MonthAugust 2010

Thing Keep Rolling Along at the Millard Sheets Center for the Arts – Literally

A 1915 Ford Model T Touring Car took its rightful place in this year’s exhibit, From the Industrial Age to the Computer Age: Three Centuries of Artistic Innovation, carefully guided by MSCAF Director Tony Sheets and exhibit builder Nelson Scherer. Right next to the car is an intricate pewter sculpture of a Model T assembly line, with a tiny version of the car rolling off at the end (photo at right below).
The classic car’s owner Paul Wheeler, architect and Claremont resident, (pictured at the steering wheel with Sheets and Scherer) has owned it for about 30 years. His pride and joy joins working models of other landmark technologies – steam engines, printing presses, weaving looms, cameras and more – to show how new materials – stainless steel, titanium, plastics, synthetic fibers, and acrylics – revolutionized art and expression.
This Model T is just an example of why MSCAF is considered the “Smithsonian West” as this show transports visitors through time from the early 1700s to the 20th Century on a journey of discovery.
Looking on from what is now called “Svenson’s Corner,” sculptor John Svenson had his own Model T memories. “I remember driving one of those down to Chino Airport when I was younger,” he said.
Svenson (at left with Tony Sheets) carved The Ranchero onsite at the Court of the Redwoods at the 1954 Fair. The sculpture towers near the MSCAF entrance today. Svenson will be signing copies of his just-published book, Exploring Forms by John Edward Svenson, an American Sculptor, on the days he is demonstrating wood-carving at MSCAF during the Fair.
Find more information about From the Industrial Age to the Computer Age: Three Centuries of Artistic Innovation here.

A Floral Fiesta 200 Years in the Making

Did you know the poinsettia is native to Mexico? I know you all thought this iconic Christmas flower was from someplace like England. The Aztecs made a reddish purple dye from the flower. Discover facts like this and more when you take int the beauty of Mexico’s flora at the Fair’s Flower & Garden Pavilion. Themed Celebrate Mexico, in honor of the country’s bicentennial, the Flower & Garden Pavilion explores the brilliant flowers from the poinsettia to the floating gardens of Xochimilco.
 Mexico is a land of vibrant flowers used in spectacular celebrations as well as everyday life. You will learn the signficance of why certains flowers are used in holidays like Day of the Dead and which areas of the coutry are petal bountiful!
Be sure to bring your camera. F&G coordinator Jim Hynd and crew always do a fantastic job with flowers. And don’t forget to stop and take a deep breath. It smells fantastic!

Holy Deep-Fried Foodie, Thummer!

The L.A. County Fair is a food fantasy come true for Stef Andrews, who makes an annual pilgrimage to try every deep-fried delicacy, on-a-stick surprise and chocolate-covered treat we have to offer. So, it is only fitting that we announce Stef as the official 2010 L.A. County Fair Foodie! Stef, chief blogger at, won our first-ever Fair Foodie contest. The contest looked for the best Foodie up to the challenge of covering all things food at the Fair.
Check out Stef’s winning entry here. We are proud to welcome her to the Fair family and can’t wait to show her around. She’ll be blogging at and tweeting @weheartthis to share all of her tastings and food encounters, so be sure to visit her blog for the latest and tastiest L.A. County Fair food updates. She’ll be assisted by her co-editor, Tyna Werner, as they take the Fair by storm, leaving no crumb untasted!

Dino Roar

I was walking the grounds this morning when I stumbled upon (or rather, it nearly stomped on me) this giant T. Rex standing outside the Jurassic Planet attraction. The Lizard King, as he is known, has “broken” out of building 8 and is trying to escape. You won’t want to miss this fella when you visit the Fair. He is moving and roaring already. I took a little video of him talking to Kristy Jo and me:

Nine days til the Fair my friends!

Innovative display comes together at Millard Sheets Center for the Arts

Things are shaping up at the Millard Sheets Center for the Arts exhibit From the Industrial Age to the Computer Age . . . Three Centuries of Artistic Innovation.
The entrance features a kinetic metal sculpture of a tree roosted with robotic birds, I kid you not. The tree trembles ever-so-slightly like a breeze is going through it, and the birds ruffle their wings individually, then do so in unison, as their eyes light up. It’s just fascinating to watch. I want this for my backyard.
Progress is being made in each room. A steam engine dominates a corner of Room 1 now. Various old printing machines, provided by the International Printing Museum in Carson, have taken over a wall near the entrance of the next room.
Photography was a huge industrial and artistic development, and gets its own special place in the exhibit this year. An enormous neon sign advertising CAMERAS in an Art-Deco design points the way to an exhibit of photographs, vintage cameras and more. Get your own cameras out to take a picture of that neon sign, on loan from Museum of Neon Art in Los Angeles.
The Gallery Store, twice the size it was last year, is full of creations by artists who will be doing demonstrations in painting, ceramics, sculpture and more. Get your ATM cards out, you won’t be able to resist!
Kids will get plenty of inspiration to create their own airplanes in Room 5, where 1/2-scale model of the Wright Brothers historic bi-plane — with a 25-foot wingspan — hangs above (with Mickey Mouse at the controls). Not only kids can participate in the fun here – any Fairguest can create squares that will be added to murals to be displayed in the main exhibit, learn hands-on about ceramics, use drawing to solve problems, and create collages using “ordinary stuff.”
Take a look at more by visiting the MSCAF web site here.

