It’s the granddaddy of fairs with great fun for everyone. Whether you are looking to fly high on carnival rides; see and feed small and large animals at the livestock center; enter a pie eating or cooking contest; snack on cotton candy, corn dogs or gourmet bites with wine and beer; watch a rodeo or horse race; check out countless exhibits of everything from amateur art, gems and minerals to hobbies, home arts, photography, collections — well, let’s just say that’s for starters.
It all began in 1875 when the main event was horse racing. Today, the tradition continues to grow as the 140th Ventura County Fair, “A Country Fair with Ocean Air,” opens its gates August 5. Also look for free grandstand concerts starring LeAnn Rimes, Kevin Costner and Modern West, Neil Sedaka, and other top performers and Ventura County’s traditional fireworks over the ocean.
On Saturday, August 8, in downtown Ventura is the Annual Ventura County Fair Parade complete with high school marching bands, classic cars, horses, clowns, political figures, dancers and much more. Grand Marshal is philanthropist Mary Leavens Schwabauer in honor of her work on behalf of the county’s residents. Preceding is the annual Ventura County Fair Costume 5K and 1-Mile Run & Walk with runners in costumes racing down Main Street. Typical events in which you and your kids can participate include “Mutton Bustin’ at the Rodeo” when children, ages 4-11, dress up in their best western attire and compete just for fun to see who can ride their sheep the furthest.
The star-powered line-up of the 2015 Grandstand Entertainment series, which is free with admission to the fair, is as follows:
Thurs, Aug 6, 7:30 pm: Montgomery Gentry
Fri, Aug 7, 7:30 pm: Huey Lewis and the News
Sat, Aug 8, 7:30 pm: LeAnn Rimes
Sun, Aug 9, 3:00 pm: Dia de la Familia Concert
Mon, Aug 10, 7:30 pm: Kevin Costner and Modern West
Tues, Aug 11, 1:00 pm: Neil Sedaka
Tues, Aug 11, 7:30 pm: Chaka Khan
Wed, Aug 12, 7:30 pm: The Band Perry
Thurs, Aug 13, 7:30 pm: The B-52s
Fri, Aug 14, 7:30 pm: Salt-N-Pepa
Motor Sports will be on Wednesday, Aug 5 (additional ticket required). The free rodeos are Sat and Sun, Aug 15, 16 at 2:00 and 7:00 pm
For details and ticket information, go to www.venturacountyfair.org.
Poster Illustration by Annie Sun, Age 14, Newbury Park
Photos by Amanda Peacock