Before…

In order for you Fair fiends (hey, Gaga has Little Monsters, the Fair-ey Blogster has Fair Fiends) to get an idea of how we transform our 543-acre grounds into the world’s largest county fair, I’m going to share some transformation photos with you. While the conceptualizing and planning of each Fair begins a year or two or three in advance, the physical metamorphosis is a process that begins in earnest right about now – two months out. Since we have other shows going on at Fairplex up until close to the Fair’s opening, there is limited time to get our construction groove on. Sure, our team does what they can throughout the year to get ready for Fair. But, now, it’s Crazy Time! Take a look at the before:

The center of the grounds. In 66 days, this area will be filled with the thrills and adrenaline of Ray Cammack Shows’ great carnival. Right now it’s an empty space, although last Saturday it was used for FUN Decanted, the great wine, beer, spirits and food truck festival we had. The carnival area was moved closer into the heart of the fairgrounds last year. All shopping was moved to the Shopping Place, which guests really enjoyed – all shopping in one location. This year we’ll have 50 new vendors and more than 100 new products, including the Blizzie, which turns any drink into a slushy!

To your right here is the facade of the Wine & Spirits Marketplace. Looks pretty cool, huh? WSM houses the Fair’s wine education program, including tastings of our award-winning wine, beer and extra virgin olive oil and classes with some of the best wine experts in the world. It’s a great place to hang out for a bit, with gourmet food and Dr. Bob’s Ice Cream available inside.

Wilderness Ridge will allow our guests to explore the Great Outdoors. Here you’ll find lumberjack shows, Grizzly Falls and the new Welde’s Big Bear Expedition with live bears!

Looking north on Broadway. The Grandstand awaits horse racing and the End of Summer Concert Series. Outdoor Living will be on the left of Broadway with all the amenities for making your backyard great (spas, bbqs). The Sky Ride will take visitors on a leisurely romp up and down Broadway and Palm.

There is still much work to do. Return for some more “before” photos as the excitment builds (literally!) to Opening Day. Then visit the Fair Sept. 3-Oct. 2 and take your own “after” pix.

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68 Days to the Fair – Just Sayin’

What can be done in 68 days? Well, according to Livestrong.com, you can lose 13 pounds. Or you can wait with bated breath for the birth of an alligator or squirrel (60 days gestation period each) – pink and blue cigars in hand – or should that be raw chicken and nuts? You can learn how to speak Italian. Or you could be creating, building, painting, planting, organizing, conceptualizing, cooking and blogging your way to the greatest county fair in the world. That’s what we are doing here at the L.A. County Fair in the next 68 days.

Yes, it takes waaaaaay more than 68 days to bring our Fair to 1.4 million guests. The point is there are only 68 days until the opening of the 89th L.A. County Fair. And what a fair it will be! You will not be disappointed. What’s better than great rides, attractions, shopping and food? Great savings! We’ve listed our promotions and discounts on lacountyfair.com - take some time and peruse the savings!

Fair dates are Sept. 3 – Oct. 2 – we’re opening Labor Day weekend again, and you know what that means! $1 admission Saturday – Monday (Sept. 3-5) from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. There are drink and carnival specials throughout the three days so be sure to check them out.

We have a ton of special days where you’ll receive discounted admission, including Book Drive Thursdays, Ralphs Food Drive Fridays, College days, $5 after 5 p.m. Wednesdays-Fridays, blood drives – give a pint, get a free ticket to the Fair, specially priced tickets at Ralphs and online, and the super-amazing Season Pass (good everyday of the Fair for $29.95 for ages 6 and older). Whew! And that’s a brief list of the discounts!

Get to lacountyfair.com for a complete list of Pure. Savings. Because we are all about Pure. Fun. Can’t wait to see you in September. You’ll see me – first in line at the Hot Dog on a Stick stand. What? You Forgot already? Hello! What is the Fair-ey Blogster’s favorite food? I am GPSing all the HDOS stands on my Smartphone. It’s a huge fair! I can’t remember all the locations.

