Explore the natural wonders of the world’s second largest continent, rich with deserts, savannahs, jungles and tropical rainforests at the Flower & Garden Pavilion’s Gateway to Africa.
Topiary versions of Africa’s famed elephants, the largest land animals on earth, are on hand outside the Flower & Garden Pavilion to welcome you. Beware! The Fair’s playful elephant enjoys using its trunk to spray water on unsuspecting Fairguests.
Once inside, African flora and fauna seem to come alive: Floral giraffes tower over a profusion of lush vegetation and zebras show their stripes in seeds as they graze the African savannahs. Marvel at the pyramids of Egypt, the floral kingdoms of South Africa and the Great Zimbabwe Ruins, part of more than 50 countries that make up the diverse African continent.
Follow the African drum beat into the hillside beyond the Flower & Garden Pavilion and enjoy your own Safari Adventure. Meet wildlife that hail from many regions of Africa in a lush, jungle setting. Grab your camera and head up the hill to see live zebras, camels, ostriches, pythons and other interesting inhabitants of the African continent. Meet Henrietta Hippo (Don’t worry. Henrietta is only a life-size replica of the real thing), visit Olivia’s Ostrich Oasis, home to the world’s largest bird and the only living species of its family. Meet the hedgehog, small enough to fit in your hand, but too prickly to hold. Indigenous to East Africa, a hedgehog rubbed with seeds is believed to produce abundant crops. You can even play a game of African wildlife chess, with representatives of African wildlife acting as chess pieces.
Next stop, the Wine & Spirits Marketplace, presented by Ralphs, for a taste of the winning entries from the Los Angeles International Wine & Spirits and Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competitions. Sign up for one of many exciting wine education classes, such as Hot Nights, Cool Crisp Whites!, Wines that Smell as Good as They Taste, How to Taste Wine, Wine, Cheese & Chocolate and many more. Sample award-winning beers at the all-new indoor-outdoor beer tavern with samplings from the Los Angeles International Commercial Beer Competition.
New this year, the Atrium adjacent to Gateway to Africa is a world of urban jungles where you can create your own backyard safari adventure. Look for outdoor décor and open-air dining ensembles in spots stripes and sand, including African-style plants and flowers in the Atrium’s Plant Safari. Learn the art of floral design and backyard gardening at the Atrium’s Safari Stage.
The L.A. County Fair opens Labor Day weekend, Sept. 5 – 7 and then Wednesday – Sunday, Sept. 9 – Oct. 4, closed Mondays and Tuesdays. Live thoroughbred racing Sept. 10 – 28, dark Mondays Sept. 14 and 21 and Tuesdays. For information on ways to save at the Fair, visit lacountyfair.com.