layers of a dried gourd.

Both women have been demonstrating how to create gourd art in Tapestry, which is located in the Grandstand. 

Actually goard art is part carving, part painting to result in beautiful creations. As each gourd is one-of-a-kind and uniquely shaped, no two can be alike. 

The artist can cut, drill, carve, wood burn, paint, sand, stain, or finish gourds like wood. They can create original designs or work with stencils. 

And as with all creative projects, gourd art is relaxing. 

Sandra Heidlebaugh of Lakewood has been demonstrating gourd art at Tapestry.

That’s what Heidlebaugh discovered when she went on disability for an injury, saying it was “a saving grace.” Though she’s done quilting, oil painting and other arts, she’s enjoyed the variety and versatility of gourd art. 

And watching Heidlebaugh and Young at work is relaxing, too, as they meticulously carve away layers of the gourd to later paint or stain or leave in its natural finish. 

“Anything you can do with wood — using a Dremel drill, wood burning, embossing, staining and painting — you can do with a gourd,” she explained. 

Evelyn Young with her gourd creation.

Gourds in progress

One of Heidlebaugh's gourd artworks.

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Meet Bob Harper of NBC’s ‘The Biggest Loser’ Saturday

Bob Harper, host of "The Big Loser," meets fans at the Fair on Saturday.

Bob Harper, host and trainer on NBC’s “The Biggest Loser,” will make a special appearance Saturday at the Fair. He’ll be meeting fans and signing autographs from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. as part of Anthem Blue Cross’s “Health Footprint” event that continues through Sunday at Yellow Gate.

You can get your own “health footprint,” the health influence you have on those around you. Anthem developed the innovative health footprint to help people get healthy, stay healthy and have a healthier impact on their family and friends.

In addition to the health footprint, you can get free health screenings, participate in activities at various booths, collect stamps for the calories burned during those activities to donate in an effort to benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

At the Wii Tent, you’ll learn how to play various fitness activities available on the game system.

Get your picture take at the Barbell Photo Op.

Watch a one-of-a-kind, four-way ping pong match that has both high-speed action and exercise.

Children can create their own “healthy eating” placement at the Kids’ Fun Zone, as well as guess the fruits and vegetables in special shadow boxes.

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Band Atten-HUT!

Band geeks (and I mean that with love. I include myself in that group) – drumline yourselves out to the Fair tomorrow for the finals of the High School Band Competiton. This is mighty, mighty exciting as Fontana’s Kaiser High, Pomona’s Diamond Ranch High and Arcadia High School compete for $5,000, one tuba-sized trophy AND a spot in the 2012 Tournament of Roses Parade!!! Woo hoo! Take that drill and step off!

All three bands will perform in the Fair’s parade at 5 p.m. where they will be judged by a panel from the Tournament of Roses. The bands will congregate in front of the Millard Sheets Center for the Arts around 5:30 p.m. where the winner will be announced. They will perform at that location if time permits.

The second place winner will receive $3,000 and third place will receive $2,000. This is always an exciting evening so come out and root for one of these three great bands!!

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5 Days Left – Say It Isn’t So!

My fellow Fair lovers, today begins the last week of the 2010 L.A. County Fair. You have five days left to try the best deep-fried food in the world, shop for items you can’t find anywhere else and pet the cutest farm animals this side of, well, a farm! And we have some great ways to save on admission.

You can still get out here today and save. It’s Senior Wednesday. Guests ages 60+ get in for $6. Today through Friday it’s $5 after 5 p.m. Get in for $5 with a coupon from lacountyfair.com. It’s also McDonald’s Wednesday. You still have time to get to a McDonald’s, grab a coupon and get to the Fair for $20, which includes an unlimited ride wristband!

Don’t forget Ralphs Food Drive Friday. This is the last one til next year. Bring in five cans of Ralphs private label canned goods and get into the Fair free!

LIVESTRONG Day is Saturday. Oct. 2 is an annual global day of action to celebrate survivorship and work toward the goal of a world without cancer. The Fair is offering $10 admission with coupon.  The first 5,000 guests using the coupon will receive a LIVESTRONG wristband and for every LIVESTRONG admission, Fair will donate $1 to LIVESTRONG.

San Bernardino County Day is Oct. 3. County employees, family and friends get in for $5 with a coupon.

And everyone can go to Ralphs and buy tickets for $10, good any day, any time!

So, what are you waiting for? Get your tickets. See you here.

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Perfect Reception Cake Contest entries too beautiful to ever think about serving

Virginia Ishida of Monterey Park won first place in The Perfect Reception Cake competition.

