April at Fairplex

March was a busy month for us — Celtic Faire, Grow Pomona, ArtReach and the launch of our new website for starters, and we’re ready for the next adventure. April at Fairplex is all about movement — dance, fun runs, travel shows and even looking beyond our own campus and into the community. Keep reading to see what we have planned this month:

WorldofDanc April at FairplexWorld of Dance (April 2): The international dance community convenes at Fairplex to celebrate the lifestyle, culture and music of urban dance. YouTube stars, dance icons and lifestyle brands will take over campus for a full day of dance. This event is part of an international tour culminating at the annual World Finals this summer right here in Los Angeles. For tickets, hours and performance info click here.

Cosmo7K April at FairplexFun Runs (All Month): Fun runs are dominating Fairplex this month and we couldn’t be happier! We start the month off with the Pomona Valley Workshop (PVW) Run/Walk, which raises awareness of adult mental disabilities and end with The Music Run, a music-themed 5K where you choose the music.

Sandwiched in between is the all-ladies Cosmo Run 7K and Breakthrough for Brain Tumors 5K. See info for all these events here.

FoodTruckThursday April at FairplexFood Truck Thursdays (All Month): Food Truck Thursdays are BACK in April and we are ready to get our grub on! Check our Facebook page for a list of food trucks each week. Food Truck Thursdays run from 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. each week, with parking at Gate 1. Admission and parking are free, just bring your appetite.

RVShow April at FairplexGiant RV Show (April 1 – 10): The Giant RV Show returns to Fairplex for its spring show. Start prepping for your road trips now with ample shopping opportunities for RV newbies and vets alike. Admission is free. Click here for more info.


2016 Lemon Festival Logo 150x150 April at FairplexUpland Lemon Festival (April 29-May 1): We’re putting on the Upland Lemon Festival, held in historic downtown Upland. Join us off-site for carnival rides, games, live entertainment and all things lemon. A portion of the proceeds will benefit designated non-profit organizations in the City of Upland through The Learning Centers at Fairplex.

Everything Else: The Twilight Cruise Night, Pomona Swap Meet and the Palates & Palettes wine and paint night will also be happening on campus this month.

For more info on any of these events please visit us at fairplex.com!

Which events are you planning to attend? Tell us in the comments below! 

Fairplex Snapshot: Sweet Cases For Foster Children

This month we partnered with Together We Rise to make Sweet Cases for children in foster care. Each department at Fairplex put together a duffel bag with a hygiene kit, blanket and toys/activities for children uprooted from their homes and placed in the foster care system.

Many foster children move from home to home with their few personal belongings tossed into a trash bag. Together We Rise works to bring these children Sweet Case duffel bags so that doesn’t have to be the case.

Our departments were given duffel bags to decorate and fill with necessities and toys, which Together We Rise will distribute as needed.

To learn more about Together We Rise, click here.

Thank you to all our employees who donated their time, money and talents to this project!  We look forward to group efforts like these in the near future. 

Company Announcement: Michael Ortiz Tapped as Interim CEO as Jim Henwood Decides to Step Down

The Board of Directors for the Los Angeles County Fair Association (LACFA) announced today that Michael Ortiz, Chair of the Board and former president of Cal Poly Pomona, will serve as our Interim CEO as current CEO Jim Henwood has decided to step down.

Ortiz has been a Board member of LACFA since 2003 and we welcome him as our Intern CEO.

We would like to take this time to thank Jim for all that he has done for our organization, including making Fairplex a year-round event destination, making the LA County Fair a safe family-friendly event and the addition of the state-of-the-art Conference Center, expansion of The Farm at Fairplex and many other improvements that continue to this day.

We look forward to the future of our organization and welcome Michael Ortiz into the Fairplex family. As long-time board member Stephen Morgan has said, “we believe his tenure will be an effective bridge until our new CEO is selected, allowing the LACFA to move into its next chapter of success.”

For more information, please visit the Fairplex newsroom.  

