There were some construction delays and a few unexpected detours, but the Orange County Fair's Old-Fashioned Road Show succeeded in debuting Monday afternoon in front of about 1,500 people.
The ostrich race didn't fly as scheduled because the race course wasn't ready. The long-awaited races didn't go off until 5 p.m.
The motorcycle high-wire act was grounded by equipment troubles. No introduction music played for the dog act, and the Sensational Leigh had a hard time pulling off his death-defying handstand.
"It was a rough start, but the crowd seemed to really like it," said Stacy Moore, whose 11-dog troupe closed the two-act 2 p.m. show at the Coors Light Arena.
"It was really hot, and the show started late, but they seemed very receptive. It's going to be a great show," she said.
Fair officials said too little time was taken for the show's initial set-up, an error that should have no effect on the rest of the three daily shows scheduled through the July 26 closing of the 100th Orange County Fair.
"We really needed about another hour to finish getting ready," said Leigh Heisinger, who entertained the crowd by performing acrobatic tricks with his daughter, Robin, atop the spinning, 50-foot Giant Space Wheel.
"This turned out to be more or less a demonstration, a dress rehearsal," he said.
While missing the two crowd favorites--the motorcycle stunt show and the racing of three eight-foot ostriches pulling jockeys in harnesses--the abbreviated show did seem to please the crowd.
Moore's Amazing Mongrels drew laughs with its canine slapstick, while Heisinger, 57, and his 28-year-old daughter provided traditional acrobatic thrills.
The elder Heisinger, outfitted in a shiny silver suit and helmet reminiscent of a 1940s science-fiction serial, climbed and walked on top of the Giant Space Wheel, which bore a resemblance to a Ferris wheel combined with a hamster cage.
When he went to perform his big finale--the free handstand atop the tilting wheel--he waved off the drum roll and settled for a quick, half-hearted attempt.
"We were a little out of sync, and I had a problem with the wind," he said. "But it was just that kind of day. We'll get rolling by tonight."
The Old-Fashioned Road Show will perform daily at the Coors Light Arena at 2, 5 and 8 p.m.
Admission to the fair is $5 for adults and $3 for senior citizens. Children under 5 are free, while 6- to 12-year-olds are $2.
Parking costs $3, but car pools involving four or more people may park free.
The fair is open noon to midnight Monday through Wednesday and 10 a.m. to midnight Thursday through Sunday.
For more details or information on shuttle service to the fairgrounds, call (714) 751-3247.