The Los Angeles County Fair in Pomona usually starts in early in September - but this year it gets a slightly earlier start, and will run from August 31 to September 30, 2012 (closed Mondays & Tuesdays, except on the Labor Day weekend).
It is the largest county Fair in all of North America, drawing a million and a half visitors each year, and a good spot to see some of your favorite performers in concert.
You'll find a lot of oldie acts out at Fairplex. Featured musical performers in the past have included Huey Lewis & the News ("The Heart of Rock & Roll"), Johnny Rivers ("Poor Side of Town"), The Association ("Windy"), Three Dog Night ("Joy to the World"), Jan & Dean ("Dead Man's Curve"), The Commodores ("Three Times a Lady"), Sister Hazel, Hall & Oates, the Pointer Sisters, Peter Frampton, Smashmouth, Cheap Trick, Bryan White, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Randy Travis, Vonda Shepard, dc Talk, The Temptations, The Neville Bros, Pat Benatar, The Doobie Brothers, REO Speedwagon, Steven Curtis Chapman, Kool & The Gang The Righteous Bros, The Beach Boys, Monica, Jennifer Paige/Blaque, Jars of Clay, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, The Four Tops, The Isley Brothers, The Moffatts, Clay Walker, Isaac Hayes, Kansas and Juice Newton.
Most of these concerts are free with admission
to the Fair.
This year, artists announced so far include Carly Rae Jepsen (with the ubiquitious "Call Me Maybe"), The Wanted, Bridgit Mendler & Cher Lloyd, George Benson & Chaka Khan, the B-52s & Berlin, Styx, Tower of Power & the Average White Band, Karmin & Cobra Starship, Earth, Wind & Fire,
and Grand Funk Railroad.
(For a full list of Fair concerts, click here.)
Last year (2011), performers included The Beach Boys, The Doobie Bros, LeAnn Rimes,
REO Speedwagon & Styx, Miranda Cosgrove,
Gn, Michael McDonald & BozScaggs, Earth Wind & Fire, War, Gloria Trevi, OneRepublic, Tower of Power
& the Average White Band, and others.
In 2010, performers included Selena Gomez, Lifehouse, Hall & Oates, Rick Springfield, Boyz II Men & En Vogue, Gretchen Wilson, 3OH!3, Teena Marie, War, Bad Company, Tower of Power & the Average White Band.
In 2009, performers at the fair included The Beach Boys, Leann Rimes, Peter Framton, Al Green, The Spinners, the Average White Band, Donna Summer, Kansas, Good Charlotte, War, Blake Shelton and Ciara.
In 2008, the performers included Smokey Robinson, The Doobie Brothers, War, Sugarland, KC & the Sunshine Band, and the Bangles.
In 2007, the acts included Tower of Power, The B-52’s, Earth, Wind & Fire and Lifehouse. (Click here to read the 2008 schedule.)
In 2006, the performers included: Heart, Pat Benatar, LeAnn Rimes, Donna Summer, Montgomery Gentry and The Doobie Brothers.
In 2005, the acts included Crosby, Stills & Nash, ZZ Top, Hall & Oates, Sugar Ray, Hoobastank, War, Tower of Power, Lifehouse, The Village People, KC and the Sunshine Band and José Feliciano.
2004 saw performers such as Jackson Browne, Willie Nelson, Lonestar, and The Doors of the 21st Century.
In 2003, concert acts included Willie Nelson, War, the B-52's, Earth, Wind & Fire, Styx, Brad Paisley, KC and The Sunshine Band, Tower of Power and REO Speedwagon. Most shows were scheduled for 8 p.m.
Pomona is so far northeast of central Los Angeles that many people tend to think of Pomona as part of Orange County or San Bernardino County. But in fact, Pomona is actually on the northeastern edge Los Angeles County.
Pomona boasts a permanent fairgrounds (called Fairplex) covering almost 500 acres. It features lushly landscaped grounds, over 200 permanent display buildings, a ski-lift ride, shady picnic areas, livestock barns & stables, a model farm, one of the world's largest miniature train displays, contests, judgings, two rodeos, fireworks, pot-bellied pig races, fine arts, a Mexican Village, numerous exhibitions, gardens, a huge midway full of carnival rides and games, tons of food, a full-size thoroughbred race track, and 13 stages featuring live entertainment. (Alas, the Arrowhead monorail, pictured above, was removed from the Fairgrounds.)
Most of the big name entertainers appear either at the Fair's race course or at the Fairplex Hill stage, but there are also lots of small bands and acts throughout the Fair: mimes, balloon artists, clowns, jugglers, magicians, steel-drum bands, Blue grass groups, Dixieland bands, local acts... plus fireworks.
Hours: The Fair begins in September and usually runs for approximately three weeks. In 2012, though, the Fair runs from August 31 through September 30, 2012. Gates are open: Wednesdays noon to 10 p.m.; Thursdays noon to 11 p.m.; - Friday noon to 12 midnight; Saturdays 10 a.m.-12 midnight; Sunday 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Closed on Mondays & Tuesdays. (Buildings open one hour after the gates open.) Phone for exact dates and hours of this year's Fair.
But they will have different hours for the first two days, of the Labor Day Weekend, when the gates will open at 10 AM. and close at midnight on Sunday (and 10 PM on Monday).
here for a 2011 map of the Fairgrounds.
Getting there: From Hollywood, take the Hollywood (2) Freeway south (about six miles) to downtown Los Angeles, where it becomes the San Bernardino (10) Freeway. Take the San Bernardino (10) Freeway east (about 26 more miles) to Pomona, and exit at one of three offramps: Fairplex Drive, White Avenue or Garey Avenue, then follow the signs north to the fairgrounds.
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