The 2003 L.A. County Fair’s 17-day run came to a close on Sunday, Sept. 28. The Fair enjoyed stellar weather, great crowds, a successful horse racing meet and more than 1.3 million guests that were treated to a variety of programming highlighted by the feature exhibit “High Flying Fun!” Fair dates were Sept. 12-28. rc=http://www.
Attendance for the event was 1,300,386, an increase from the 2002 Fair attendance figure of 1,288,056. Four single day attendance records were set during the Fair including on opening day when 133,699 guests passed through the gates for just $1 admission.
Fairplex President and CEO Jim Henwood said, “In terms of quality this is our best event ever. There is an enormous amount of planning and creativity in putting on an event of this scope. All of the elements came together and the result was an outstanding presentation, a combination of tradition and innovation. The response to the concert series was very positive and our racing meet was one of our most successful ever. We’re already looking to 2004 and making the Fair even bigger and better for our guests.”
The Fair presented 11 nights of grandstand entertainment, including sold out shows by the legendary Earth, Wind & Fire and musical icon Willie Nelson. The remaining lineup, all very successful, consisted of WAR, Styx, B-52’s, Brad Paisley, KC and The Sunshine Band, MARIACHI USA Fiesta, Monster Truck and MotoX Mania and REO Speedwagon. The End of Summer Concert Series presented by the Los Angeles Newspaper Group served up 10 concerts in 2002. The 2003 Fair had 11 nights of entertainment with an additional show on closing night Sept. 28.
The FairKids Discovery Club hosted more than 82,000 Southern California school kids throughout the Fair with free field trips each weekday. The program included educational and fun programming for youngsters from preschool through eighth grade.
FairView Farms underwent major renovations in preparation for the 2003 Fair. Guests were treated to the FairView Farms nursery, which housed more than a dozen new baby animals born during the Fair.
The feature exhibit in Fairplex 7A, “High Flying Fun!” was a salute to 100 years of flight from the Wright Brothers to a 10,000 square foot exhibition by NASA that included the international space station and the exciting future of flight.
Two Fair favorites delighted guests. The Flower and Garden Pavilion took guests on a enchanting trip to the Orient with a themed presentation “Influences of the Orient—The Art of Floral Design.” The Millard Sheets Gallery had an outstanding presentation themed ‘The “Living” Room-Art as an Accessory,’ that featured 12 vignettes, one room a reproduction from the October 1954 issue of House Beautiful in the exhibition from that year titled “The Arts of Daily Living.”
Ray Cammack Shows returned for the 19th year with more than 70 spectacular rides and three kiddie carnivals.
Horse racing enjoyed a stellar year highlighted by Fairplex Park’s all-time winning trainer Mel Stute’s induction into the inaugural Fairplex Park Hall of Fame on Saturday, Sept. 27. Hall of Fame jockey Julie Krone made her first appearance at Fairplex Park a memorable one by winning the 49th Pomona Derby by 5-1/2 lengths, also on Sept. 27. The handle on the final Saturday of the Fair was a record breaking $10.2 million.
Tentative dates for the 2004 L.A. County Fair are Sept. 10-26. Visit the Web site at lacountyfair.com for more information.