Giddy-up and grub down

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By Dylan Slusser

By Dylan Slusser

On top of the ferris wheel there is a view of the Perris motocross track, as well as the dam to Lake Perris. The bird’s eye view also shows a packed parking lot, even on an overcast day threatening rain.

In times of such economic woes, this fair is a place where our worries melt away for a few hours. After walking around the SoCal Fair on opening day it is easy to see why turnout is so high.

Upon entering the fair, the familiar scent of large hunks of pork slowly roasting over a pit is wafting through the air, certain to be so tender that it falls off the bone.

The fairgrounds are a large location and boast a variety of free entertainment seemingly everywhere you walk.

Within two hours of arriving at the fair, there was a magic show entertaining to any magic enthusiast, a wild turkey stampede where turkeys race one another while chasing a remote-controlled car and a monster truck race that was free with admission.

Other free shows included dwarf tractor races, pig races, the Sidewalk Stomper Clown Band, belly dancing, hypnosis, juggling, livestock contests and the list goes on. This was truly a great fair that should not be missed.

People come to the fair for many different reasons. Sandy Fontana of Fallbrook brought her daughter Sarah out for the fourth year in a row to show her goats in the livestock competition.

Others like Rick Limon from Upland said, “this is our first time coming to the fair and we came for the monster truck races.”

The common theme that brought out many patrons were the monster trucks and sprint car racing.

It is certainly easy to see why, tickets for the monster truck show are typically upwards of $20, but along with so many other attractions, the races are included in the $7 admission cost.

In addition to free attractions, there are a multitude of rides and games.

The games cost a little extra, but they assure a grin. There are paintball tents, the standard games to win a stuffed teddy bear, and a power jump where you can be strapped into a harness and jump on a large trampoline to heights of 10 feet and more.

There was also rock climbing for all ages, in addition to a booth where anyone can sit in front of a green screen wrapped in a green cloak up to the neck and have a video taken with your head placed over a musicians face.

Other amazing free attractions include live BMX tricks. The riders were selling t-shirts to benefit one of their fellow riders, a man who broke his neck and is now paralyzed from the neck down.

One of the most impressive shows is the death defying antics of the Fearless Flores Circus.

The team is a husband and wife duo that simultaneously rides motorcycles inside of a 14 foot round cage called “The Globe of Death.”

As if all this was not enough entertainment for one person, there are live concerts going on at the same time.

The Beach Boys recently played and Jeremy Camp performs Oct. 10. All of the concerts are free with paid admission.

It seems to be surprising that so many people came out on the opening day of the fair.

According to media director Karen Searle, “fairs do well in unstable economies especially since other attractions such as Disneyland or Knott’s Berry Farm cost so much more. Even the Los Angeles County Fair cost $17, more than double this fair’s admission fee.”

A truly amazing feeling came from the patriotism that was palpable in the air during the National Anthem before the monster trucks took to their freshly sodden mud track.

Herman Melville once said “You cannot spill a drop of American blood without spilling the blood of the world.” Looking around at the rafters full of Americans of every color and hue with everyone holding their hands over their hearts, it was a profound moment, and a reminder that our flag was indeed still there.

“I have heard the National Anthem a million times at baseball games, but I have never had the national anthem do that to me,” said Robert Pierce.

Despite the complexities and problems going on in the economy today, the SoCal Fair provides an outlet for fun and excitement.

The SoCal Fair is located at 18700 Lake Perris drive in Perris, Ca. The hours of operation are 4-11 p.m. Mon.-Thurs., and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday – Sunday.

For additional information, visit

The fair is open until Oct. 12.

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