Fried food, crazy ass rides, the cutest farm animals and an explosion of carny color.
I say I’m going to go every year but it never happens…NO MORE!
Yeah it was hot but it was ‘One Big Discount Day’ which meant from noon – 3pm we would receive the following:
$3 General Admission
$2 Rides & Games
$2 Taste of Fair food
These little cuties look like they’ve got 2 heads but looks can be deceiving.
In the early days, it was a mish-mash of local horse races, harvest festivals, parades and livestock exhibits held throughout the year and throughout the county – including a five-year stint in the 1930s in Pomona.
Somewhere along the line, however, historians agreed to patch these disparate events into one quilt called the Orange County Fair, pinpointing its origin to an 1890 horserace and a coal-black pacer that dominated the Santa Ana racetrack at Edinger and Bristol. For three years running, Silkwood couldn’t lose. In 1892, he beat L.A.’s fastest horse to take the $1,500 purse, and in 1894, he set the West Coast record, pacing a 2:07 mile. Each year, the crowds grew. As did the grandstands, the livestock displays and agricultural exhibits. Soon there was an annual barbecue and the first “Ladies Day,” but once Silkwood faded, so did the crowds. From there, the fledgling fair wandered like a traveling circus, pitching its tents from town to town. It bounced from Santa Ana to Anaheim to Huntington Beach to Orange, calling itself the “Parade of Products,” the “Carnival of Products,” the “Harvest Home Festival” and the “Community Fall Festival.” In 1906, it celebrated trains. In 1919, it celebrated tractors. In 1922, it celebrated cars.
World War I interrupted the fair in 1917. The Great Depression interrupted it for 5 years in the 1930s. And World War II interrupted it for 5 years in the 1940s. But each time, the fair bounced back – adding beekeeping exhibits and orange-packing contests, floral exhibits and wild west shows, livestock auctions and canning demonstrations.
The end of World War II brought a new sense of possibility to the nation, and to the county. In 1949, the fair bought the old Santa Ana Army Air Base in Costa Mesa for $130,000 – and everything changed. That year, 97,500 people attended the fair – more than 10 times the 7,420 that attended a decade earlier. The Orange County Fair finally had a home. And a steady following.
While Orange County’s fair has grown to one of the largest in the state (it drew 1.3 million people last year), it’s still considered one of the best. Throughout the years, the OC Fair has established several traditions. One is the recognition of Orange County residents who have bettered the community and become successful in their fields of interest. They are celebrated through blue ribbon prizes and awards.
There’s awards for ‘Best Beer’…
…and tons of other weird shit like ‘Best Table Setting’.
I haven’t been to a fair since I was in my teens, fortunately the rides have gotten better over the years.
Baby coaster? No thank you.
My favorite part about going to county fairs is seeing all the animals.
Bird on a Stick
Big Wheel Keeps on Turning
Why hello there.
She made my day.
I just couldn’t get enough of her.
OC Ski Lift
Mama was over it and after 4 hours of being there in the hot sun, I was too. See you at the 126th OC Fair.