A little bit Martha Stewart Weddings met the Ace of Cakes Saturday at the Perfect Reception Cake contest at Culinary Styles.

The beautifully decorated cakes transcended baked goods into bonafide sculptural art work that should never be sliced and served.

Virginia Ishida of Monterey Park won First Place with her creation was titled “Finding Love at the Pond” decorated by fully edible water lilies, frogs, and dragon flies (with delicate gelatin wings).

Rosemary Quintanar of West Covina won Second Place with a wedding cake topped by a bouquet of fondant flowers in autumnal burgandies and golds.

Jolene S. Smith of Torrance won Third Place with a chocolate cake covered in chocolate fondant accented by pink flowers with silver sugar pearls and sprinkled with silver sugar dust.

Rosemary Quintanar of West Covina won second place in The Perfect Reception Cake competition.

Jolene S. Smith of Torrance won third place in The Perfect Reception Cake competition.

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Life is sweet for Karo Perfect Pie Contest winners

What is a county fair without pie contests? We’ve had many mouthwatering competitions, and it’s been my great pleasure to cover them.

Peggy Linberg of Upland won First Place with her Hawaiian Sunshine Pie.

Saturday night the Karo Perfect Pie Contest took the cake for yumminess.

Peggy Linberg of Upland brought a bit of aloha to Culinary Styles with her First Place-winning Hawaiian Sunshine Pie. The crushed shortbread cookie crust was filled with two luscious layers: mango chunks, Karo light corn syrup and coconut rum topped by a passionfruit puree cream cheese layer with rum-flavored whipped cream piping. Judges praised its “great presentation, good texture and unique crust.”

April Burton of Rowland Heights took Second Place with her well-named Super Delicious Pecan and Cream Cheese Pie that just oozed creamy sweetness that earned “super delish!” from the judges.

Fullerton resident Cathy Hagerty-Clemens’ Caramel Apple Pie With Candied Pecans won Third Place. Noting on her recipe that this was her sister’s favorite pie, judges agreed by saying it had the best crust they had enjoyed, adding a rave for “the good apple flavor and texture.” 

April Burton of Rowland Heights won Second Place with her Super Delicious Pecan and Cream Cheese Pie.

 

Cathy P. Hagerty-Clemens of Fullerton won Third Place with her Caramel Apple Pie with Candied Pecans.

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Don’t miss out on many more ways to enjoy the Fair!

I’m just amazed at the many ways to enjoy the Fair’s pure fun with amazing admission discounts.

The latest is Oct. 2 when the Fair celebrates LIVESTRONG Day by offering $10 admission with an online coupon that’s good for up to four admissions on Oct. 2.

LIVESTRONG Day is the annual global day of action to celebrate survivorship and work toward the goal of a world without cancer. October 2 marks the 14th anniversary of Lance Armstrong’s cancer diagnosis and the beginning of his life as a cancer advocate.

The first 5,000 Fairguests using the coupon will receive a LIVESTRONG wristband and for every LIVESTRONG admission, Fair will donate $1 to LIVESTRONG.

Here are some more ways to save:

SpeedZone and the L.A. County Fair have partnered up for a special package for you! Get a 3 Hour Unlimited SpeedZone Play Card valid towards racing (Slick, Turbo and Grand Prix), (1) Top Eliminator Race, mini golf, most video games and (1) Any day 2010 L.A. County Fair Ticket for $30 per person (the value is $66.99, so you’re saving $36.99). Must be purchased through SpeedZone.  For all details visit SpeedZone or speedzone.com.

McDonald’s Wednesday: $20 admission and unlimited ride carnival wristband with coupon available at these Southern California McDonald’s restaurants.

Senior Wednesday: $6 admission for ages 60 and older every Wednesday.

$5 after 5 p.m.: It’s $5 after 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays with a coupon. Coupon must be printed prior to arrival and surrendered at time of ticket purchase to receive discount. $5 after 5 is presented by Morongo Casino, Resort & Spa. Download coupon: PDF   JPG  

$5 before 5, for West Covina and Ontario residents on Wednesday, Sept. 29, with online coupon. Other communities can enjoy the same offer $5 admission before 5 p.m. for residents on their respective community day. Coupon or voucher required to receive discount. Other cities celebrate next week, too, so download coupons/vouchers at: Walnut and Rancho Cucamonga – Thursday, Sept. 30; Covina and Fontana – Friday, Oct. 1.

Mt. San Antonio College Day: On Thursday, Sept. 30, Mt. SAC Students, faculty and staff receive one free admission on their college day, half price admission for alumni, coupon or voucher and valid ID required. Click here to get the online coupon.

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