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Deadlines Comin’ Up if You Want That Blue Ribbon

You think you make the best chocolate chip cookies in the world? Well, belly up to the baking bar and lay your recipe on the table. The deadlines to enter the many contests and competitions at the L.A. County Fair are coming up – so no more procrastinating! You know you like to brag. We all do. It’s human nature. So what better way to say my cookies/cake/quilt/enchiladas/hummus is/are better than yours than by winning a blue ribbon? And it’s a lovely blue, too. Goes with everything.

There are different deadlines for contests for Culinary Styles, Tapestry and America’s Kids so be sure to check our website but here is a brief run-down (and remember these are deadlines for entry forms. Read all the rules and regulations for each individual contest regarding delivery deadlines):

Tapestry – June 28, that’s for photography, pottery, arts and crafts, jewelry, quilting and other textile arts.

Tablescaping – July 22.

Culinary Styles – June 28 for preserved foods and Aug. 5 for baked food and confections and featured contests (chocolate chip cookies, brownie, best cheesecake, and new this year best hummus and tabbouleh).

America’s Kids – July 6.

Winning a blue ribbon – that should be one of the things on your bucket list. So stop reading now and enter!

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Sharks Coming to the Fair (Cue Foreboding Music…)

No, I don’t mean as part of our group ticket sales offer – I mean sharks are really coming to the L.A. County Fair (although it would be funny to see a group of sharks walking through Yellow Gate for a day of  fun at the Fair -  wearing their Dodgers caps, sunglasses, betting $2 on a horse named Ampullae of Lorenzini (oh look it up! Give me the correct answer and I’ll send you a prize), trying the deep-fried calamari and finding it too salty but loving the deep-fried Oreos!).

Yes, sharks will be here in all their underwater sea-tastic glory with Shark Encounter - a new exhibit for 2011 that is sure to fascinate Fairguests of all ages. Shark Encounter will bring Fairguests face to steely-eyed face (or is that doll’s-eyed – “You know the thing about a shark? He’s got lifeless eyes, like a doll’s eyes.” – Quint, Jaws. Ah! I love that movie! I’m having too much fun!) with an array of these awe-inspiring fish – lemon sharks, nurse sharks, sand-tiger sharks. The sharks will swim around in a 7,000-gallon tank with divers daring enough to take the plunge.

The Great White Encounter features a replica of a Great White shark as well as several other interesting species of this unique animal. Guests also have the exclusive opportunity to see items that have been found inside a shark’s stomach, a real shark cage, varying sizes of shark teeth, fossilized teeth, and a replica set of jaws from a prehistoric Carcharodon Megadon shark. The exhibit is packed full of photos, educational material, and includes an exciting video where visitors can learn more about this giant fish. Stop by Under the Sea Adventure to take a look at our tide pool touch tank.

You’re gonna need a bigger season pass because you’ll want to come back again and again to Shark Encounter. The Fair is Sept. 3 – Oct. 2. That’s 88 days away! We are getting excited – hope you are, too! And if you know what Ampullae of Lorenzini is, email me at contests@fairplex.com. First one to give me the correct answer (along with your name and address) will win a Fair prize!

Here’s to swimmin’ with bow-legged women!

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Fair Concert Club Offers Sneak Peek at Lineup

If you are a fan of the L.A. County Fair’s End of Summer Concert Series, then you better sign up now for the EOSCS Club. Members get advance notification of the lineup and first crack at tickets. Membership is only $15 (and you get an EOSCS T-shirt).

New this year, the Club will be announcing dates and ticket sales by genre. Roll out will go accordingly:
Classic Rock: June 20
Motorsports: June 22
Country: June 24
Pop: June 27
R & B: June 29
Latin: June 30
All Shows: July 7

If you’ve been, you know we have a great time during our concerts. Last year, Bad Company was amazing! So was Selena Gomez and The Scene. If you’ve never been to one of our concerts, make this year the year to go. I can’t tell you who will be here just yet, but I can tell you you’ll be mighty excited!

Fair dates are Sept. 3 – Oct. 2. As always, we plan for you to have Pure. Fun.

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