This Week at Fairplex

Eight events, five days, all at Fairplex. We’re always talking about the diversity of our campus and this week we’re about to prove it! Here’s what’s going on:

Fairplex Events Pentathlon FBCoverPhoto 1024x341 This Week at Fairplex Modern Pentathlon World Cup #1 is at Fairplex Feb. 22 – 26

Modern Pentathlon World Cup #1 (Feb. 22-26): Currently more than 100 international athletes are at Fairplex, preparing to compete in the first Modern Pentathlon World Cup of 2017. It’s going to be five days of fencing, showjumping, running and shooting, with the swimming component taking place at The Claremont Club.

We’re excited to host Olympic athletes and other world-class competitors to our campus and hope you’ll join us for both the Opening Ceremonies (Feb. 23) and the event itself (Feb. 22-26). Tickets + event info can be found here: http://bit.ly/2kiuq06. You can learn even more about Modern Pentathlon here, here and here.

Quilt, Craft & Sewing Festival (Feb. 23-25): The Quilt, Craft & Sewing Festival returns to Fairplex this week with all things sewing, quilting, crafting and needle art. Shop top-quality supply vendors, attend free seminars and workshops and participate in daily door prize drawings. Admission to all three days is free with a coupon, which can be downloaded here.

Junk In The Trunk Vintage Market (Feb. 25-26): Junk in the Trunk Vintage Market comes to Fairplex with more than 100 vendors from across the country. Guests are invited to shop tons of great finds, enjoy live music and refuel on food trucks. Ticket and event information are available here.

Quinceanera Expo (Feb . 26): The Quinceanera Magazine Expo returns to Fairplex to meet all party planning needs! Shop everything from gowns to choreographers, invitations to photo booths, caterers to limos, and everything else you need to make your quince, sweet sixteen or wedding a success. More info can be found here.

Other Events: In addition to the above shows, the B.R.A.K.E.S. Driving School will be instructing teens on how to drive safely and responsibly, the US Public Auction will be selling cars, and we’ll be hosting our first ever soccer games on our infield on Sunday!

For more information on any of our events, please visit our Fairplex Events Calendar. See you soon!

60 Minutes with Miguel A. Santana

Miguel Santana 214x300 60 Minutes with Miguel A. Santana

When the company you work for hires a new President and CEO, you pick up your notebook as fast as you can, you walk over to his executive assistant and you schedule an interview. Sounds easy, right? Well, it would be if everyone wasn’t trying to do the exact same thing!

Fortunately for my colleague Heather and me, Miguel had an opening in his schedule so we met with him in his office where he walked us through his life, his goals and, most importantly, his passion for the work he does.

Did you always know you wanted to work in politics? If not, what inspired you?
The Rodney King riots in 1992 inspired me to work hard to make the Los Angeles general region a better and safer place for people. We have a responsibility to do everything in our power to strengthen and empower our community.

Can you tell us a bit about your experience at Harvard?
I knew what I needed to do, so I only applied to one school – which was Harvard. Packing my things and moving with my family to Cambridge, Massachusetts was truly a transformative experience. I was exposed to East Coast weather, urban living and a very diverse culture of students. That’s where I learned that school is a gift compared to working.

What motivates you to get up every morning?
My kids. I have 4 daughters, ages 19 to 28. Their creativity and their mindfulness of what they do, where they work and their beliefs. They’re courageous in that they pursue what they love and are passionate about it rather than just being practical. They write, sing, create art and have their hobbies. They are their own persons, representative of the future. They practice what they believe every day, and I think that is something Fairplex strives to be: a place where people can pursue their passions and interests. That is a core component of who we are.

Your CV is very impressive, what drew you to Fairplex? What is your vision for Fairplex?
I was drawn by the opportunity to build and expand on what we are currently doing here. From quilters to car aficionados, there are so many people who are drawn to what we have going on at Fairplex. There are so many interests and Fairplex is a place where people can develop their interests and share it with others, and hopefully even make a living off of it. Fairplex represents the best of who we are, and it revolves around the crossing of cultures and interests. The question we should be asking is how do we make this even more inclusive and how do we continue to foster and create new cultures? I look forward to transforming our work into a lifestyle, a community, and a place to live, play, learn and work. I think the Fair is the greatest expression of all of this.

What are some of your hobbies?
Exploring Los Angeles. I like to do something new every week, whether it’s trying new foods, visiting museums or historical parts of the city. In 2016, I spent a lot of time in the Westside areas from Venice to Westchester, so now I am really looking forward is to getting reacquainted with Pomona and the surrounding areas. As a food lover, my goal is to connect to places owned by real people, not chain restaurants.

