History of the OC Fair

For nearly 60 years, Costa Mesa has greeted flocks of people to the vibrant OC Fair. What was once a 5-day gathering of horse racing has developed into a 23-day celebration of fried food and rickety rides in the heart of summer that each Californian should not dare miss."What makes the OC Fair a perfect summer activity, is the abundance of random fun! Even deciding what to eat is an experience," said Downey High graduate Elena Ortiz. With a plethora of food choices ranging from "Texas-size" smoked turkey legs to deep fried Klondike Bars to foot-long corn dogs to chocolate covered bacon bits, it's impossible to find a dull moment in one's appetite. There is even a booth properly named "Heart Attack Café" for it's incredibly unique and certainly unhealthy food options of deep fried butter, deep fried Snickers Bars, and deep fried Twinkies, to name a few. Carnival rides have a reputation for being dangerous, and it's not difficult to imagine why when it flips a person like a pancake. One of which is called Tango, a ride with mechanical arms that spin around while flipping the riders in 360-degree motions, 75 feet above the ground. For the faint-hearted, the OC Fair provides its guests with the largest transportable Ferris Wheel in the western hemisphere, La Grande Wheel. "The most memorable thing about the fair is the quality time spent with friends to look at peculiar things like the pig race, Hercules, and shows," said Downey High senior Sandra Lee, "in comparison to the usual hang-out at the movies." "Peculiar" is certainly a proper word for what the fair has to offer. Hercules, the monstrous Belgian breed horse weighing in at 3,045 pounds, and the White Mountain Giant Steer, a bull at 3,450 pounds and packing enough meat for 10,000 hamburgers. There are certainly areas of normality, in which goats, llamas, cows, and baby KuneKune pigs, may be fed or pet, and rabbits, chicks, and other prize winning competitors in the farm animal competitions may be viewed as well. In 1889 the Orange County Community Fair Corporation was founded after the birth of Orange County, and the following year, the group held a simple fair of horse racing and small exhibits. After the fair was passed from different organizations and owners, it made a permanent match with the 32nd District Agricultural Association in 1949. Four years later, the city of Costa Mesa signed on and the fairgrounds, which was purchased from the Santa Ana Army Air Base, has been home to the OC Fair ever since. This year's theme, "The Beat Goes On" is a salute to the 120 years of thought and preparation that have molded the festivities. The fair will last until August 15 and is open Wednesday thru Sunday until midnight. General admission, ages 13 to 59, is $10 everyday and general parking is 7$. For more information please visit via world web www.ocfair.com/2010.

********** Published: August 5, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 16