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How do you like them apples?

The fairgoers at the Fun Zone like them stacked, but piling five apples on top of each other isn't as easy as it looks.

August 13, 2011|By Joanna Clay, joanna.clay@latimes.com
  • Jacob Huang, 4, of San Francisco, left, helps his cousin, 5-year-old Ocie Mitchell of Irvine, as they try to stack five apples on top of each other during an Apple Stacking Contest on Saturday at the O.C. Fair.
Jacob Huang, 4, of San Francisco, left, helps his cousin,… (Steven Georges,…)

Who says there isn't healthy food at the Orange County Fair? On Saturday, there were plenty of apples to go around — for stacking, that is.

The Fun Zone, adjacent to The Hangar, hosted an Apple Stacking Contest. There wasn't any trouble drawing a crowd, with about 70 onlookers and a continuous line of excited kids in tow.

The "Minute To Win It"-inspired contest challenged teams of two to stack five apples on top of each other in 60 seconds without having it topple over.

There seemed to be a common response from most contestants: Stacking apples is not as easy as it looks.

Jake Mattox, 9, had a strategy in mind.

"You have to make it stable," he said.

When a stack didn't work, he said, he would flip each apple. Jake and his brother Kyle, both from Santa Clarita, attempted the challenge but couldn't get it standing in 60 seconds.

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Jake said if he had more time, he could do it.

The Mattox boys weren't the only kids with tactics up their sleeves.

Kaylee, 8, and Lily De La Cruz, 6, brought some sisterly determination to the stage. They quickly stacked, while Lily paused to contemplate if a red or a green apple stacked better.

Some kids opted for holding their stack as still as possible, removing their hands at the last moment and hoping for the best. Unfortunately, that strategy didn't work so well.

One lucky duo, a mother and daughter, did stack five in a row during the afternoon contest, but it's a rare feat, said O.C. Fair staffer Molly McFarland, 17.

Out of all the Fun Zone games, McFarland said apple stacking could be the hardest.

Daisy Gauger, 8, has been to the O.C. Fair at least three times this summer and pulled her dad Scott Gauger on stage for the contest.

Scott Gauger, a Lake Forest resident, said he enjoys getting to do activities with his daughter and has always been a fan of the O.C. Fair.

"I personally think a lot more people are coming out this summer because they were afraid they were going to lose the fairgrounds," he said.

The news of the fairgrounds going up for sale might have prompted people to appreciate it more, he said.

Whether that's the reason or not, the O.C. Fair is certainly faring well when it comes to attendance. As of noon Saturday, it had seen a record 1,261,166 people walk through the gates, according to O.C. Fair spokeswoman Robin Wachner.

Chief Executive and President Steven Beazley said Thursday that he hoped to close it with about 1.38 million visitors. The O.C. Fair's last day is Sunday.

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