During your 20+ years in government you’ve tackled some of the region’s most difficult challenges. How do you define success?
Success is what you take from something, what you discover and learn to appreciate from your experience. I’m always looking for ways to develop the potential in everyone, everything and everywhere. This can be applied to our mission at Fairplex, which is to give our guests something meaningful to take away. If we can accomplish this, we’ve succeeded.

Do you think it’s important to get to know the people working at Fairplex? Why?
Our employees are the heart and soul of what we do here. Our people are the ones who make Fairplex what it is and I aim to respect and appreciate the work of everyone here. Each person contributes something unique to the company.

In fact, I want Fairplex employees to know they can always stop by my office. I want to hear what they have to say and how they think we can best fulfill our mission and make company culture what they think it should be. Hope they stop by and say hello!   

It’s been more than 30 days since you assumed the position of President and CEO of Fairplex. What can you tell us about this milestone?
I’ve met with all of the elected representatives for Fairplex, and it’s been an interesting and educational experience.  I enjoyed discussing how we can support each other and how to make Fairplex a place to live, learn, work and play for all the residents of Los Angeles County. 

I’ve also had the opportunity to meet with the editors of the Southern California News Group, which not only includes our local paper the Daily Bulletin but the Los Angeles Daily News, the Riverside Press-Enterprise and the Orange County Register. We had a productive conversation that included discussion of the Monday, Feb. 13, Pomona City Council meeting’s study session on F-Zone land uses.

Last month, LA County Supervisor Hilda Solis toured the campus, including The Farm and the Child Development Center. We discussed how the county and Fairplex can work together. Our conversation was positive and we look forward to building our relationship with the entire board of supervisors. 

So far, we’re off to a very good start.

If someone wants to get a hold of you, how can they do so?
They can email me at ceo@fairplex.com, send me a tweet at @FairplexCEO or stop by my office. 

Learning Centers at Fairplex Partners with Mecum Auctions

The Learning Centers at Fairplex has teamed up with Mecum for a once-in-a-lifetime experience for our auto students! The seller of a rare 2-door Lincoln Continental will donate auction proceeds to benefit the Alex Xydias Center for Automotive Arts at Fairplex.

Fairplex Events Mecum tlcauction 1024x552 Learning Centers at Fairplex Partners with Mecum Auctions 1947 Lincoln Continental proceeds benefit Alex Xydias Center for Automotive Arts

The car will be auctioned off today at the Mecum Auctions Collector-Car show here on campus. Students and teachers from the auto center took a tour of the event and auction operations yesterday during set-up and will be present this afternoon when the 1947 Lincoln Continental crosses the auction block.

Our auto education program has been built in collaboration with automotive business owners and classic car enthusiasts from the Inland Valley.

Thanks to our rich history with car events, we have been able to provide our students with a number of wonderful educational opportunities to better equip them for a career in the automotive industry.

Thank you Mecum for a great partnership with The Learning Centers!

To learn more about The Learning Centers at Fairplex programs click here.

To learn more about the Mecum Auctions LA show, click here.

Throwback Thursday: From an Olympian to a General

Fairplex Events Pentathlon georgerunning1 Throwback Thursday: From an Olympian to a General

Photo from WIRED Magazine

General George S. Patton is known for his bravery and leadership in World War II, but before becoming a national hero, he was an Olympic athlete.

Modern Pentathlon was introduced to the Summer Olympic Games in 1912. George Patton was the first and only athlete to compete from the United States.

If you’ve been reading our blog posts, you know that Pentathletes compete in a total of five sports: running, shooting, swimming, fencing and showjumping. And yes, Patton did all five at the Olympic Games. The 26-year-old future general, with only two months to train for the sport, placed fifth overall.

We’ll be inducting Patton into the UIPM Hall of Fame at our Opening Ceremonies next Thursday. It is our privilege to honor him for the amazing athletic feats he accomplished in the first Modern Pentathlon.

To learn more about Patton’s experience in the 1912 Olympics, click here.

For more information regarding the Modern Pentathlon World Cup at Fairplex, click here.

Modern Pentathlon: 5 Sports, 1 Event

We’re exactly one week away from Modern Pentathlon World Cup #1 and we couldn’t be more thrilled. It’s not every day that we can say we’re hosting an Olympic experience!

