The L.A. County Fair arrives each September signaling the return to school, the start of football and the end of summer. Providing a welcome respite from a busy routine, the 2007 Fair welcomed 1,365,026 through its gates during the 18-day event, its 85th anniversary edition, Sept. 7-30.
Normally, warm temperatures are part of the September mix, in fact triple digit temps were recorded through Labor Day. The Fair opened on Friday, Sept. 7, with $1 admission through 5 p.m., and a people-pleasing 81 degrees. Much needed rain did arrive, unfortunately on the third weekend of the Fair with moderate to heavy rain on Saturday, Sept. 22. Light rain arrived the preceding Friday with gray skies that cast a pall over the brightly lit grounds. Clear skies returned and prevailed and average temperatures throughout the Fair were a comfortable 77 degrees.
The Fair presented the largest amount of programming ever—concerts, horse racing, exhibits, Flower & Garden Pavilion and FairView Farms, a Fair favorite. Ray Cammack Shows carnival returned for its 23rd year bringing back the favorites along with an astounding addition of 14 brand new rides. Sixteen days of live horse racing, presented by San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino, finished with a handle of $109,635,696, the track’s third highest handle over its 69-year history.
There were 15 nights of crowd-pleasing grandstand entertainment as part of the End of Summer Concert Series presented by Toyota. A diverse and energetic lineup drew huge numbers of fans, and with closing night’s appearance of Earth, Wind & Fire, the series established an all-time high in concert attendance.
Eco Now! A Planet Saving Adventure was a new attraction with information, services, products, and special activities for kids on how to preserve and protect our precious resources.
The Millard Sheets Center for the Arts, presented by Farmers Insurance Group, spotlighted the center’s namesake and renowned artist, architect, mosaic artist and watercolorist Millard Sheets, on the 100th anniversary of his birth with a look at his amazing legacy of art. Winter Wonderland, presented by AT&T, brought back the snow fall, ice skating and sledding to the delight of guests.
Habitat for Humanity constructed two homes to be re-located to permanent locations in Pomona, and youngsters explored careers and hands-on activities in America’s Kids/Education Expo. Culinary Styles presented demonstrations and competitions and the time-honored tradition continued for the ribbon winners.
Senior Days were each Wednesday and College Days were observed on Thursdays, both offering $5 admission. The FairKids Discovery Club hosted nearly 100,000 youngsters free of charge from Southern California elementary and middle schools for a day of fun and edu-tainment. Wednesdays and Thursdays provided for the fun $5 after 5 p.m. promotion presented by DISH Network, and AT&T, PFF Bank & Trust and Ralphs Grocery Company offered discount programs. McDonald’s Wednesdays provided for an admission and carnival wristband discount. Eighteen communities were honored with their day at the Fair and a community hero celebration that honored an adult and junior hero from each participating city. A Day for Heroes honored active military, reserves, police, fire and paramedics. Contributions were also made to the American Red Cross from that day’s regular adult admission.
Dale Coleman, vice president of sales, marketing and creative programming said, “Despite predictions of dire weather conditions, we entertained nearly 1.4 million guests and a