POMONA, Calif.–The 89th edition of the Los Angeles County Fair begins its 23-day run at the Fairplex in Pomona Saturday with its traditional mix of exhibits, concerts, horse racing and the kind of food that would create guilt if it were consumed somewhere else.
Shark Encounter is among the new attractions at the nation’s largest county fair.
It consists of Live Shark Encounter, where a diver swims in a 5,000-gallon tank of white sharks; the Great White Encounter Exhibit, which includes a life-size replica of a great white shark, shark teeth, fossils, photos, videos and odd objects that have been found in shark stomachs; and Under the Sea Adventure, a tide pool touch tank featuring starfish, crabs and sea urchins.
Other attractions include:
Our Body: Live Healthy – a display of more than 50 human bodies and organs, including samples of both healthy and diseased organs, with the goal of promoting a healthy lifestyle.
FairView Farms – a showcase of animals of various types and sizes, a petting zoo, milking parlor, sheep shearing and an urban farm.
Surrounded by Science: The Science of Everyday Life – an interactive exhibit aimed at children explaining how the basic principals and laws of science are present in such activities as baking, baseball, bowling and more.
Esmeralda’s Traveling Circus – which presents such acts as Elephants on Parade, Hercules the Giant Horse, White Mountain the Giant Steer, Tiny Time the Miniature Horse, along with the opportunity to learn how to perform on a trapeze.
Western Days and Rodeo Nights – a variety of events involving horses and cattle, including The Great American Wild West Show and the International Draft Horse and Pleasure Driving Show and Competition.
California Heritage Square – a hands-on showcase of early California history, where patrons can pan for gold, tour the Little Red School House and the 1922 Riverside Farm House.
The fair also will present four cultural festivals–Festival Latinoamericano de Arte y Folklore, Saturday through Monday; Basque Village, Sept. 16-18; Celtic Village, Sept. 23-25; and the Asian Festival, Sept. 30-Oct. 2.
Other fair attractions include The Millard Sheets Center for the Arts; The Flower & Garden Pavilion; and the Los Angeles International Wine & Spirits Marketplace.
This year’s additions to the list of the fair’s deep fried food offerings are deep fried Kool-Aid, which combines the crunch of a fried crust with the sweetness of Kool-Aid powder; deep fried watermelon on a stick; deep fried riblets and deep fried mocha syrup. Returning deep fried favorites include deep fried Oreos.
The fair’s End of Summer Concert Series begins Saturday with performances by The Ohio Players, Rose Royce and Lakeside.
Other concert performers are Gloria Trevi (Sunday); The Beach Boys (Sept. 5); En Vogue and Salt-N-Pepa joined by The Emotions (Sept. 9); One Republic (Sept. 10); Big & Rich and Gretchen Wilson with special guest Cowboy Troy; Ramon Ayala y sus Bravos del Norte (Sept. 15); War (Sept. 16); Victoria Justice (Sept. 17); Mariachi USA Fiesta (Sept. 18); Doobie Brothers (Sept. 22); Tower of Power and Average White Band (Sept. 23); Michael McDonald and Boz
Scaggs (Sept. 24); REO Speedwagon & Styx (Sept. 25); LeAnn Rimes with special guests Kellie Pickler Gloriana (Sept. 30); and Earth, Wind & Fire (Oct. 2).
Horse racing will be held from next Friday through Sept. 25, except for Sept. 12-13 and Sept. 19-20.
The fair is continuing its opening weekend discounts. Admission will be $1 for people entering between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. through Monday. Also during the opening weekend, the cost of 22-ounce soft drinks will be reduced to $1 from 1-4 p.m. while rides, games and select food and beverage items in the carnival will be priced at $1 from 4-7 p.m.
Admission prices are unchanged from last year. The weekday price is $12, $9 for adults age 60 and over and $7 for children ages 6 to 12.
On weekends, the admission price is $17, $14 for adults age 60 and over and $12 for children ages 6 to 12. Children ages 5 and under are free throughout the fair.
The admission price for adults age 60 and over is reduced to $6 on Wednesdays.
The price of a season pass is $29.99.
An additional fee is required for concerts, carnival rides, selected attractions of Esmeralda’s Traveling Circus and Our Body: Live Healthy Within.
The fair runs through Oct. 2. It will be closed Mondays and Tuesdays following Labor Day weekend.
Opening weekend hours are 10 a.m. to midnight Saturday and Sunday and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday. Hours for the remainder of the fair are noon-10 p.m.
Wednesday, noon-11 p.m. Thursdays; noon-midnight Friday; 10 a.m.-midnight Saturdays; and 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sundays.
The Sept. 3 opening is the earliest in the fair’s history, a day earlier than last year.
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, 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.