As expected, the opening week at the Los Angeles County Fair was a big hit.
Upon entering the event, it’s hard not to take notice of the giant illuminated Ferris wheel and the sound of screams as fairgoers twist through the air on adrenaline-rushing rides.
Game-winners tote around their oversized stuffed animals like badges of honor, and smells of smoky barbecue and sweet cotton candy waft through the air as adults, teens and toddlers alike roam the fairgrounds, taking in all the spectacle has to offer. It’s clear the L.A. County Fair is a place for all ages to enjoy.
This year’s theme, “L.A. County Fair Goes Pop,” is a love song to Los Angeles County, highlighting its hand in iconic pop culture through the decades. While the concept might not be very prevalent throughout the fair, there are designated areas where the nostalgic theme is clear.
Katelie Melendez, a third-year Spanish student, attended the fair over opening weekend. “I thought the pop culture theme was pretty cool, but I felt like it wasn’t as integrated into the fair as it could have been,” Melendez said. “The POP Architecture area was fun to look at but it could have been bigger since that was the whole theme.”
The Hill at the fair features the L.A. POP Architecture area. This space spotlights pop art interpretations of some of the most recognizable locations in the Greater Los Angeles area, such as Santa Monica, the San Gabriel Mission, Randy’s Donuts, Los Angeles City Hall, the Hollywood sign, Chinatown and many more. The photo opportunities here are abundant.
Another Instagram-worthy area is the Flower & Garden Pavilion: “Pops of Color” where fairgoers are greeted by vibrant Andy Warhol-inspired art installations and playful sceneries that pay tribute to film favorites such as “Jurassic Park” and “Jumanji,” as well as classic shows like “Gilligan’s Island” and “Bonanza.” The Pavilion also contains beautiful floral displays with props that were used on floats from 2019’s Tournament of Roses Parade.
The quirky fair food is another feature that draws in the crowds year after year. Pablo Pirir, an upper-division physics/astrophysics student, took advantage of the smorgasbord.
“I ate a lot of barbecue, bacon-wrapped mushrooms stuffed with gouda, and chicken and waffles on a stick. As for sweets I tried a cotton candy ice cream sandwich,” Pirir said. These are only a few choices out of the huge variety of eats the fair offers.
Keeping tradition alive, Cal Poly Pomona contributed to the fair in several ways. The Bronco Pep Band performed at the CPP Day Parade on Sept. 6, and the Huntley College of Agriculture provided animals for the fair’s petting farm.
According to CPP’s Twitter, “200+ sheep, goats, cows [and] pigs” were delivered to the fair ahead of opening weekend. Fair attendees flocked to the petting farm at The Big Red Barn to feed and interact with the herds of goats and sheep, clearly making this one of the most popular attractions.
Fourth-year psychology student Shane Castellanos enjoyed this aspect of the festivities.
“I got a chance to go with my nephew and my mom,” Castellanos said. “They thought it was cool that most of the animals actually come from CPP.”
All of this and more can be enjoyed at Pomona’s local annual fair. The fair is open Wednesdays through Sundays until Sept. 22, so there is still plenty of time to join in on all the fun.
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