Meet our new senior vice president

We’re pleased to welcome Lucas Rivera, vice president of Grand Park, as the new senior vice president of Fairplex!

Fairplex LucasRivera Meet our new senior vice president Rivera has done excellent work with Grand Park in downtown LA, creating a true community gathering place for a variety of cultures, holidays, community celebrations and other events.

He will take his expertise and passion for community from DTLA to our campus, where he will focus on the overall vision for our company and work with our team to create a sense of place out of our 487 acres.

We look forward to having Rivera be a part of our strategic planning process and in moving our company forward in the years to come.

Please join us in giving him a warm welcome!

To learn more about Rivera’s transition to Fairplex, click here.

Fairplex Snapshot: Auto Class Graduation

The Career & Technical Education Center at Fairplex provides students with real-life skills for a variety of industries, including the auto industry.

Yesterday we had the privilege of saying congratulations to 16 graduates of the Alex Xydias Center for Automotive Arts (AXC), who have successfully completed our extensive two-year auto program.

The class of 2017 is our biggest yet, and each student is certified in one or more areas of the industry. We’re very proud of all they have accomplished and wish them well as they continue their endeavors in the field!

To learn more about our auto program, and other learning opportunities with The Learning Centers at Fairplex, click here.

Where is she now? Big Boy No. 4014 Update

Throwing it back a few years… do you remember Big Boy No. 4014?

Fairplex TBT bigboy 1024x468 Where is she now? Big Boy No. 4014 Update Big Boy No. 4014 at Fairplex, getting ready for the big move (2013)

The Union Pacific Big Boy 4014 is one of the largest steam engines in the world, and for 51 years, she called Fairplex home. The RailGiants Train Museum team at Fairplex took excellent care of Big Boy before passing her along to train experts in Cheyenne, WY in 2013.

Fairplex BigBoy 4014badge1 225x300 Where is she now? Big Boy No. 4014 Update The move itself was quite a project — we had to build a mile-long track from the museum to the Metrolink station on Arrow Hwy just to get Big Boy on the road!

4 years and 1,300 miles later, Big Boy is happily situated in her new home in Wyoming, undergoing extensive restoration and repair by the Union Pacific’s Heritage Fleet Operations Team.

One of our faithful Fairplex friends visited Big Boy recently and sent us some pictures to show us how she’s doing. Take a look!

Fairplex BigBoy sign Where is she now? Big Boy No. 4014 Update Fairplex BigBoy train Where is she now? Big Boy No. 4014 Update Refurbishments are well under way in Wyoming

It has been an honor to host this piece of history on our grounds. We’re glad to see her progress so far!

Thoughtful Thursday: Earth Day Plant Drop

Fairplex plantdrop 300x266 Thoughtful Thursday: Earth Day Plant Drop Last week 25 members from our leadership team joined Miguel Santana (our CEO) as we hand-delivered more than 400 plants from our Farm to our neighbors in celebration of Earth Day!

Taking care of the environment is a top priority for us, not only in The Farm at Fairplex, but throughout the rest of our 487-acre campus as well.

Learn more about our sustainability efforts here and here.

Mother’s Day at Fairplex

here is always something to be thankful for. 300x300 Mothers Day at Fairplex

No one does a buffet quite like McKinley’s Grille! Every year we get to see moms celebrated at our annual Mother’s Day brunch.

It’s a lovely day full of family, food and flowers galore, and one of our favorite holidays to work.

Like Fairplex itself, there is something for everyone on Mother’s Day! Check out the menu for a quick look:


• buttermilk pancakes
• applewood-smoked bacon
• maple sausage
• scrambled eggs

croissants, cinnamon rolls, assorted muffins
jams & sweet butter

omelets made to order with choice of toppings

• Garlic and herb-crusted beef strip loin, au jus, horseradish cream
• Pink peppercorn and sage-rubbed tom turkey, IPA mustard, roasted garlic gravy

• Penne pasta with traditional bolognese sauce
• Japanese pumpkin ravioli, spigarello, roasted garlic, pea tendrils, pecorino

• Pan-roasted chicken breast, cured orange and anise glaze
• Seared mahi, stewed tomato & caper
• Potato au gratin, gruyere cheese, parmesan, garlic, herbs
• Seasonal farm vegetables

• Wild rice and root vegetable salad, lemon vinaigrette
• Traditional caesar salad focaccia croutons
• Farm greens, pomegranate vinaigrette
• Lemongrass-lime leaf poached shrimp, rustic cocktail sauce
• Seasonal fruit selection

• Brandy-soaked strawberries, dark rum-soaked bananas, fresh whipped cream

assorted cakes, tortes and cupcakes

• mac and cheese
• chicken tenders
• mini burgers and corn dogs
• celery and carrot sticks, ranch dressing
• grapes and strawberries

Buffet includes unlimited Tazo iced teas, Starbucks coffee, soft drinks and mimosas

$38.95 per person (+ tax & service charge)
$15 children (ages 12 and under, + tax & service charge)
Children 5 and younger free

National Volunteer Appreciation Week

volunteer week 5 National Volunteer Appreciation Week It’s National Volunteer Appreciation Week! We want to give a big thank-you to our wonderful volunteers. From leading field trips in The Farm at Fairplex to helping us set up and run our neighborhood parties (and so much more), they are part of our very core.

