Bring on the turkey legs and deep-fried Oreos! LA County Fair is back (but with a slight twist)

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The Los Angeles County Fair is returning on September 10 after the coronavirus pandemic forced the annual tradition to shut down last year. This year’s fair will be smaller than usual, but organizers promise big fun with a variety of deep-fried food. Photo courtesy of Fairplex.

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.”

The 2021 LA County Fair will be scaled down because of the coronavirus, but families will still be able to enjoy dozens of carnival rides and games. Photo courtesy of Ray Cammack Shows.

Will there be rides and shops?

“There will be 30 rides and games. We will also have over 100 commercial shopping vendors.”

The LA County Fair is known for its quirky fair food, including turkey legs and deep-fried Oreos. But for anyone who is daring enough to mix savory with sweet, one of the vendors will serve up nacho ice cream. Video courtesy of Fairplex.

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.”

A variety of desserts will be served to satisfy visitors’ sweet tooth at the LA County Fair.

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.”



Matt Guilhem


Tara Atrian