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ORANGE COUNTY FAIR : A Midway Abuzz With Activity

July 18, 1991|KENNETH WILLIAMS | Ken Williams is a staff member of The Times Orange County Edition.

The theme of this year's fair being "Bees and Honey," it's only fitting to say that the fairgrounds will be buzzing with activity for the next 11 days. With more than 120 concerts, shows, demonstrations and contests each day, fair-goers will have no problem keeping as busy as, well, bees.

For those who enjoy competition, there are more than 20 contests and games that will repeat each day throughout the fairgrounds. There are also pie, ice cream, marshmallow, doughnut and honey dew melon eating contests, and for the really masochistic, a "honey shooting" (honey drinking) competition. Other contests include honeycomb tossing, balloon stomps, spelling bees, amateur stand-up comedy, and bubble-gum blowing.

The real test of mettle, though, may be keeping down all that pie and ice cream while riding the stomach-churning thrill rides in the midway area. B&B Amusements of Yuma, Ariz., has more than 50 attractions on hand. There will be five unlimited ride days--July 18, 22, 23, 24 and 25--during which an $8 wristband will allow visitors to take in all the rides from noon to 7 p.m. Fridays are Kids' Days, when ages 12 and under can ride any of the attractions for just 75 cents until 7 p.m.

For those who prefer a more cerebral fair experience, the many displays and exhibition rooms are not to be missed. And for those whose heart is on the farm, there's a barnyard full of farm-related events and exhibits, including a Junior Market Livestock show daily through this Sunday, and a Junior Breeding Livestock show Monday through July 28.

Workshops and crafts demonstrations run daily in the Crafts and Cooks Gallery, where visitors can learn how to paint flowers on porcelain, spin Angora, tool leather, create "wearable" art and even brew their own homemade beer.

If that isn't enough, an army of clowns, mimes, cartoon characters and strolling musicians will appear throughout the fair's 160 acre grounds, and entomologist Norm Gray will present a special bee show daily at 1 p.m. in the grandstand arena. The show's climax is a stunt in which he allows more than 100,000 live bees to cover his body.

Finally, the fair is featuring a complete lineup of special stage and arena entertainment encompassing everything from pop music to speedway-style racing, rodeos and animal acts.

Some scheduled highlights:

THURSDAY, JULY 18

Colony Dancers, Desert Storm Patriotic Show: 1:30 p.m. Budweiser Heritage Stage.

Swan Brothers Circus: 3:30 and 7:30 p.m. Circus Area.

American Boys Choir: 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Budweiser Heritage Stage.

Sidecar Quad Races: 8 p.m. Coors Arena.

FRIDAY, JULY 19

Morgan Horse Show: 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. Newport Arena.

Myart Theatre: 2 and 4:30 p.m. Centennial Stage.

Improv Amateur Comedy Showdown semifinals: 6 p.m. Budweiser Heritage Stage.

All American Boys Choir: 7 and 9 p.m. Budweiser Heritage Stage.

Motorcycle Speedway: 8 p.m. Coors Arena.

SATURDAY, JULY 20

Miniature Horse Show: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Newport Arena.

Swan Brothers Circus: 2:30 and 4:30 p.m. Circus Area.

Motorcycle Thrill Show: 8 p.m. Coors Arena.

SUNDAY, JULY 21

Gale Webb Bike & Skateboard Show: 6 p.m. Coors Arena.

All American Boys Choir: 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Budweiser Heritage Stage.

MONDAY, JULY 22

South Orange County News 3rd Grade Champion Spelling Bee: 1 p.m. Centennial Stage.

Orange County Children's Theatre: 3 and 5 p.m. Centennial Stage.

Swan Brothers Circus: 4 and 7:30 p.m. Circus Area.

Gale Webb Bike & Skateboard Show: 6 p.m. Coors Arena.

TUESDAY, JULY 23

South Orange County News 4th Grade Champion Spelling Bee: 1 p.m. Centennial Stage.

Alta Dena Cow and Goat Milking Contest: 5 p.m. Livestock Show Ring.

Gale Webb Bike & Skateboard Show: 6 and 7:30 p.m. Coors Arena.

All American Boys Choir: 7 and 8:30 p.m. Budweiser Heritage.

WEDNESDAY, JULY 24

Hunter Horse Show: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Orange and Newport rings.

South Orange County News 5th Grade Spelling Bee: 1 p.m. Centennial Stage.

Myart Theatre: 3:30 p.m. Miller's Meadows.

Gale Webb, America's Sports Mom: 4 p.m. Coors Arena.

Swan Brothers Circus: 4 and 7:30 p.m. Circus Area.

JULY 25

Equestrian Jumping competition: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Newport Arena.

Barnyard Olympics: 1 p.m. Livestock Arena.

Senior Golden Wedding Ceremony: 1:30 p.m. Budweiser Heritage Stage.

Gale Webb, America's Sports Mom: 6 p.m. Coors Arena.

All American Boys Choir: 7:30 and 9 p.m. Budweiser Heritage Stage.

JULY 26

Swan Brothers Circus: 4 and 7:30 p.m. Circus Area.

Improv Amateur Comedy Showdown finals: 6 p.m. Budweiser Heritage Stage.

Homemade Beer contest: 7 p.m. Craft and Cook's Gallery.

PRCA Rodeo: 8 p.m. Coors Arena.

JULY 27

Western Andalusian Horse Show: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Orange Ring; 6 p.m. Newport Ring.

PRCA Rodeo: 4 and 8 p.m. Coors Arena.

All American Boys Choir: 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Budweiser Heritage Stage.

JULY 28

PRCA Rodeo: 4 and 8 p.m. Coors Arena.

Swan Brothers Circus: 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. Circus Area.

The Ins and Outs of Getting There

With daily crowds of up to 70,000 expected--and concerts at the adjoining Pacific Amphitheatre on July 19, 23 and 25--fair traffic and parking can be a tricky business. Some tips to keep in mind:

* Parking at the fair is $3 per vehicle, but to encourage pooling, parking will be free for vehicles with four or more people.

* A free parking and shuttle service will operate from the Automobile Club of Southern California parking lot at Fairview Road and South Coast Drive on peak days. Hours are Friday, 6:30 to midnight; Saturday and Sunday, noon to midnight.

* Alternate parking and a free shuttle also are available at Orange Coast College, 2701 Fairview Road (just north of the fair) on Friday, July 19, and July 26.

* Free one-way ride coupons for OCTD buses are available through the fair. Call (714) 751-3247.

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