If you’re reading this blog post because you think I can help your waist line survive the fair, I will make this post really short: you can’t. If you are reading this post because you want to have some fun, but you don’t have that much money, then maybe I can help you. Being the country bumpkins that we are, we have to admit we are fair going people. County fairs have been around for a long time, but unless you are from an agricultural area, they are largely forgotten. Unknown to most Californians, there is at least one fair per agricultural district, which means that there is not only at least one fair in each county, some counties have two! Riverside County is one of those counties.
The fair we went to was the main fair for Riverside County. It’s official name is the Riverside County Fair and National Date Festival. Yes, not only are dates a major crop in Riverside County, there is a whole fair dedicated to them. Due to the fact that the fair is dedicated to dates, the fair is held in late February, making it the earliest fair of the season (most county fairs are in the summer). If you’re wondering who has the best date (and I know you were dieing to find out) I have a picture for you (mouse over for the name of the winner):
Yep, that’s right the winner was Shield’s Date Farm (if you want to know why they are the best CLICK HERE).
County fairs, if you are not careful, can be very expensive. Admission to a typical fair is about $8 per person with another $7 for parking (or free parking if you are willing to walk a little). In addition to the admission, anything that you buy at the fair will be expensive. This, however, can be mitigated if you don’t ride the rides, you bring your own food, and don’t buy dumb souvenirs.
At this point you might be thinking “well then why do I want to go to the fair?” The thing I love most about a county fair is the variety. I think most people get so lured in by the flashing corn dog lights that they forget that there are many things included with their admission price. Here are just some of the things we saw while we were at the fair(click to enlarge):
We also learned how to milk a camel:
(If you want to learn how to do this yourself you can visit them at http://www.cameldairy.com/Home_Page.html)
So what was our grand total for all this fun? $16.25, that price includes two adult admission prices and one genuine souvenir green fair rock. If you have time to go to the Riverside County Fair and National Date Festival I encourage you to go, you have until February 27th. If by chance you don’t have time to go to this fair might I suggest you go to the San Bernardino County Fair in May in Victorville. If you do you just might catch a glimpse of the world’s best Banana Nut Bread ;).