Critters offer O.C. Fair preview

From the tarantula to 3,000-pound oxen, Fair Board gets a glimpse of this year's showstoppers.

May 24, 2013
  • Oke Iyeke of Westminster High School holds up "Mr. Chicken" during a presentation for the Orange County Fair Board on Thursday.
Oke Iyeke of Westminster High School holds up "Mr.… (Bradley Zint, Daily…)

Animals big and small made appearances at the Orange County Fair Board's monthly meeting Thursday, bringing a spirit of excitement for what's to come for the annual summertime fair in Costa Mesa.

A tarantula made its way around the room one set of hands at a time, bringing out the arachnophobia of some board members and attendees.

Oke Iyeke also gave a presentation to the board that included a white leghorn chicken. The Westminster High School junior serves as president of the school's Future Farmers of America chapter.

When asked the chicken's name, Oke, who before the meeting hadn't named his feathered specimen, quickly came up with one: Mr. Chicken.

Two of the animal guests had to wait a few steps outside the boardroom, however, but they didn't seem to mind.


Patches and his half-brother Freckles — a pair of American lineback oxen who live at Centennial Farm — stood quietly in the sun alongside their oxen teamster, Nancy Truglio.

The pair was born in New Hampshire. Each is a 3,000-pound, six-year resident of the fairgrounds.

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