LA County Fair: My First American ‘County Fair’

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This weekend we went to the LA County Fair. I have never been to a county fair before and there’s no better time to start than the present to get a taste of Americana. My first experience was the 2 mile trek from ‘general parking.’ Getting out from the car, all you could see was an endless desert of concrete and cars. It was so far away I couldn’t even catch a glimpse of the Ferris wheel. However, if you keep your eyes peeled you will see the trolley stops. Have the patience to stand in line and you will be rewarded with a ride to the entrance. If you want to splurge (I imagine that you were trying to save money by NOT choosing ‘prefered parking’) then you can get a pedicab.

Once you pass the gates, you are bombarded with music, sounds, bright colors and lights. Its the usual fair stuff. Swings, ferris wheels and different games designed to take your money away from you. OK I understand the rides being painfully expensive. But I don’t understand why I would pay a fortune so they can win a small (or even big) ugly stuffed toy that they would never consider buying anywhere else? Is it the pride and joy of being able to give this prize to a beloved? Is it that a souvenir won is more meaningful than a souvenir bought? (nevertheless, I did get to take home a small funny looking stuffed dog)

The best part of the fair is the farm animals area. In this day and age, we hardly know where our food comes from.

Everything is processed beyond recognition. The supermarket has become our sole provider of food. Few of us know what fruits and vegetables are locally in season anymore. Seeing cows being milked, sheep being sheared, watching the funny goats and chickens running around takes me back to the simpler days when we were much more connected to the land and to what we eat. Perhaps those days are long gone. Farming is no longer what it used to be and has become an industry much like everything else. on that note I am reading a fantastic book “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” by Michael Pollen

Being the hard-core carnivore that I am, after visiting the farm section, we immediately had to try out some of the ribs. I was severely disappointed. You would think that if you spend the whole day smoking a piece of meat, there is no way it could be bad…WRONG!

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We took a speedy tour through the quilts and needlework area. That’s definitely an area to spend time for folks who enjoy crafts. There were tables set up that will teach you all sorts of different things ( making shiny metallic egg-shaped hangy things for one) Crafts is also another neglected part of American life that seems to be dwindling in our modern industrialized life.

Its not a cheap affair, but definitely worth spending some time there.

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