Some of you may be wondering: What’s a Modern Pentathlon? Is it really part of the Olympic games? To answer your questions…

1. What it is: Modern Pentathlon is divided into five disciplines: fencing, swimming, showjumping, running and laser shooting. World-class athletes compete in all five sports in the semi-finals, finals and mixed relay competition. More than 30 countries will be represented at Fairplex.

2. Yes it is an Olympic sport: Modern Pentathlon is the only sport created specifically for the Olympics; it debuted at the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm! During the four-year break in between the Olympic Summer Games, events called World Cups are held around the world where top-notch athletes compete against one another for gold, silver and bronze medals. We (Fairplex) are hosting the first World Cup of 2017, here on our grounds, with swimming held at The Claremont Club.

We broke down how each of the five sports works in the infographic below. Check it out!

modern pentathlon 101 2 Modern Pentathlon: 5 Sports, 1 Event For more information on Modern Pentathlon, including ticket prices, schedule of events and more, visit Fairplex.com/MP. All events, including the Opening Ceremonies, are open to the public. We hope to see you next week!

Behind-the-Scenes: ArtReach Set-Up

Since its debut in 2013, ArtReach has been a staple of student creativity at the Millard Sheets Art Center.

Fairplex BTS artreach Behind the Scenes: ArtReach Set Up This year’s theme is The Art of Dreams, and we can’t wait to see the creativity of local high school students in the gallery! From paintings to sculptures to photography, there is plenty of art to celebrate this year.

Stay tuned to see how it turns out! For more information on ArtReach and other student art programs, visit millardsheetsartcenter.org.

Weekend Recap: Winternationals, Trains

We like to share our weekend experiences through the eyes of our guests!

NHRA Winternationals
The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series always starts here at Fairplex at the Auto Club Raceaway, and this year was no exception! Click here to read up on who won what at the 2017 NHRA Winternationals!



World’s Great Hobby On Tour (Model Trains)
Model trains were the name of the game on the other side of our campus! From the World’s Great Hobby expo to our historic garden railroad, children and parents alike had a blast learning and playing this past weekend:



Up next: Mecum Auctions, the world leader of collector car, vintage and antique motorcycles and Road Art sales is bringing their Los Angeles Show to Fairplex this weekend and we can’t wait! More info at Fairplex.com.

Fairplex Snapshot: Filming Things Green at The Farm!

The Farm at Fairplex is home to many things: farm-to-table dinners, agriculture classes, field trips, weddings… and it’s also one of the places where Nick Federoff films his Things Green show for PBS! Today’s topic: the California drought.

Our Farm keeps water-efficiency a top priority at all times, from using vertical crops to the way we do irrigation. Our horticulturist Don Delano weighed in on best practices for sustainability and what we’ve done to reduce water during the drought.

You can watch this Things Green episode and others Monday-Friday and Saturdays on KLCS Channel 58!

To learn more about Things Green click here.

To learn more about The Farm at Fairplex click here.

Fairplex Weekender: Drag races and trains

This weekend Fairplex is all about two things: drag racing and trains. Here’s what’s on the calendar:

Fairplex Events NHRA Facebook Fairplex Weekender: Drag races and trains The NHRA Winternationals have been at Fairplex since the very beginning

NHRA Winternationals (Now – Feb. 12): We’ve been listening to the roar of the drag races since yesterday, and it’s welcome noise to our ears! The 2017 NHRA season opener is in full throttle this weekend at the Auto Club Raceway. Tickets are on sale online and at the doors. Choose from general or VIP seating and enjoy the noise, the crowds and the adrenaline! More info at nhra.com.

World’s Great Hobby Train Show (Feb 11-12): If you love trains, this is the weekend to be at Fairplex. The World’s Greatest Hobby On Tour is filling Expo Hall 4 with huge operating model railroads along with manufacturers and retailers, a free riding train for kids, train demos and seminars, and Walt Disney’s Railroad Story by author Michael Broggie. Horus, admission and additional info available here.

Fairplex Garden Railroad (Feb 11-12): The Fairplex Garden Railroad is opening its gates to the public (FREE) on Feb. 11 & 12, weather permitting. One of the longest standing pieces of the LA County Fair, the Garden Railroad is continually growing and changing at the hands of our dedicated volunteers. Stop by 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. More info at fgrr.org.

RailGiants Train Museum (Feb 11-12): On the other side of campus, the RailGiants Train Museum features the giant steam engines and locomotives of the past. Climb aboard one of these giant engines and speak with our docents on the history of the trains. More info at railgiants.org.