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LA County Fair is moving to May, after 100 years of September dates

The Los Angeles County Fair is moving — not its location but its dates.

Beginning in 2022, the fair will be held in the month of May rather than September, fair organizers announced in a prepared statement Tuesday, May 25.

The fair — known for its wacky food, carnival rides, fast-talking hawkers of household gadgets, home-raised farm animals, top-name concerts and eclectic art displays — will break from a near 100-year tradition to permanently move to every May.

When the fair returns in May 2022, it will be celebrating 100 years as the largest county fair in the country in a better climate, organizers said. The fair’s centennial three-week run is set for May 5-30, 2022.

“This is something we have been thinking about for some time,” said Walter M. Marquez, interim CEO of Fairplex in Pomona, home of the county fairgrounds.

The LA County Fair was canceled 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and again this year, though officials said it would be replaced with a “smaller and safer” event.

The closure of the fair for two years gave organizers pause. During the past few fairs, September’s triple-digit heat waves were a negative, putting a damper on fair attendance, organizers said.

Why move to May?

Fair organizers say the cooler “May gray” days and nights will be more conducive to fairgoers. Also, the month allows for the celebration of Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day and a summer kickoff of barbecues and national pride on Memorial Day weekend.

“It’s a perfect time to present our annual celebration — kids are preparing for the end of the school year, families are planning for weekends and the weather will be perfect,” Marquez said in a prepared statement.

“The L.A. County Fair is an integral part of Los Angeles County’s history and our future,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis, whose First District includes the fairgrounds, in a statement. “The change in timing from September to May will provide prime opportunities in late spring for families, residents and outside visitors to enjoy a Fair that is as diverse and dynamic as our County.”

As a send-off to its traditional late-summer run, in lieu of the full county fair in 2021, organizers have planned a scaled down version over a few weekends in September, Marquez said. The Fair Food Experience will include famous concessionaires from previous fairs, he said. It will be a “swan song to the season in which the Fair played for nearly 100 years,” organizers wrote in a statement.

The fair in May 2022 will mark the 100th anniversary of the first LA County Fair held in 1922 and will reflect the theme “Back to Our Roots.” It will include notes of nostalgia from the early days of tent expositions to remembering inventions such as the Frisbee and the home of the future, explained fair organizers.

Source: Orange County Register

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