The LA County Fair is back — sort of. After COVID forced organizers to cancel the annual tradition last year, a scaled-down version is set to return Friday, September 10. Renee Hernandez from the Los Angeles County Fair tells KCRW that while this annual event will be a “bite-size” affair, there will be no shortage of fried goodness and family-friendly rides.
KCRW: Why are you hosting a smaller version of the LA County Fair?
Renee Hernandez: “We cannot have a traditional fair this year [because of the pandemic], so we decided to look at something a little smaller. Our fantastic creative team came up with [a] bite-sized fair. This will be a smaller footprint with fewer food vendors and games, but we'll still have quite a bit to keep everybody entertained.”
Will there be rides and shops?
“There will be 30 rides and games. We will also have over 100 commercial shopping vendors.”
The fair is about the absurdly indulgent food. I've heard staples like turkey legs are going to be there. But what sort of wacky, deep-fried treats and dishes will be offered?
“For one, we’ll have lumpia ice cream sundaes. If you're not familiar with lumpia, it’s a Filipino dish that’s like a spring roll with vegetables inside. One of our vendors will provide a plate of lumpia with a huge amount of ice cream on top — drizzled out with caramel.”
Back in 2018, we created an affordable menu, and it was a huge hit. There’ll be something similar for the bite-size fair. We will have a bite-size menu where our guests can enjoy smaller pieces and smaller items for $3.”
This is the last time the LA County Fair will happen in the fall. Why are you moving the annual tradition to May?
“For a couple of years, we've been thinking about moving our fair to a better, cooler time of the year. COVID gave us the time to be able to seriously consider moving the date. Since we did not have a fair last year, and we aren't having a traditional large fair this year, we were able to get that ball rolling and decided to move our dates in 2022, which is our centennial.”