Princesses, Sharks and Bears, oh my! Not the typical word-links you associate with theLos Angeles County Fair, huh? But this year, it was true! In addition to petting zoos, milking contests, hay-baling exhibitions and corn grinding experiences, the Fair offered a huge shark tank, a performing bear exhibition and a Princess Playhouse—not to mention a Jungle Camp and Jurassic Planet, a Bio-Research Facility.
I wondered why this year we didn’t hear the usual ad campaigns mocking clueless Angelinos for their lack of experience with farm animals. I kind of missed the previous ad campaign good-naturedly jabbing, “Come and see where your lattes come from,” or “Come pet a goat and discover how your Angora sweaters are made.”
The Los Angeles County Fair—the largest County Fair in all of North America attracts nearly a million and a half visitors each year, and if it weren’t for the “must-see” experience of introducing our two city girls to my personal favorites, baby pigs, I would be more than happy to say, “If you’ve been to one County Fair, you’ve been to enough.” But this Fair was really quite the exception to our previous experiences, and partnered with two very enthusiastic preschoolers we truly had a wonderful time.
The girls were naturally quite enthralled with the cows, goats and pigs, but after an hour or two of milling about the hands-on barnyard experiences we wandered into the exhibits that seemed entirely out-of-place. We stumbled upon the Welde’s Bear Show, an exhibition of Brown Bear performers—not your average County Fair experience. Following the path from the “Wilderness Ridge” we entered the Australian jungle with kangaroos, wallabies and joeys—who knew? By the time we hit the shark tank we were losing steam, and it seemed like perhaps it was time to be on our way.
Two very tired girls weren’t at all sure they really cared about the Jurassic Planet and we figured it was time to go. But then, out of nowhere, there it was! The Land of Frogs, Princesses and Knights! Two little girlie girls, jaws dropping open in wonder, almost floated into a large, outdoor dress-up and imaginary play area with at least 100 other little girls suddenly energized by the opportunity to try on princess costumes, complete with heels and tiaras. Their grandfather had now been without sleep for almost 24 hours so with a huge sigh asked me, “Is this really important?” Ha! He was obviously never a preschool-age girl was he?
If there is anything contributing to my own well-being, I think it must be hanging around two inquisitive and playful little girls…they are my personal fountain of youth!