Definitions

county-fair

Los Angeles County Fair

The inaugural Los Angeles County Fair, now known as the L.A. County Fair, opened Oct. 17, 1922, and ran for five days through Oct. 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 exhibit.

Now in its 86th year, the Fair is the largest county fair in the U.S. Fair attendance has topped 1 million people in all but one year since 1948.

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 addition to the 13-acre 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 and the Adrenaline Nights series includes 15 nights of first-run entertainment.

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 of fairgrounds known as Fairplex (L.A. 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.

The expanded 2009 L.A. County Fair will run Sept. 5-Oct. 4, closed Mondays and Tuesdays. Tentative dates for horse racing at Fairplex Park are Sept. 11-28, closed Tuesdays only.

Fairplex also includes the Sheraton Fairplex hotel, the Sheraton KOA/RV Park, Fairplex Park, a 5/8ths mile horse racing track, the Millard Sheets Center for the Arts, the Child Development Center at Fairplex, Barretts Equine Ltd., a thoroughbred horse racing auction facility and the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum.

Trivia

  • It's a myth that Walt Disney originally planned on having Disneyland built in Pomona, but the city council declined his offer, fearing that the park would not succeed and would cause the city to go into debt. According to Matthew Tresaugue, former reporter for the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, it was one of 71 considered cities, but was ruled out due to temperature extremes, i.e. too hot in summer and too cold at night.
  • 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 over 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, are home to many other events and activities other than the Fair. The Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum is located on the grounds, as well as the Sheraton Suites Fairplex.

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References

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