In the 16 years I lived in Los Angeles, I had never been to the LA County Fair. That all changed this past weekend!

Cel & Marv at the LA County Fair
Cel, Marv & Mei

UCLA Day at the LA County Fair. What does this mean? FREE admission for UCLA staff and adult members in their party. HOORAY! (Admission is usually $17 per adult.) Marvyn, my friend Mei and I were looking forward to this event for weeks. (Well… at least I was for sure!)

Fair opens at 10 am. We arrived at 11 am. Why so early? 2 things:

1)  Parking is not packed with cars (unless you want to pay extra for VIP parking, it’s a shorter distance to the front gates)

2) No lines for food. Important detail when it’s lunch time and you’re starved.

The three of us wanted to eat different things. We parted and met up again to feast on Indian tacos, bbq sampler sandwiches and Creole food. The latter came fom a Los Angeles restaurant, Harold & Belle’s. Never tried it — thrilled I did! Their food trailer featured their $11 fair special: jambalaya over rice & beans with fried catfish. Oh, and I had to order the bread pudding with whiskey sauce. (I also tasted a sample of their shrimp etouffee. If I hadn’t been full from that fair special, I would have ordered that, too!). Mei then ordered…..wait for it…..Funnel Cake! Yum.

Met up with our friends Annette & Greg, their son 2-year-old son Parker and Annette’s brother Allen. Annette & I chatted for a spell while Parker, Mei and Marvyn took naps. The clouds parted and the sun started to shine. Ordered a tall cup of cold jamaica juice to quench my thirst.

Rejuvenated from the rest, we moved on to the Fair’s many attractions. And we only caught a small fraction: Surveyed the T-Rex and other animatronic dinosaurs at Jurassic Planet. Admired the minature train sets at the Garden Railroad. Snapped pictures of Marvyn in the shark cage at the live shark exhibit. (Note: No sharks in the cage with Marv.) We also marveled at the Chinese Circus of Beijing performers (those 5 Asian gals juggling drums with their feet in unison while lying on their backs. How did they do that?!). And lastly, oogled at baby pigs, cows, Clydesdales and bunnies at Fairview Farms.

And with 600 vendors in one place what did we do? Shop, shop, shop, baby! Popped into 4 (out of 5) Shopping Place pavillions. Check out some purchases in the first picture — me in my reversible tulip hat and Marvyn looking dapper in his fedora (we got 2).  Mei’s sandals and backpack/purse fell apart throughout the day. Purchased replacements at a bag vendor and the Skechers booth. Marvyn got a new pair of Shape-ups for $50 (normally $90!).  Add to our loot 3 ceramic cheese graters (excellent Xmas gift ideas!) and 3 pairs of sunglasses and we were done.

After a long, but fun day, we left at 6:30 pm. After 7.5 hours, we spent a pretty penny at the fair. But not having to pay admission, experiencing so many different things and enjoying every minute of it? So worth it!

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