Carnival rides, crazy food, wine tasting, pig racing, people watching and more at the LA County Fair

The LA County Fair is a unique experience. More like a collection of unique experiences. Where else in Los Angeles can you wine taste and watch a pig race in the same day? I’ve attended county and state fairs in the past, but this was my first time at LACF and it did not disappoint. There was so much to see and do it is hard to know where to begin.

My afternoon at the fair began hot, very very hot. Anyone in Southern California knows we’ve been experiencing a massive heat wave. So my first order of business was to see everything that was indoors. (i.e. air conditioning!) There was a gorgeous Mardi Gras themed floral exhibit that reminded me of the Rose Parade floats. In keeping with the New Orleans theme an attached room housed bayou animals and insects. This room was kept very humid to help the animals feel more at home. It was so sticky. But there was a beautiful indoor waterfall and I got to pet a baby alligator. So the sweat was worth it.

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Seeking out more air conditioning I stumbled upon the Marketplace. Here I found two of my favorite words, “Wine Tasting.” I had a Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Blanc which in truth, I’ve tasted before but can’t find it in stores, so I had to have it again. I also tasted a Rose of Pinot from Germany called Zum and a White Merlot by Forest Glen. All deliciously cold and refreshing.

Time for a snack! There is so much food to experience at the fair. Everything from traditional carnival food like hot dogs, and funnel cake to the strange and unusual like deep fried guacamole and triple decker burgers with Krispy Kreme donuts as the bun. I stuck with an LA classic. Pink’s hot dogs. My turkey dog was topped with grilled onions, mashed avocado, tomatoes and a sour cream sauce. It was perfect. Plus I didn’t have to wait in the notoriously long line at the Hollywood location.

There were two other indoor exhibits I really enjoyed. The Art Classic featured some amazing local artists. I especially enjoyed the works of Tanner Goldbeck and Caroline Jones.
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The other exhibit was Popnology. Which highlighted the relationship of pop culture and technology. It was cool to see a life size Xenomorph, a Batmobile and a DeLorean from Back the Future. They also had a robotic dinosaur and a giant size light-brite board. As a sci-fi geek I had a great time wandering around looking at items from Star Trek and The Twilight Zone.
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All fairs have an expo of sorts. It’s usually a convention hall filled with vendors hocking odd “as seen on tv” style products. This makes for incredible people watching. I saw women trying out Serta Mattresses. All I could think was, how many other heads have laid there? Do they clean them off at the end of the day? Weird and a little gross. There was a man selling home made bow and arrows and slingshots. A woman with a menagerie of Swarovski like crystal animals, and a plethora of gadgets for your kitchen. My favorite was something called the Cyber Relax FC3800. It is a fitness tool…kind of. You stand on it and it vibrates your fat away. I swear I thought I’d stepped into a 1950s infomercial. But there were plenty of people lining up to have their glutes jiggled.

The LA County Fair has a 5 acre agricultural area. I saw goats, horses, sheep and baby chicks. Living in Los Angeles you forget that a lot of California is farmland. We grow tons of produce and raise livestock. It’s nice to have a reminder of where our food comes from. Most of the animals were nonchalant about you petting them. Many were just too hot to be bothered. I even watched a a pig race and the piglet for our section won.
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By the time the sun went down, so did the temperature. It was time for my favorite part. The carnival rides. I rode both Ferris Wheels at the fair along with some heart pumping thrill rides. The best ride looked like a long pole with 4 seats, back to back on each end. Without going upside-down the ride launches you to the top of the pole in a wide circle then back down. You go around three times forwards, then three times backwards. It was quite a rush. Although I was a little surprised no attendant came to check my safety lap bar before we took off. I guess it’s more of a ride at your own risk kind of thing. The next best was the drop ride. Although it pales in comparison to the Magic Mountain Drop of Doom *see Six Flags Blog* it is still a rush to be hauled up into the air and dropped suddenly, without warning. I also wandered through the house of  mirrors, a fun house and a few others.
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The fair is now over. All the rides are packed up and shipped off to another county. My first LA County Fair trip was a blast. I can’t wait to do it all over again next September!

Did anyone else go to the LA County Fair? What’s your favorite carnival ride?
What fair food have you tried that is so bad for you, it’s good?

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