The LA County Fair has long been a cherished tradition for residents and visitors alike. With its thrilling rides, delicious food, captivating performances, and an array of attractions, it’s no wonder that people eagerly anticipate its return each year. However, as someone who has attended the LA County Fair in the past and learned a few valuable lessons along the way, I’m here to share what I wish I knew before going to the LA County Fair in 2023.
The LA County Fair, often referred to simply as the “Fair,” is an annual event that takes place in Pomona, California. It typically runs for several weeks, drawing in crowds from all over Southern California and beyond. While the Fair is a fantastic experience overall, there are some things I wish I had known before embarking on my first Fair adventure. These insights will help you make the most of your time at the Fair, avoid common pitfalls, and ensure a memorable experience.
1. Plan Ahead
One of the most crucial pieces of advice I can offer is to plan ahead. The LA County Fair offers a diverse range of activities, events, and attractions, and having a plan will help you make the most of your visit. Start by checking the Fair’s official website for information on dates, hours of operation, ticket prices, and special events. Consider what you and your group are most interested in experiencing, whether it’s the concerts, food, rides, exhibits, or animals.
Create a schedule or itinerary for your day at the Fair, taking note of showtimes, performances, and must-see attractions. Keep in mind that some events may require separate tickets or reservations, so be sure to book those in advance if necessary. Planning ahead will help you navigate the Fair efficiently and reduce the risk of missing out on your favorite activities.
2. Buy Tickets Online
Waiting in long lines to purchase tickets at the Fair entrance can eat up a significant portion of your day. To save time and avoid unnecessary frustration, buy your tickets online in advance. Most fairs, including the LA County Fair, offer discounted tickets for online purchases, which can also help you save some money.
Additionally, look for combo deals that include admission and ride passes or other perks. These bundles can provide excellent value and make your Fair experience even more enjoyable. Remember to print or download your tickets before arriving at the Fair to ensure a smooth entry process.
3. Arrive Early
The LA County Fair tends to get busier as the day progresses, so arriving early has its advantages. Not only will you have a better chance of finding convenient parking, but you’ll also be able to enjoy popular attractions with shorter lines. Early mornings at the Fair are often cooler, making it more comfortable to explore the grounds before the heat of the day sets in.
If you’re planning to attend any special events or performances, arriving early can also help you secure good seats or spots in the audience. Whether you’re a foodie, thrill-seeker, or culture enthusiast, getting to the Fair bright and early will allow you to make the most of your visit.
4. Wear Comfortable Clothing and Footwear
The LA County Fair covers a vast area with plenty of walking involved. To ensure a comfortable experience, wear lightweight, breathable clothing suitable for the weather. Don’t forget to check the weather forecast for Pomona on the day of your visit and dress accordingly.
Comfortable footwear is crucial. You’ll likely be on your feet for hours, so opt for well-padded, supportive shoes. Sandals or flip-flops may not be the best choice if you plan to explore the Fair extensively.
Consider bringing a light jacket or sweater, as evenings in Southern California can get cooler, even in late summer or early fall. A hat and sunglasses are also recommended to protect yourself from the sun.
5. Stay Hydrated
Pomona can get quite hot during the Fair’s operating hours, so it’s essential to stay hydrated throughout your visit. Carry a refillable water bottle with you and take advantage of the water fountains and hydration stations scattered throughout the Fairgrounds.
While it’s tempting to indulge in all the delicious Fair food and drinks, remember that sugary and caffeinated beverages can contribute to dehydration. Be mindful of your consumption and balance it with water intake to keep yourself feeling your best.
6. Budget Wisely
One aspect of the Fair that can catch visitors by surprise is the cost. Admission fees, rides, games, food, and souvenirs can add up quickly. To avoid overspending, set a budget for your Fair day and stick to it.
Consider purchasing a prepaid card or wristband for rides and games to help manage your spending. This way, you can enjoy the attractions without constantly reaching for your wallet. Also, explore the options for food and drink packages or meal deals that may offer better value than purchasing items individually.
7. Try the Unique Food
One of the highlights of any Fair experience is the opportunity to indulge in unique and often outrageous food creations. From deep-fried delicacies to over-the-top desserts, the LA County Fair is known for its innovative culinary offerings.
Don’t be afraid to try something new and adventurous. Whether it’s a deep-fried Snickers bar or a bacon-wrapped hot dog, the Fair is the perfect place to satisfy your cravings for indulgent treats. Consider sharing dishes with friends or family members to sample a variety of items without overeating.
8. Explore the Exhibits
While the rides and food are undeniably enticing, the LA County Fair also features an array of fascinating exhibits and displays. Take some time to explore these educational and cultural offerings, as they provide valuable insights into various topics and interests.
The Fair often hosts art exhibitions, agricultural displays, and interactive science exhibits. These areas offer a chance to learn something new while enjoying a break from the hustle and bustle of the main attractions. Keep an eye out for any special exhibitions or guest speakers during your visit.
9. Catch a Concert or Performance
The LA County Fair frequently hosts concerts and live performances featuring well-known artists and entertainers. If you’re a music enthusiast, be sure to check the Fair’s entertainment lineup in advance and consider purchasing tickets for a show that interests you.
Concerts are a great way to cap off your day at the Fair and provide a memorable experience. Be aware that some concerts may require separate admission, so plan accordingly if you want to attend one of these events.
10. Respect the Environment
As you enjoy the Fair, be mindful of the environment and follow responsible practices. Dispose of trash in designated bins, recycle whenever possible, and help keep the Fairgrounds clean. Many Fairs, including the LA County Fair, have implemented eco-friendly initiatives to reduce their environmental impact, so do your part to support these efforts.
Additionally, respect the Fair’s rules and guidelines regarding behavior and safety. These rules are in place to ensure a positive and safe experience for all visitors. Familiarize yourself with the Fair’s policies to avoid any misunderstandings or issues during your visit.
11. Capture the Memories
Finally, don’t forget to capture the memories of your day at the LA County Fair. Bring a camera or use your smartphone to take photos and videos of the exciting moments, delicious food, and unforgettable experiences. Share your Fair adventures with friends and family on social media and create lasting memories that you can look back on