L.A. County Fair facts for kids
Quick facts for kidsLos Angeles County Fair
The 2008 L.A. County Fair at dusk in Pomona
|Dates||03–26 September 2021
(Cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.)
|Years active||1922–1941, 1948–2019, 2021– (no fair during WWII from 1942–47, nor 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic)|
The Los Angeles County Fair is an annual county fair. It was first held on October 17, 1922, and ran for five days through October 21, 1922, in a former beet field in Pomona, California. Highlights of the Fair's first year were harness racing, chariot races and an airplane wing-walking exhibition. The fair is one of the largest county fairs in the U.S. Fair attendance has topped one million people in every year but two since 1948, and is the 4th largest fair in the United States.Since its opening year, over 89,000,000 visitors have attended the LA County Fair.
Since its inception, the Fair has been the link between California’s agriculture industry and the public, providing a community gathering place where people learn about California’s heritage and enjoy traditional Fair food, activities and entertainment. In recent years the fair has moved away from such agricultural heritage by transitioning from livestock competitions for area growers and ranchers to hired petting zoos. In addition to the 13-acre (53,000 m2) Ray Cammack Shows carnival, the Fair has an operational farm, an outdoor miniature garden railroad, California’s Heritage Square historical exhibit and America’s Kids-Education Expo, where school children discover A Day Full of Learning Cleverly Disguised as Fun. The End of Summer Concert Series features 19 nights of first-run musical entertainment and freestyle motocross.
The Fair is operated by the Los Angeles County Fair Association, a not-for-profit 501(c)(5) corporation. The Fair is held each September on 543 acres (2.20 km2) of fairgrounds known as Fairplex (Los Angeles County Fair, hotel and exposition complex). The Fair generates a national economic impact of more than $250 million, roughly the equivalent of hosting a Super Bowl every year.
Fairplex also includes the Sheraton Fairplex Hotel & Conference Center, the Sheraton KOA/RV Park, Barretts Sales and Racing, a defunct 0.625 miles (1.006 km) horse racing track, the Millard Sheets Art Center, the Child Development Center at Fairplex, the Fairplex railway exhibit, Barretts Equine Ltd., a thoroughbred horse racing auction facility and the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum.
The 2020 Fair was cancelled in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. Those who had bought passes/tickets in advance can hold on to them in 2021.
- These grounds were once used as a Wartime Civilian Control Administration assembly center during World War II. Japanese Americans were held here before being sent to internment camps. There is no historical marker at the site. It was occupied from May 7 to August 24, 1942, and held more than 5,000 people. There are few, if any, buildings left from the original assembly center.
- The first L.A. County Fair was held in 1922 at the Los Angeles Fairgrounds in Pomona. The grounds, now known as Fairplex (short for L.A. County Fair, Hotel and Exposition Complex), are home to hundreds of other year-round events and activities other than the Fair. The Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum is located on the grounds, as well as the Sheraton Fairplex Hotel & Conference Center, the Rail Giants Museum (Fairplex railway exhibit), and the Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.
Events held during the Fair
The Los Angeles County Fair offers visitors a number of rides as well as a variety of food and drinks available. Community days feature community heroes (senior, adult and youth), elected officials and high school marching bands from cities within the 15-mile radius of Fairplex. The end of summer concert series feature singers, bands and entertainers perform during the evening. Until 2013, there was horse racing during the Los Angeles County Fair meet at the Fairplex Park. Today, all races during the Los Angeles County Fair meet are held at the Los Alamitos Race Course for two weeks (8 race days, Thursday–Sunday). At the start of each year, a theme for the fair is chosen by the Los Angeles County Fair Association.