The 88th edition of the Los Angeles County Fair opens Friday at Fairplex in Pomona with mainstay attractions joined by an exhibit of technological advances inspired by pop culture.
The center of Popnology will be a celebration of the 30th anniversary of “Back to the Future” with the time-traveling DeLorean DMC-12, flying hoverboard and self-lacing sneakers from the film and its set-in-2015 1989 sequel “Back To The Future Part II” on display.
The 33,000-square-foot exhibition also includes:
— a series of film robots including the T2 Terminator and those built for the DARPA Robotics Challenge and by the Southern California R2D2 Builders Club;
— three generations of Mars Rovers;
— a full-size replica of the Apollo 11 command module;
— half-scale replicas of the 1903 Wright Flyer, the first aircraft, and the Bell X-1, the first aircraft to break the sound barrier;
— the Batmobile from the 1995 film “Batman Forever”;
— a restored pair of cars from Disneyland’s PeopleMover;
— a Lego model of the Monsanto House of the Future, which was on display in Disneyland’s Tomorrowland from 1957-67;
— an explanation of the evolution of home delivery by pairing a vintage 1930s Helms Bakery truck with a prototype Amazon home delivery drone;
— advances in technology in listening to music; and
— a room from 1983 where everything except the furniture and ironing board has been replaced by the smartphone.
Luminasia, a walk-through nighttime display on the fair’s forest hillside of lantern replicas of iconic Los Angeles landmarks, returns for a second year. The lanterns were hand-made by nearly 50 artisans who traveled more than 7,000 miles from Zigong, China.
More than 500 animals will be on display in the fair’s farm, including Mangalitsa, an Eastern European blonde-haired pig that looks like a cross between a swine and a wooly sheep.
The fair also includes a carnival with more than 70 rides, some new for 2015; the trapeze and aerial artists of Esmeralda’s Traveling Circus; Mojo’s Wild & Crazy Lagoon, celebrating the 16th birthday of the fair’s resident Weeper Capuchin monkey; and the sharks, seals and sting rays of Beneath the Sea and new outdoor Seaquarium.
Additions to the fair’s unique fried food offerings include what are billed as the world premieres of deep-fried bacon-wrapped chicken and waffles and deep-fried guacamole with ranch dressing.
Other fried food offerings created by Charles “Chicken Charlie” Boghosian include the deep-fried peanut butter pickle; the deep-fried slim fast bar and the Krispy Kreme triple-decker cheeseburger.
Also making their debuts are the spicy PB&J burger, made with Sriracha sauce; and a version of chicken and waffles in a waffle cone.
Other food highlights include the bacon-wrapped pork belly; Frosted Flake fried chicken ; the koolickle, a Kool-Aid-infused pickle; deep-fried nachos and deep-fried Nutella.
The fair’s End of Summer Concert Series begins today with Patti LaBelle and Chaka Khan.
Other artists scheduled to perform include Skillet and for King and Country (Monday); Kool & The Gang, The Ohio Players and Rose Royce (Sept. 11); ZZ Top & Blackberry Smoke (Sept. 12); Justin Moore with Kellie Pickler & Colt Ford (Sept. 13); Bell Biv DeVoe with Tony! Toni! Tone! and Ginuwine (Sept. 17); Lynyrd Skynyrd & The Outlaws (Sept. 18); Train (Sept. 19); The Beach Boys (Sept. 24); War with Tierra & Malo (Sept. 25); Jake Owen & Parmalee (Sept. 26); Chicago & Boz Scaggs (Sept. 27).
Another music option is the Grinding Gears night club, which includes DJ Gizmologist spinning a mixture of Top 40 hits and electronic dance music and performances by the club’s house band, The Steam Punkers and tribute bands.
The weekend fair admission prices are $20 for adults 13-59; $15 for adults age 60 and older and $12 for children ages 6 to 12. The weekday prices are $12 for adults 13-59, $10 for adults age 60 and over and $8 for children ages 6 to 12. Children ages 5 and under are free throughout the fair.
A season pass is available for $29.99.
Additional fees are required for admission to Luminasia and concerts.
Parking is $15, with valet parking at Gate 3 $30. A season parking pass is available for $60.
Discounted tickets priced at $12 for adults and $6 for children ages 6- 12 are available at participating Ralphs and Cardenas stores. Coupons for $12 weekend admission are available at participating Wells Fargo branches in the greater Los Angeles Region.
The admission price for adults age 60 and over on Wednesdays is $6, with proper ID and a coupon available on the fair’s website, lacountyfair.com.
Admission is free from noon-6 p.m. on Fridays by donating five canned goods.
Free admission is also available from noon to 6 p.m. Thursdays by donating at least five new or unwrapped school supplies. The school supplies will be donated to the Los Angeles and Pomona unified school districts and the Inland Empire United Way.
On the opening weekend, the fair will be open from noon-midnight today, 10 a.m.-midnight Saturday and Sunday, and 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday. The hours for the rest of the fair are noon-10 p.m. Wednesdays; noon-11 p.m. Thursdays; noon- midnight Fridays; 10 a.m.-midnight Saturdays; and 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sundays.
Following Labor Day, the fair will be closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
The fair evolved from a commercial-industrial show first held along the Southern Pacific railroad siding in downtown Pomona in 1921. It proved so successful that the businessmen who produced it held the first Los Angeles County Fair in October 1922.
The fair has been held annually at Fairplex since 1922, except from 1942- 47, when the facility was being used by the U.S. Army, including as a prisoner of war camp for German and Italian soldiers and a relocation camp for Japanese Americans.
—City News Service
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