The Always Exciting Southern California Fairplex An amazing 500-plus events take place every year at the Fairplex in Pomona, California. What are you doing this weekend? BY TOURING & TASTING
Images courtesy of Fairplex
Guests arrive to taste the delicious offerings at the Fairplex in Pomona, California.
“ The Los Angeles International Wine Competition marks its 74th edition this year, featuring more than 3,000 wine entries and a judging panel of 75 leading wine experts from across the globe.
Uniquely situated on 487 acres of park-like greenery with Art Deco architecture and modern capabilities, Fairplex, the home of the L.A. County Fair, has evolved since its 1922 beginnings in a beet and barley field into a bustling corridor of entertainment, business, and special events.
Located in Pomona, it’s easily reached from all parts of Southern California. The campus includes an 85,000-square-foot conference center; exhibition halls; two restaurants; The Learning Centers, which offer community-driven education; a museum; historic trains; a racetrack; an organic farm; an RV park; and the Sheraton Fairplex Hotel & Conference Center. The phenomenal complex is a destination in its own right, offering a plethora of reasons to visit again and again.
In fact, a staggering number of events (about 500) take place at Fairplex each year. The Los Angeles International Wine Competition marks its 74th edition this year, featuring more than 3,000 wine entries and a judging panel of 75 leading wine experts from across the globe. The exciting results of this competition—plus the Los Angeles International Spirits, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and Beer competitions—are revealed at Cheers: L.A.’s Wine, Spirits, Beer & Food Festival held at Fairplex each June. Tastings of award-winning wine, spirits, beer, and olive oil; food trucks; music; and a silent auction all benefit The Learning Centers at Fairplex. The 2013 event, held on June 22, featured more than 300 medal-winning libations.
Each September, the fun and education continues with the L.A. County Fair. One of the world’s largest county fairs, greeting nearly 1.5 million guests each year, the L.A. County Fair celebrates its 91st anniversary in 2013. A month-long wine education program offers classes and seminars Wednesdays through Sundays from August 30 through September 29. Topics cover a wide range of subjects of interest to oenophiles. There’s also a complete schedule of classes and seminars on a variety of topics concerning wine, spirits, and olive oil. Led by authorities in the industry, the popular sessions include subjects such as wines of a particular region, wine and food pairing tips, and focused looks at specific varietals. The classes are kept to an intimate size of about 60 students to allow for discussion and the sampling of wines. Participants can sign up for classes ahead of time on the Fair website, lacountyfair.com, or simply drop in while attending the Fair.
At Fairplex, there’s always another event to look forward to. When the L.A. County Fair ends, harvest is on the horizon, with wine and food happenings to celebrate the bounty. Food, in fact, plays a very important role on the Fairplex campus. Farm fresh cuisine is served daily at Sheraton Fairplex Hotel & Conference Center, under the culinary guidance of Executive Chef David Teig. Fresh ingredients from Fairplex’s own organic farm inspire the menus. The hotel’s McKinley’s Grille hosts a series of Table-to-Farm dinners, each with a special theme and served right on the farm. Perhaps what’s best about Fairplex is that one can stay on after dinner. There’s always something going on somewhere, and when it’s time to call it a night, the Sheraton Fairplex Hotel & Conference Center and the on-grounds Los Angeles KOA RV Park provide two great ways to stay right there. After all, tomorrow’s always another day at Fairplex.
Educational seminars, culinary events, corporate events, meetings, restaurants.
Touring & Tasting is a media company that produces a wine and travel magazine and is also partner in the Hitched Wine Club.