Their passion, dedication and love for the programs at Fairplex make our guests feel special while learning new things. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you Fairplex Ambassadors, for all that you do! We truly appreciate you icon smile National Volunteer Appreciation Week

To learn more about becoming a Fairplex Ambassador yourself, click here. We’re always looking for new team members!

The LA County Fair is on Carnival Eats!

The Cooking Channel’s Carnival Eats show covers the craziest food in the world, and they’re starting their journey tonight at the LA County Fair.

jalapeno pepepr The LA County Fair is on Carnival Eats!

Photo Cred: @carnivaleats (Instagram)

The Carnival Eats crew visited us during the 2016 LA County Fair and — in line with our Dare to Fair theme — tasted the wildest, juciest, gooiest, strangest foods our Fair has to offer. You can watch it all on The Cooking Channel tonight at 8 p.m. ET.

We look forward to reliving the 2016 Fair! Stay tuned to see what wild foods we have planned for the 2017 Fair…

Strategic Planning Meeting #1 Recap

Last week we hosted our first official Strategic Planning meeting. As we look at the future of Fairplex begin planning for the 100-year anniversary of the LA County Fair in 2022 we will look to these meetings for our next steps.

Strategic Planning Pic 1024x765 Strategic Planning Meeting #1 Recap Our strategic planning sessions are open to the public — all are welcome to join our discussions as we move forward. To learn more about how these meetings work, click here.

Each session focuses on specific topics related to Fairplex’s past, present and future. Last week we covered Agriculture and Food, and Education and Craft Skill Development. Here’s some of what was discussed:

Fairplex TLC ag 300x200 Strategic Planning Meeting #1 Recap Agriculture & Food
We looked back on our agricultural roots — how we started as a simple beet field and have transformed into the dynamic educational event space that we are today. We also took a look at our present ag efforts (the Farm expansion, bringing in livestock, etc) and how we can expand upon this in the future.

Our topic leader, Chef David Teig, also brought in thought leaders in the Ag & Food space to speak on these topics as a whole, and how this could / will affect Fairplex in the future. Subtopics included food & ag education, food trends, job growth and job training in the culinary work space.

After our presentations we had time to listen to what our guests had to say. From our neighbors to educators to government officials, the consensus was clear: to expand our potential, we need to remember our roots.

TLC CDC chalkboard 300x200 Strategic Planning Meeting #1 Recap Education & Craft Skill Development
While everyone knows that the LA County Fair is produced by Fairplex, not everyone knows about the work we do in education. The Learning Centers at Fairplex, which we wrote about last week, is a core part of who we are and what we do.

Our topic leader, Thomas Canavan of the Millard Sheets Art Center, gave a brief introduction for each of our centers, then moved into our vision for the future. Our ideas are centered around our students — preparing them for the future, creating more learning opportunities and allowing potential to thrive.

Lucas Rivera, vice president of Grand Park LA, spoke on how he has worked to create real, genuine community within the arts with the work he has done in the city of Los Angeles. Dr. Holly Reynolds, director of the Child Development Center, spoke more about the importance of education, especially in younger children.

Following their presentations, the room as a whole discussed various aspects of art and education both at Fairplex and in Southern California as a whole.

For a full copy of meeting notes, presentations and other documents, please visit our website. We look forward to upcoming meetings and the discussions to follow!

Fairplex Strategic Planning 2017

As we wrap up the first quarter of 2017 at Fairplex, we are already looking towards the future and what direction we will take as we move towards our 100-year Fair anniversary.

LACF Carnival aerialshot 1024x682 Fairplex Strategic Planning 2017 In keeping with our mission and core values, we have begun a year-long process to develop a strategic plan to keep us moving in a forward direction.

We’re taking in feedback from our residents, partners, local businesses and elected officials as we begin this process, covering topics relevant to our organization such as food and agriculture, education, entertainment, transportation, neighborhood housing and, of course, the LA County Fair.

To learn more about our strategic planning process, head over to where you will find documents, presentations, meeting notes and more regarding our next steps.

Thank you for joining us on this journey of ours!

Weekend Recap: Learning & playing

We like to share our weekend experiences through the eyes of our guests! ICYMI, here’s a quick look at what we had the pleasure of hosting:

Spring in The Farm
Our annual celebration of all things agriculture was a huge success! More than 1,000 guests of all ages visited The Farm at Fairplex and learned about the ins and outs of one of America’s largest industries. From animals to food tastings, gardening workshops to hay baling demonstrations, the fun and learning were non-stop all day.

Discover the Dinosaurs UNLEASHED
Meanwhile in Expo Hall 4, learning of a different — bigger — scope was taking place in the form of life-size dinosaurs, fossil digs and prehistoric fun for the kids. Discover the Dinosaurs UNLEASHED provided the perfect blend of entertainment and education as guests went back in time to when dinosaurs roamed the earth.

SoCal Sports Club Soccer Match
Fairplex has soccer fields! That’s right — we’ve revamped part of our infield into gorgeous grassy fields perfect for soccer. Soccer team Southern California Sports Club (SCSC) now calls Fairplex their home turf, and they had their first ever home game Saturday night against the Riverside Coras.

Although SCSC lost to the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) Southwest Conference leaders Deportivo Coras 2-1, the game was exciting to the very end on both sides.

We had a blast learning, living and playing this weekend on our campus. See what’s coming up next at!