The L.A. County Fair, Since 1922

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I made it out to the L.A. County Fair for the first time in years! It was a lot of fun, and brought back memories of my time in high school especially. It also made me realize how much history the fair has. The first fair was held on Oct. 17, 1922,  running only for 5 days. Now it runs for about a month or so, starting at the end of summer and through the beginning of fall.

It’s run by  the Los Angeles County Fair Association and held at the Fairplex in Pomona. My dad’s been trying to get on the board for years! Not sure why, but it all seems really political. Also according to Wikipedia, “The Fair generates a national economic impact of more than $250 million, roughly the equivalent of hosting a Super Bowl every year.”

This year, I went with a friend and we went to a variety of shows, mostly having to do with the livestock, all very low brow! We milked goats, watched pig races, ate ceviche, drank beer and wine, and ate more! We also went to go look at the old Southern Pacific trains.

It was funny because an old friend from high school saw my pictures on Facebook and asked if the fun zone was still rough… I wasn´t there too late this year, and it was midweek, but I don´t think safety or security are issues at all. I do sort of remember that being an issue growing up with, like with the fair attracting too many cholo types, but I didn´t get that impression this year. The crowd is diverse, in a good way!

We also went to the Millard Sheets Center for the Arts.

Millard Sheets served as the Director of Fine Arts for the fair for 25 years. I mostly know of him because of his mural or mosaic work on the Ahmanson buildings.

“Locally his presence is evidenced in many building designs, mosaics, and wall paintings”, but he is also “credited with over 200 architectural designs and murals that span the United States. His artworks hangs in 46 museums in 15 states, including the Smithsonian, the Meropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum, the Chicago Art Institute and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.” (The Millard Sheets Center for the Arts Website)

I knew Sheets was born in Pomona, but I did not know he taught at the Claremont Colleges.

Anyway, the fair is great, and I love how it brings people together to celebrate with food, drink, fun and more…. Here’s a nice description:

“Since its inception, the Fair has been the link between California’s agriculture industry and the public, providing a community gathering place where people learn about California’s heritage and enjoy traditional Fair food, activities and entertainment. In recent years the fair has moved away from such agricultural heritage by transitioning from livestock competitions for area growers and ranchers to hired petting zoos.” (Wikipedia)

It sort of reminds one of another time, about a hundred  years ago, I guess, when people were more connected regionally, or to local farms and agricultural. Seeing all the display cases and prizes for anything and everything under the sun is also memorable; from knitting, to scrap booking, to pottery, to baking, to canning and more. How does one even enter into one of these local contests? I’ll have to find out! Here are some instagrams! 🙂

Signing Off,

~ Erica

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