Sunday, September 09, 2007
2007: an L.A. County Fair GOdyssey
So we spent a very pleasant, not too crowded, not too hot day, at the L.A. County fair today. Here's my take on some of the attractions.
1. The Chocolate Milk outside the free petting zoo area. Still our favorite beverage or food item at the fair. It's $1.50 for the teeniest of bottles, but the stuff is so incredibly yummy. Otherwise, we brown-bagged lunch and snacks, as we won't be able to afford to go to the fair several times if we buy the overpriced stuff there. We did splurge and buy two bottles each of the milk. In the past, we've had the fish and chips on "Picnic Hill" which was tasty. I've been unimpressed with anything else I've consumed from the fair. I'm a grinch, I know.
2. Paul Cash the Environmental Magician. Best show at the fair for three years running. Paul's show is located near the fire tower area. The program lists his act as the Amazing WAter Show and incorrectly lists his performing once a day at 11 a.m. This is incorrect. He will perform throughout the day as he always does. This year Mr. Big, who is finally old enough, was able to volunteer as part of the show. He received the coolest Smokey the Bear bandana in exchange for having his body moved to the sound of a crunching water bottle. This year the environmental exhibit area is making buttons, as well as a mystery prize if you visit all the attractions there.
3. Paul Bunyan Show. This replaces the diving show that has been near the fire tower for the last two years, and what a worthless replacement. The volume was pumped up so loud, plus the host was yelling into the mic, while meanwhile the crowd was cringing and plugging our ears and then leaving en masse to get away from the noise pollution. There was no one to ask to turn down the volume, and the performers seemed totally oblivious to the fact that is was TOO DARN LOUD. If my son is going to lose decibles off his hearing, it's going to be at a rock concert when he's older, not the Paul Bunyan Show at the fair. The act itself consisted of performers competing in various Paul Bunyan-like activities (throwing an ax at a tree stump bulls eye, chopping a log). I plan to stay at least 50 feet away from this act the next time we go. I'm hoping they'll replace it with Johnny Appleseed something-or-other next year.
4. Trams - remember not to sit in the front, unless you want a mouthful of exhaust. Remember too that the trams stop for the parades, and that they are easier to get on earlier in the day before the crowds get there. Although, like I say, today was pleasantly uncrowded.
5. FAvorite giveway - Habitat for Humanity was giving out yellow construction hats with the H for H logo on it for the kiddies. The H for H houses are now a stop on the tram up the hill. YOu can donate $1 at that time and get lots of kudos for doing so. Plus, you can get off the tram and get said hat for the kid in you, a H for H tatoo for the Jesse James in you and more info on how to donate your time or cash.
6. FAvorite booth - In the pioneer area this year is a handmade broom and soap booth. The couple behind the booth came all the way from Wisconsin. They even have a guitar broom on display, as well as very affordable handmade soap, without all the additives. While I spoke with the wife of the man who makes the brooms, and she was nice enough to post for the picture you see, I need to go back and buy some of that soap next time.
7. Favorite collection - The Children's building is even better this year, with even more play areas spread out between rooms. This building houses various collections submitted by local kids. Our favorite collection by far was the button collection of a Lincoln Park resident and friend of the family, E.K. He won third prize too. Congratulations, E.K.!
8. Favorite free ride - The John Deere tricycles/tractors in the animal area.
Things we didn't get to this time, but we'll definitely hit next time:
9. The historic trains near the front entrance.
10. The MIllard Sheets Gallery which is supposed to have a great exhibit going on right now.
11. The minature train town by the rides in the children's area.
12. The Blackmith Show - we should have gone to this one at 3 p.m. rather than the Paul Bunyan fiasco.
13. The 4H pig shows.
14. The milking exhibit.
We've only been doing the fair for the past 3 years, so I'd love to hear what we're missing.