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Fairtime

That’s right – two weeks from tomorrow. It’s go time. The 88th L.A. County Fair begins Sept. 4 with so many ways to save every day and edutainment for everyone! We have dinosaurs, we have monkeys, we have a traveling circus, we have shopping and food, food, food! We have a new layout and it’s better than ever here at the Fair. Take a look at how we are coming along:

Check us out at

Get a Lesson in Anatomy with Our Body

Each year we try to bring new and innovative programming to the L.A. County Fair. There is one new exhibit that we think will have you talking for days and months after. OUR BODY: THE UNIVERSE WITHIN is a fascinating, artful and educational exhibit consisting of actual human bodies and organs. This exhibit literally goes “under the skin,” revealing the mysteries of human anatomy.
Our Body has been on display at museums and science centers throughout North America. This is the first time it has been presented outside of a formal museum setting, allowing this unique show to reach a broad spectrum of patrons.
The bodies, specimens and organs have been preserved using a process known as polymer impregnation, or plastination. This process preserves tissues right down to the microscopic level. OUR BODY: THE UNIVERSE WITHIN allows you the insight to the inside, giving one a true look at the inner workings of the extraordinary human body.
As you enter the exhibit, you will have the opportunity to examine the human body as a whole. Continuing throughout the exhibit, you will journey through each of the body’s major systems allowing you to see firsthand how they function and relate to other systems. You are about to see the human body in a way previously only available to doctors and scientists, and journey through the 1,000 year history of our own species.
All of the anatomical specimens contained in OUR BODY: THE UNIVERSE WITHIN originate from China and have been provided for the exhibit in a manner consistent with the laws of China. The anatomical specimens, donated through medical schools and other research facilities in China, are provided by a Chinese foundation to promote educational and medical research of the human body. Specific identities are not listed.
OUR BODY: THE UNIVERSE WITHIN will be located in the Grandstand. Ages 12 and younger will not be permitted without a parent or guardian. Tickets to Our Body are available online for $5. At the door tickets will be $7.
Come out and get a fascinating science lesson at the Fair!

Take a Last Ride on the Slide Before it Chutes into History

The Giant Slide – that big, huge wavy banana-like structure near the Flower & Garden Pavilion where you get potato-sack burns on your…well, where you get potato sack burns – is celebrating its 45th anniversary at the L.A. County Fair – and it’s last.
After nearly half a century at the Fair, the Giant Slide is retiring. It’s going to spend the rest of its days with the metal slide with sharp edges that I played on when I was a kid, the one that gave me third-degree burns sliding under the Inland Valley heat, and the twisty pool slide my cousins had that usually landed us on the cement edge of the pool rather than in the pool. Retirement homes for slides – Slideview Farms, Chute Chateau, The Swoosh Inn. Who knew?
With the Giant Slide headed for social security, that means you must take one last ride during this year’s Fair! Grab a bunch of friends. Wear silly hats. Make faces as you whoosh over each bump. Enjoy the last thrills of an old Fair friend.
What are you memories of riding the Giant Slide?

Giddy up!

It’s not just great rides and great food that’s coming up in three weeks. The L.A. County Fair has live thoroughbred horse racing! Feel the pulse-pounding action Sept. 9 – 27 at Fairplex Park (dark Mondays Sept. 13 and 20 and all Tuesdays).
Now in its 72nd season, the sport of kings is available to all race fans during the Fair. Post time is 1 p.m. Don’t miss these daily features:
1.The Better Bettors’ Forum-Open every day in the Clubhouse. Gordon Jones hosts at 11 a.m. with special guests on weekends.
2.Free Clubhouse Admission-There is no charge to enter the Clubhouse. Take advantage of our free video replay screen.
3.Free Grandstand seating.
Even if you are a beginner, check out the races. There are also a ton of promotions. There are wiener dog races on Sept. 11 and don’t miss the classic car show on Sept. 25.
See you at the races!

No Need to Pay Full Price to Get into the Fair!

My fellow Fair lovers, it is 30 days til the gates open for the 88th  anniversary of the L.A. County Fair! That’s 30 days until a ride on the Ferris wheel, 30 days til you find out if your cookies won a blue ribbon, 30 days until you get to rock out at the End of Summer Concert Series and 30 days until my first Hot Dog on a Stick in almost a year! What’s really great is we have so many discounts and promotions, you should not have to pay full price to get in! It’s Pure.Value. my friends.
First off, on opening weekend – Labor Day Weekend – admission is $1 Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. One dollar! You can bring a carload of people for just 10 bucks. Prices do go up to regular weekend rates after 1 p.m. – so be there before 1!
Pre-sale tickets are available online for $10 for adults and $6 for children through Aug. 31. Pre-sale carnival ticket discounts are also available online. Check it out.
Perhaps the best thing we have to offer is the season pass. Just $24.95 for ages 6 and older – gets you in every day of the Fair!
Give blood and get a free Fair ticket. The American Red Cross and the Fair have their annual blood drives Aug. 20 and Sept. 14 at the Sheraton Fairplex Hotel. Sign up at and enter sponsor code fairmckinley.
Food Drive Fridays are back. Bring in five cans of Ralphs brand food on Fridays to the Fair and get into the Fair for free! All canned food will be donated to the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank.
By the way, you can buy $10 any-day tickets at participating Ralphs grocery stores from Aug. 23 – Oct. 3. And get a coupon at McDonald’s for McDonald’s Wednesdays – $20 admission and unlimited ride carnival wristband (available beginning Aug. 30).
There’s also College Thursdays, Community Days, A Weekend for Heroes for law enforcement and retirement, Senior Wednesdays and $5 after 5 p.m. Wednesdays – Fridays.
See what I’m saying? If I bump into you during the Fair and you tell me you paid full price, you’re going to get my, “Really? Really?” look. And you don’t want that…