Riding through the end of summer (LA County Fair Review)

Filled with cholesterol, children and camels, the Los Angeles County Fair makes it easy to indulge your inner child this summer. Open until Sept. 23, the fair provides access to overpriced food, precarious rides and a wide array of animals for $15 on weekdays and $20 on weekends.

I began my visit to the fair in awe at the massive amounts of food offered in every direction possible. Truly representative of the craziest desires of the American public, stalls offered treats such as cotton candy covered ice cream, clam chowder fries and the largest burger I had ever seen. The only thing more shocking than the sheer selection of foods offered was the high prices of almost every stall.

As with most carnivals and fairs, each stall seemed to have inflated its prices by a couple dollars from reasonably priced food. The small crab fries we ordered were tasty, but almost $14. I also enjoyed a sweet, creamy strawberry Dole whip ice cream for a hefty $6, sold at Disneyland for only $3.



However, the most disturbing thing by far was the selection of deep fried foods, including—but not limited to—fried butter, fried Oreos, fried cheesecake, fried Snickers and fried pecan pie. Unsurprisingly, my $8 purchase of fried Oreos was delicious but incredibly heavy, with each cookie coated in a thick fried batter.

Along with the diverse food choices also came a surprising number of exotic animals that were on display at the event. While the petting zoo included chickens, sheep, pigs and goats, the “Flora and Fauna” area of the fair featured camels, emus, monkeys, a zebra, an ostrich, a python and even an alligator. My trip felt like I was at the zoo, and I thoroughly enjoyed observing the animals—even if I felt bad about the inhumane practices that probably brought them there.

The fair included a fair amount of rides, none of which looked particularly safe. The roller coasters seemed to be held up by rickety poles, and each spinning calamity was filled with screaming children. There also were a variety of carnival games with large stuffed animals as prizes, as well as live shows and performances happening every few hours. The indoor portion of the fair also included an arcade and a gaming building.

While the fair had more than enough activities to keep people occupied, I found it more fun to just walk around and gawk at the things happening around me. Whether laughing at the strange way that ostriches walked or reading the lists of fried desserts offered, I enjoyed making fun of the events as much as I would have if actually participating in them.

Despite my cynicism, my time at the fair brought out nostalgia for elementary school field trips there and an indulgence of my inner child that would explode at the idea of bacon flavored cotton candy. While a bit pricey, the LA County fair is an entertaining day trip for those who have time and money to spend as the summer comes to an end.

The fair is located at 1101 W McKinley Ave, Pomona. It’s open Wed. through Sun., from noon to midnight most days.