Ventura’s ‘Ocean Air’ County Fair

The Pacific is nearby, and so is midway fun, and rodeo riding, and concerts...


IF YOU'RE STANDING ON A MIDWAY... you tend to expect a few things. You'll hear some sort of calliope music, from a nearby ride, the sort of ride that spins in multiple directions while different bulbs blink in time. You'll smell some sort of caramel corn, or kettle corn, or another version of corn that was only just invented weeks before. And you may see sunshine, or clouds, or some combination, the sort of sky that is emblematic of summertime. What you likely won't feel, though, is an ocean breeze, the kind that is a bit ticklish, a bit damp, and nicely salty.

THERE IS A PROMINENT EXCEPTION, however, and it's the Ventura County Fair, a county fair that's about as close to the ocean as your average pier or stretch of sand. This placement lends the August spectacle some tang, and marine-sweet freshness, as you go about the rides and the eating of kettle corn and the visiting of animals. If a fair is your jam, and you're pretty enamored of the Pacific, then make for the Ventura County Fairgrounds from...

AUG. 3 THROUGH 14, 2016: "A Country Fair with Ocean Air" will fill out that stretch with motorsports and PRCA Rodeo and a bevy of concerts from acts like Styx, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, and the great Patti LaBelle. Are there...

SPECIAL ADMISSION DAYS? You bet. Shall there be crafts and more to see? That's tradition. Will you admire a host of critters, from goats to pigs? Yes. And shall the ride scene and noshable fried treats complete the carnival tableau? Absolutely. The classics are all there, with a dollop of ocean breezery on top. How many county fairs can boast about that? (Hint: Very few, so high fives, Ventura.)

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