POMONA — The 90th Los Angeles County Fair opened Sept. 1 at Fairplex with the theme “Dare to Fair Old School Style.”
“We are bringing back traditions like winning a blue ribbon at on the spot contests and encouraging guests to return to the simpler things in life — eating a corn dog, making friends with a barn animal, learning to knit in our DIY studio,” said Miguel A. Santana, who was appointed as president and CEO of the Los Angeles County Fair Association Nov. 30 after seven years as Los Angeles’ city administrative officer.
“We discovered that guests, including millennials, love tradition and nostalgia. The fair has worked hard to include the new with the traditional.”
When asked why should people come to the fair, Santana responded, “Guests can learn so much at the fair. Our five-acre urban garden grows 150 California specialty crops. The Big Red Barn teaches children about agriculture and where their food and clothing come from. America’s Kids celebrates reading and books, with costumed characters and contests that revolve around children’s literature.
“Plus it’s fun. We have 70 rides and 40 games, incredible food and more than 500 animals.”
New attractions include “The Magical World of Dragons, Wizards and Beasts” which Santana describes as a look at pop culture’s fascination with those themes and includes interactive activities; the Little Red Barn with miniature animals; and the Taylor Swift Experience, an in-depth look at the 10-time Grammy-winning singer.
The fair’s Flower & Garden Pavilion will pay homage to Lewis Carrol’s novel “Alice in Wonderland” with giant displays full of tiger lillies, dandelions, daisies and pansies recreating the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party and more.
Returning attractions include “Jurassic Planet,” which combines more than 40 animatronic dinosaurs with paleontologists teaching about the Mesozoic Era; ice skating and sled runs in The Igloo; Esmeralda’s Travelling Circus; and Mojo’s Wild and Crazy Lagoon with such exotic animals as lemurs, monkeys, peacocks and kangaroos.
Additions to the fair’s food offerings include a cotton candy ice cream sandwich; vegan jack-fruit nachos; and a Krispy Kreme, ice cream, fried chicken sandwich.
The fair’s End of Summer Concert Series includes Patti LaBelle & Queen Latifah (Sept. 8); Trace Adkins (Sept. 9); La Arrolladora Banda Limon (Sept. 10); The Whispers & The Stylistics with Lenny Williams (Sept. 14); Fifth Harmony (Sept. 15); Styx & Kansas (Sept. 16); Gerardo Ortiz (Sept. 17); Ramon Ayala Y Sus Bravos Del Norte (Sept. 21); War & Tower of Power (Sept. 22); and Chicago (Sept. 23).
Fair organizers are asking guests to donate $1 at admission gates during the opening weekend that will be given to the American Red Cross for relief efforts related to Hurricane Harvey.
Guests bringing five new school school supply items on Wednesdays will receive free admission. The supplies are donated to Inland United Way.
Guests bringing five canned goods on Thursdays receive free admission. The food is donated to the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank.
The weekend fair admission prices are $20 for adults and teenagers ages 13-59; $15 for adults age 60 and older and $12 for children ages 6 to 12. The weekday prices are $14 for adults and teenagers 13-59, $10 for adults 60 and over and $8 for children 6 to 12. Children 5 and under are free throughout the fair.
A season pass is available for $29.99.
An additional $5 each is required for admission to Jurassic Planet and The Igloo. Children 5 and under are admitted free to Jurassic Planet with a paying adult.
General parking is $15, VIP parking at Gates 17 and 9 is $25 and valet parking at Gate 3 is $30. A season parking pass is available for $60.
Hours are noon to 10 p.m. Wednesdays; noon to 11 p.m. Thursdays; noon to midnight Fridays; 10 a.m. to midnight Saturdays; and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays.
The fair will end its run on Sept. 24.