I enjoy county fairs. I probably haven't missed one in 30 years. It's cheap entertainment, but it's the down-to-earth style and community spirit of a county fair that appeals to me the most.
There was a time when county fairs were exclusively a place for area farmers, gardeners and those in the agricultural community to show off the fruits of their labor — literally — and compete against their colleagues for blue ribbons and local bragging rights. A few simple rides and carnival games were included as a way to entertain the children while mom and dad were busy with the livestock, the produce and the apple pies.
The Orange County Fair is fun; I always go. I remember when the Orange County Fair offered an entire building devoted to flowers, garden displays and horticulture. Not so anymore. Now, for the true plant and garden lover it is the San Diego County Fair (formerly known as the Del Mar Fair). This Goliath of all of California's fairs stands above all others. The San Diego County Fair's flower and garden section is immense, showcased front and center, just inside the main gate. It beckons Orange County gardeners to make the one-hour drive south to seaside community of Del Mar.