A Tour of the Millard Sheets Art Center

Behind its seemingly quiet exterior, the Millard Sheets Art Center is a buzzing hive of creativity and community.

msac artreach A Tour of the Millard Sheets Art Center

Classes, exhibitions and family workshops are just some of the year-round activities that happen around here. Take a tour with us…

Upon entering, you can purchase artwork created by students and the local community at our small shop to the left. To the right lies our main gallery, home to various art exhibitions like ArtReach, Capstone, So Cal MFA and more.

msac artcollective A Tour of the Millard Sheets Art Center

The back of the gallery opens to our classrooms, where various stages of pottery, ceramics, painting, sketching and design projects from our Career & Technical Education Center (CTEC) and Reed Fine Arts Program students take residence.

msac pottery A Tour of the Millard Sheets Art Center

msac drawing A Tour of the Millard Sheets Art Center

On certain weekends visitors might catch a Palates & Palettes paint & wine session or a see a family workshop in action.

msac familyworkshop A Tour of the Millard Sheets Art Center

msac palates A Tour of the Millard Sheets Art Center

The Millard Sheets Art Center is an active, year-round facility, bringing the art world at large and our local community together. We’re excited for all the programs we have lined up for 2016 — to see what’s next for us, visit our new website here.

For more information on The Learning Centers at Fairplex as a whole, visit tlcfairplex.org.

Fairplex Weekend Recap: Easter Brunch at McKinley’s Grille

We enjoyed a peaceful weekend at Fairplex. McKinley’s Grille (our on-site restaurant) hosted the annual Easter brunch which was a blast!

Photo Mar 27 10 13 50 AM Fairplex Weekend Recap: Easter Brunch at McKinleys Grille

We took up most of the first floor of the hotel (no, really.) The lobby played host to our carved ham and lamb stations and our omelette station. The bar offered complimentary mimosas for 21+ crowd, as well as a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar which incorporated ingredients straight from The Farm. 

Photo Mar 27 7 56 00 AM Fairplex Weekend Recap: Easter Brunch at McKinleys Grille

The entrance to McKinley’s Grille served as our dessert bar and one of our smaller ballrooms served as the kiddie room: face painting, photos with the Easter Bunny and cartoons on a large screen.

Photo Mar 27 10 22 44 AM Fairplex Weekend Recap: Easter Brunch at McKinleys Grille

Photo Mar 27 10 12 56 AM Fairplex Weekend Recap: Easter Brunch at McKinleys Grille

Despite moving our seating to the patio and ballrooms, we still had a full house! It was fantastic to see so many guests eating and drinking with their families.

The weather was perfect, the food was delicious and our staff had a wonderful time helping out (smiles all around!) All in all, Easter brunch was definitely a success.

We’re already filling reservations for our Mother’s Day brunch. Make sure you save you and Mom a space before we’re full! Menu, pricing and additional info available here.

L.A. Weekender: Happy Easter!

Easter weekend is upon us and Los Angeles is bursting at the seams with Easter egg hunts, brunches and celebrations galore. Keep reading for what to do this weekend:

easter eggs 1 1024x768 L.A. Weekender: Happy Easter! Have a great weekend! 

Egg-ceptional Celebration at LA Arboretum (March 26): The LA Aboretum is hosting a special Easter Egg hunt for all ages on Saturday morning. Crafts, games, refreshments and prizes will be handed out, along with Easter baskets. For more information, click here.

Egg Bowl (March 26): The Rose Bowl turns into an egg-hunt extravaganza this Saturday. Children can participate in an egg hunt featuring more than 60,000 eggs in their search for the Golden Egg. Family-friendly activities will also be available like face painting, balloon animals and visits with the Bunny. For more information, click here.

Easter at Fairplex (March 27): We are happy to welcome back Purpose Church to our campus. They will be holding their Easter Sunday services at the Grandstand at Fairplex at 9 and 11 a.m. If you wish to attend, please park at Gate 17. Parking and admission are free. Click here for additional information.

Easter Brunch at McKinley’s Grille (March 27): Our hotel restaurant is offering a delicious Farm-fresh brunch, including an omelet station, carved ham and ham, hot breakfast and lunch options, pastas, salads and dessert. For the adults there will be bottomless mimosas and a Bloody Mary bar where our mixologist will have 16 ingredients for you to choose from. The Easter Bunny will also be making a special appearance! We’re currently full but check with our restaurant for any last-minute openings. Contact information at mckinleysgrille.com.

