The L.A. County Fair was established in October 1922 and is currently held in what used to be a beet field in Pomona, California. Today, it is one of the largest county fairs in the United States, with attendance topping more than a million guests every year. As part of a Huffington Post Travel series on state and county fairs, here is our guide to making the L.A. County Fair as fun and rewarding as possible.
Animal MagnetismSince its founding in the early '20s, the L.A. County Fair has been known for its horse racing, rodeo games and livestock competitions, so fairgoers seeking animal-related events are in luck. Guests can watch -- and even participate in -- wild horse and pig races. The Fairview Farms exhibit at the fair typically houses more than a hundred barnyard animals and hosts a variety of related activities, such as sheep-shearing shows and a baby animal nursery.
Six Degrees Of BaconBut the fair is about more than just livestock. The L.A. County Fair hosts a wide variety of culinary competitions every year. Contestants from L.A. County and beyond display their best food, from dairy to beer and wine. And, like any fair that's worth visiting, the L.A. County Fair is home to countless fried foods, often conveniently placed on a stick. In 2010, the fair premiered its chocolate-dipped, bacon-wrapped Oreo. Other noteworthy foods include Chicken Charlie's iconic deep-fried peanut butter and jelly sandwich, as well as fried Klondike bars, frog legs and cheesecake on (what else?) a stick.
Global VillageDrawing on Southern California's rich ethnic makeup, the L.A. County Fair typically stages a variety of programming that highlights cultural diversity. Debuting in 2011, the Festival Latinoamericano de Arte y Folklore is a celebration of culture featuring concerts, folk dancing and crafts from throughout Latin America. The Chinese Circus of Beijing, featuring acrobats and martial-arts masters, performs every day throughout the festival. Music lovers should check out the annual battle of the bands event, which offers local groups the opportunity to perform and compete against each other. Performers interested in competing must apply in advance, as slots are limited.
Ride A Real ElephantIn terms of excitement, cultural thrills are just the beginning. The L.A. County Fair is home to an abundance of rides, ranging from the mild-mannered Ferris wheel to high-speed contraptions that drop and spin. For a low-tech thrill, you can ride an actual elephant. Children can also participate in dozens of activities, with many targeted specifically to them. For example, Farmer for a Day is a new interactive exhibit that has imitation cornfields and apple orchards for kids to harvest.
California GirlsAlthough the L.A. County Fair doesn't sponsor a beauty pageant, it does welcome the local Miss California title holders on stage every year for a performance. Guests can also meet and greet the lovely ladies.
The University of Southern California Trojans marching band and spirit squad perform at the L.A. County Fair.
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