L.A. County Fair open in Pomona

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POMONA (CNS) – The 92nd Los Angeles County Fair opens today at Fairplex in Pomona with a deep dive into pop culture and a spotlight on Los Angeles’ influence.

The “LA County Fair Goes Pop!” theme will be incorporated into every exhibit. Attractions include giant iconic Los Angeles art installations, a disco and toys from the past, including a giant Etch-A-Sketch and life-sized Monopoly game.

There will also be displays about frozen dinners, Elvis Presley, space flight, Andy Warhol and electric cars.

In response to the E. coli outbreak linked to the San Diego County Fair that left a 2-year-old dead and left another child hospitalized for 12 days with life-threatening hemolytic uremic syndrome, additional hand-washing stations and hand sanitizers have been installed throughout the fairgrounds.

Additional signage will be posted along the interior and exterior of the Big Red Barn to alert guests that no food will be allowed inside or near any animals.

There will be extra signage pointing fairgoers to washing stations and a cleanliness video featuring fair mascot Thummer will be shown inside the barn in an effort to help remind guests of the importance of keeping themselves washed and clean while attending the fair.

A social media campaign dubbed “Put Your Clean Hands Up for a Thummer Thumbs Up!” was conducted to encourage hand-washing.

Fair organizers have also made several efforts to keep fairgoers cool, including extending the Farm Road, which will now be directly connected from The Farm to the Historic Trains near Yellow Gate, complete with shade sails. Approximately 34,094 square feet of shade sails have been added to the existing 20,373 square feet.

The Farm, the fair’s most popular area, will be equipped with 12 new seating areas with seats and umbrellas. Two cooling stations have been added to the fairgrounds, increasing the number to seven.

A new attraction will be “Fusion Fest,” a music festival featuring the diversity of Los Angeles County. It will begin with “Pop Fusion,” performances by pop music tribute bands.

The other Fusion Fests will be “Battle of the Bandas,” Sept. 7-8; Lucha Libre wrestling Sept. 14-15; and “Minor League Music,” Sept. 21-22 featuring local bands ranging from indie pop rock to surf rock.

The fair will conduct its first fitness fair, “Fitness Fair … `Let’s Get Physical,”’ Friday through Monday including a Spartan race obstacle course, Zumba, Body Pump, GX24 and POP Pilates classes by 24 Hour Fitness, and soccer clinics and three-on-three tournaments.

“PROUD at LA County Fair,” a family friendly queer pride event will be held Sept. 7-8 with entertainment including live music, DJs and drag performers, gatherings, exhibits on queer history and culture and community outreach.

The event began as an informal “mix in” in 2011, and was loosely organized via social media. Initially called “Gay Day at LA County Fair,” the name was changed to “PROUD at LA County Fair” in 2018 to be more inclusive of all sexualities and gender identities, according to Eric Adams, producer of Visibly Proud, the event organizer.

An addition to the fair’s food offerings include a deep-fried peanut butter and jelly pastry, covered with powdered sugar and topped with Fruity Pebbles cereal.

The fair’s End of Summer Concert Series will begin Friday with the rhythm and blues groups The O’Jays and The Spinners. An ABBA tribute show will be performed Saturday.

Other artists scheduled to perform are Pitbull (Sunday); George Lopez (Monday); War with Tierra and Malo (Sept. 6); Kelsea Ballerini & Hunter Hayes(Sept. 7); Juanes (Sept. 8); 38 Special, the Marshall Tucker Band and Outlaws (Sept. 13); “Hammer’s House Party” with MC Hammer, En Vogue, Biz Markie and Coolio (Sept. 14); Ramon Ayala (Sept. 15); Charlie Wilson and Montell Jordan (Sept. 20); Old Dominion (Sept. 21); and Chicago (Sept. 22).

Admission prices are unchanged from 2017 and 2018. The weekend 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.

On the opening weekend, the fair will be open from noon to midnight Friday; 10 a.m.-midnight Saturday and Sunday and 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday. The hours for the rest of the fair are noon-10 p.m. Wednesdays; noon-11 p.m. Thursdays; noon-midnight Fridays; 10 a.m.-midnight Saturdays; and 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sundays.

Following Labor Day, the fair will be closed Mondays and Tuesdays. The fair will end its run on Sept. 22.

The fair evolved from a commercial-industrial show first held along the Southern Pacific railroad siding in downtown Pomona in 1921. It proved so successful that the businessmen who produced it held the first Los Angeles County Fair in October 1922.

The fair has been held annually at Fairplex since 1922, except from 1942-47, when the facility was being used by the U.S. Army, including as a prisoner of war camp for German and Italian soldiers and a relocation camp for Japanese Americans.

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