Wonder Con (March 25-27): For those looking for a less conventional way to spend this holiday weekend, check out Wonder Con for all things superheroes, sci-fi and nerdom at the LA Convention Center. Click here for more information.

The Fairplex L.A. Weekender is a calendar of weekend events throughout Los Angeles County, from the heart of downtown to the beach cities to the IE. Additional information about all listings can be found at the event’s official website. If you have suggestions for an event, leave a comment in the box below or email us at tanji@fairplex.com

Fairplex Snapshot: Farewell, ArtReach 2016

ArtReach: The Art of Metaphor has been a wonderful success! We were quite impressed with the unique pieces submitted by high school students and we’re sad to see this exhibition come to a close.

ArtReach: The Art of Metaphor is open to the public this Friday & Saturday, noon – 5 p.m. Admission and parking are free! Special thanks to the art patrons, students, teachers and community members who joined us for another fantastic year.

For more information on the Millard Sheets Art Center, click here.

Fairplex Snapshot: Springtime at The Farm

Fairplex is absolutely beautiful in the spring. The weather is warm and breezy, rainy days are few and far between (although El Nino might have something to say about that this year…), and best of all, our whole campus is blooming in flora and fauna.

Squirrels, woodpeckers, robins, rabbits and chickens call Fairplex their home and the chirping and chattering of our little friends can be heard all day long outside our office windows.

We took a walk down to The Farm this morning to see how our crops are doing and came upon these beautiful flowers in the photo above. We’re going to have to make the most of this weather before the summer heat rolls in!

Farm at Fairplex Dinner Series 2016 Opens

We debuted our 2016 Farm at Fairplex Dinner Series last Friday! This al fresco dining experience is one of our favorites…

MarchDinner TableSetting Farm at Fairplex Dinner Series 2016 Opens

Chef Vinny from McKinley’s Grille made a delicious four-course dinner out on The Farm as guests looked on, enjoying cocktails and hors d’oeuvres prior to their meal.

MarchDinner Cocktails Farm at Fairplex Dinner Series 2016 Opens

Each dish was made with ingredients selected straight from The Farm, including fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs. 

FarmDinner CourseShot Farm at Fairplex Dinner Series 2016 Opens

Warm weather, live music and happy guests created the perfect setting for our first Farm at Fairplex dinner of the year. We’re already looking forward to our Earth Day dinner next month!

For more information on our Farm at Fairplex Dinner Series visit mckinleysgrille.com.

Fairplex Weekend Recap: From Farm to Faire

It definitely feels like Monday and we’re not surprised after the insanely busy weekend we just had. Keep reading to see what went down on campus:

Grow Pomona

Bright blue skies, a light breeze and plenty of sunshine set the stage for our Grow Pomona agricultural celebration. Dozens of families joined us for a full morning and afternoon of learning and fun.

Rope making, hay baling, corn grinding and wool making demonstrations, olive oil tastings, cooking classes, insect and animal exhibits, vegetable and fruit picking and booth upon booth of agricultural and horticultural displays made for quite the busy day!

Our personal favorite? The Pygmy goats!

GrowPomona PygmyGoats 1024x940 Fairplex Weekend Recap: From Farm to Faire

Thanks to the help of our Fairplex Ambassadors, many community partners, staff and friends, the event was a success. We can’t think of a better way to start off Spring 2016 at The Farm.

Celtic Faire

If you heard bagpipes and the clashing of swords coming from our grounds, that would be the sounds of Celtic Faire.

We transformed our campus into a truly Celtic world, including an enchanted Shire of forest animals, a raucous dining hall of Celtic music and dance, and plenty of sheep herding, jousting, storytelling, crafting and shopping galore.  

We were a little sad to see it all come to an end as our grounds return to normal today… but of course, there’s always the next event to look forward to icon smile Fairplex Weekend Recap: From Farm to Faire

Everything else 

Believe it or not, Grow Pomona and Celtic Faire weren’t the only events on campus this weekend! Cristo Vive — the Spanish reenactment of Passion of The Christ, Everybody’s Bird Mart, and the BeerFit 5K also drew crowd.s 

This weekend was the perfect example of how diverse our campus can really be, for all ages and all interests. Visit our Events Calendar to see what’s next at Fairplex. If you joined us this weekend, thank you!