July 26, 2004
Jeff Benson Children anxiously bumped up and down on hay bales in anticipation of Sunday's second All-Alaskan Racing Pig tournament, their parents quietly roasting in the sun at Pig Meadows. Then the catchy pig-racing jamboree music droned out all the white noise. In the air-conditioned pig trailer at the Orange County Fair, it was a different story. All sorts of snorts and squeals and oinks and grunts weren't audible for anyone sitting beyond the first section, but they were there.
July 29, 2006
COSTA MESA ? It was a blazing summer day at the Orange County Fair, and the crowd cheered and whistled in anticipation. Soapy Smith, the star racer of the afternoon, was about to attempt a daring feat on the track: jumping one hurdle, then another one twice as high. To heighten dramatic tension, the announcer told the crowd to build its applause gradually ? just a little before the first hurdle, then pandemonium before the second one. The runner neared the starting line, and the announcer led the crowd in a countdown: "Three ?
August 4, 2011
COSTA MESA - Families packed the stands and children clutching stuffed animals lined the track. Everyone was clapping along to Queen's "We Will Rock You" as the competitors took the stage at the Orange County Fair. Small, pink and standing on four legs, Sourdough Jack, Yukon and Kobuk positioned themselves for the race, but Soapy Smith had other ideas. Jumping the track's small fence, Soapy Smith ran straight to the finish line, showing why he and was named after the infamous Alaskan con artist.
July 20, 2003
The Alaskan Pig Races at the Orange County Fair draws a crowd every year. Cute pigs leaping over hurdles and the sheer determination on their faces to get the prize at the end of the race always produces a good photo. It seems that nothing can deter the pigs from crossing the finish line. But this year, the pigs actually did an about-face and headed in the opposite direction; drawing boos from the crowd and disbelief from the race announcer. How did this happen?
July 18, 2000
Andrew Glazer FAIRGROUNDS -- They lined up at the starting gate and waited for the pistol to pop. Race fans leaned forward, holding their tickets, cheering. "And they're off," the announcer called. Right out of the gate, they were snout and snout. Fans cheered more, calling out the names of their favorite pigs. "Go Hammy Sowsa!" yelled one young race fan in the back of the bleachers who flailed his arms, urging the 35-pound porker as it kicked up sawdust on the 130-foot track.
July 31, 2005
Lisa Epping of Mission Viejo brings her son, Gunnar, to the Orange County Fair at least twice a year. And each time, they make the All Alaskan Pig Races their first stop. "I like the pig races because every year the pigs do something funny, like take a shortcut," said Gunnar Epping, 7. It's not just fairgoers who enjoy the racing pigs. The Alaskan pig races have been a crowd favorite up and down the West Coast since they began racing 20 years ago. Five times a day, Darren Noll and assistant Steve Seneca put on a four-race series with eight pigs.
April 27, 2002
Deirdre Newman If you have a penchant for parrots, an interest in iguanas or a fixation on felines, you might want to check out the Pet Expo at the Orange County Fairgrounds this weekend. The expo returns to Costa Mesa and Orange County after a few decades in Riverside County. The expo showcases myriad animals and attractions, including a Science Safari Bug Show, American racing pigeons and Valentine's Performing Pigs. The purpose of the three-day extravaganza is to promote responsible pet ownership, said Corrine Hanley, the event's spokeswoman.
March 27, 2003
The 14th Annual America's Family Pet Expo will be presented at the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa during the weekend of April 4 through 6. Approximately 85,000 people are expected to attend the popular event. America's Family Pet Expo is produced and managed by the World Wide Pet Supply Association -- a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting responsible pet ownership. More than 1,000 animals including dogs, cats, fish, llamas, pot bellied pigs, goats, alpacas, tortoises, turtles, reptiles, rodents, horses, rabbits and bugs will be exhibited.
August 2, 2007
One of many records I'm not proud of is my nonconnection with the Orange County Fair. I've lived in Newport-Mesa for 48 years without ever attending the fair. But all that changed last Tuesday. It just seemed time. I'm not against fairs. For many years I enjoyed the annual street fair in Columbia City, Ind., where my family spent summers while we rented our house in Corona del Mar. Fair Day was a big event in rural Indiana, and I never missed it. The only clue it offers to my avoidance of our county fair was my steadfast refusal to join my kids on the Ferris wheel.
January 12, 2003
Little pigs, little pigs ... let me in!" "Not by the hairs on our chinny chin chins!" "Then I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow your house in!"