Ventura County Fair 2015

While not nearly as large as its Los Angeles County neighbor, and not as glitzy, or high-tech as the Orange County Fair, the Ventura County Fair is always a good time. Billed as “The Country Fair with Ocean Air,” the event takes residence at Seaside Park, just steps from the pristine Ventura coastline. There truly is an ocean breeze and the temperature at the fairgrounds is almost always cooler than wherever you are visiting from. Attracting over 300,000 visitors per year, the fair offers a truly down-home feel, something you cannot experience in Pomona or Costa Mesa. Now in its 140th year, the Ventura County Fair welcomes guests from around Southern California and the Central Coast. Having visited the Orange County Fair the weekend prior, Ventura “appears” to have more animal and agriculture exhibits. The Oxnard/Ventura area is rich in farming and agriculture, even with an explosion of suburban growth over the past few decades. Once lush strawberry fields are slowly giving way to massive retail and housing developments, but the area still feels a bit rural, despite being less than an hour from Downtown Los Angeles. A full day of entertainment can be had at the show. Offerings include everything from a Bluegrass band on the back of a pick-up truck (my favorite), to live concerts, pig races and rodeos. There is an exhibit hall dedicated just for children, dozens of rides, and numerous vendor booths. Of course, the main attraction at any county fair is the food, and there are plenty of deep-fried goodies to try. The main highlight is the location. Literally steps from the beach, plan to leave the fair for a few hours to explore the area. Exit through the main gate to visit the beach. A short walk south will take you to the Ventura Pier. Built in 1874, it is the longest pier in California. You will not find a Ruby’s Diner at the end, but you will find spectacular views, which on a clear day extend to the Channel Islands. Exit the pier, walking back towards the Crown Plaza Hotel, from there take California Street into Downtown. It is less than a mile over to Mission San Buenaventura, one of the original built by Father Serra. On this walk, you will pass countless gift shops, breweries, restaurants and museums. Take in the architecture and the sights. Near the mission, take the stairs up Valdez Alley to Eastwood Park, for a scenic view of the area. When done, walk through the Figueroa Street Mall back down to Seaside Park to finish out your day. The entire tour (if you go all the way to the end of the pier) is approximately 2.5 miles, with numerous stops along the way. The Ventura County Fair runs through Sunday, August 15. Remaining Headliner Schedule Wednesday, August 12 (7:30 PM) - The Band Perry Thursday, August 13 (7:30 PM) - The B-52s Friday, August 14 (7:30 PM) - Salt -N- Pepa with Spinderella Saturday and Sunday, August 15 & 16 (2:00 and 7:00 PM) - PRCA Rodeo venturacountyfair.org

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