All’s Fair This Summer In Southern California

By Michael Berick

Take a drive around the OC Fair, which opens July 11.  PHOTO COURTESY OC FAIR

Take a drive around the OC Fair, which opens July 11. PHOTO COURTESY OC FAIR

If you like riding roller coasters, playing Ring A Duck and eating anything deep-fried, you are a fan of fairs. This month officially signals the start of Fair Season in Southern California, which boasts a trinity of terrific county fairs.

First up is the OC Fair, which opens July 11 and runs through Aug. 10. With this year’s all-so-appropriate theme “Summer Starts Here,” this fair offers something fun for everyone – from carnival rides to pig racing, demolition derbies to acrobat shows, livestock competitions to rock concerts – noon-midnight Wed.-Fri, 10 a.m.-midnight Sat.-Sun. at the OC Fairgrounds, 88 Fair Dr., Costa Mesa; $12 adults, $7 ages 6-12.

The Ventura County Fair ( might not be as big as the OC or L.A. County fairs, but it undoubtedly has the most scenic location. A stone’s throw from the Pacific Ocean at 10 W. Harbor Blvd. in Ventura, it justifiably describes itself as “a county fair with ocean air.” You can view the Pacific from your Ferris wheel seat, and enjoy rides and games, contests and performances, animals, floriculture and festive attractions from 11 a.m.-11 p.m. daily July 30-Aug. 10. $12 adults, $9 ages 6-12.

The L.A. County Fair, one of largest county fairs in the U.S., rounds out the trio Aug. 29-Sept. 28. You can interact with animals at the Farm and The Wild and Crazy Lagoon, encounter pirates and superheroes, enjoy musical, dance and circus performances and attempt all the games, rides and other attractions that create great Fair memories from noon-10 p.m. Wed., noon-11 p.m. Thurs., noon-midnight Sat. and 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sun. at the Fairplex, 1101 W. McKinley Ave., Pomona; $12-$19 adults, $8-$12 ages 6-12.

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