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Ventura County

Crews Set Scene for County Fair

Entertainment: Hot musical groups will add spark to more familiar festivities at the Seaside Park event, which opens Wednesday.


The Ventura County Fair, which opens Wednesday, will serve up everything from cooking competitions to shows by two of the hottest music groups in the country.

Los Tigres del Norte, a popular group credited with redefining Mexican music, will perform Sunday.

"They're the biggest act going in the Hispanic market," said fair spokeswoman Teri Raley.

Sugar Ray, a rock band that started in Orange County but now has an international following, will appear Aug. 5. Other entertainers include Travis Tritt, Kenny Loggins, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Jim Belushi & the Sacred Hearts, the Smothers Brothers and K.C. & the Sunshine Band.

Visitors to the fair--attendance was more than 277,000 last year--aren't likely to be bowled over by big changes, Raley said. They might notice a new 7-foot-tall Eiffel Tower model in the Gem and Mineral Building or be disappointed that senior discounts now start at age 62 instead of 55, but for the most part, they will find a fair that echoes the past.

Workers have been putting the last touches on the midway at Ventura's Seaside Park.

In the Floriculture Building, landscapers maneuvered construction equipment across the muddy ground as they turned mounds of rocks and dirt into works of art. Outside, dozens of vendors set up booths where they will hawk cotton candy, hot dogs on a stick and other traditional fare.

At their newly painted yellow-and-green stand, Barry Wittenberg and Robert Fenn said they expect to sell about 20,000 ears of roasted corn, just as they have in the past.

"It's quick service and it's low entertainment," Fenn said.

The rides are to be set up early this week. Most were to be trucked to Ventura after the close of the Orange County Fair on Sunday.

As in past years, the fair will have a number of theme days. Friday is Youth Day, with free admission for children 12 and younger. Aug. 6 is Seniors and Persons with Disabilities Day, offering free admission to anyone 62 and older or disabled.

Aug. 7 is Pepsi Family Day, during which two adults and any number of children 12 and younger from the same family will be admitted for $15 with a special coupon. Aug. 8 is Military Appreciation Day, when anyone with a current military ID will be admitted free.

Wristbands that allow 10 rides for $10 can be used until 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday and Aug. 5, 6, 7, and 8.

Parking is available at Seaside Park for $5. Free shuttles will run continuously between Seaside Park and the County Government Center, Ventura High School, Pacific View Mall, Ventura Harbor (corner of Schooner Drive and Harbor Boulevard) and the Oxnard Performing Arts Center.

The Ventura County Fair runs Wednesday through Aug. 11 at Seaside Park, 10 W. Harbor Blvd., in Ventura. The fair opens every day at 11 a.m., and exhibits close and fireworks begin at 10 p.m. General admission is $7. Children 6-12 and adults 62 and older pay $4 and children 5 and younger are admitted free. For details, log onto

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