The Orange County Fair opened Friday. That’s not a big deal for most people in the Inland Empire, since they can wait for the bigger Los Angeles County Fair in September. But the Orange County Fair -- this year themed "Say Cheese" -- is a different animal, and it’s a good event. It’s much smaller, which is one of the things that makes it different. And, as you'd expect, the crowd is different. It's a summer fair, which means there are usually good attendance numbers on weekdays, too.
Thanks to free admission and parking during the Fair’s first hour Friday, the opening day attendance was on a record pace for the first day.
People accustomed to the Pomona event can traverse the Costa Mesa version in less than a day, and then make their way to the Pacific Amphitheatre on the fairgrounds for some quality entertainment in a great venue. For many years the amphitheatre was closed, thanks to complaints about sound from the neighbors and years of legal battles. And when the venue finally opened under the operation of the Orange County Fair, the shows have been a top draw. Claremonter Ray Woodbury heads the Pacific Amphitheatre production team.
For those who can’t wait for the Los Angeles County Fair, the Orange County Fair runs through Aug. 3 and has plenty of carnival rides, animals, exhibits, vendors and fun fair food. And our good friend Doug Lofstrom, who brought cattle to the streets of La Verne and Pomona for several years with the L.A. County Fair cattle drive, will once again stage the second Orange County Fair cattle drive on July 26. That's definitely an event worth seeing. Daily Pilot photo
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