State fair gives more bang for the buck
By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski
Chris Mortenson/Staff photographer
The summer fair of Los Angeles is produced by State Fair Entertainment Los Angeles — and there’s good reason for the moniker.
It’s all about entertainment.
State Fair Entertainment of Los Angeles, the official summer fair of LA, is hosted at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia through August 20. The all-inclusive $10 to $12 general admission tickets include all entertainment. A season pass for rides is $20.
“I think the idea of the ‘better together’ concept is to have an all-inclusive $10 ticket that gives you free music, 96 attractions, a motorcycle stunt show and pig races for free,” owner Ron Severance says.
“This is State Fair 2.0. We have a gaming center for people who like to game, a lot of shaded seating so people can gather as families.”
This year, the event features 25 extreme live shows daily included in admission, like Wheel of Destiny, motorcycle/BMX stunt shows, the Dominguez Extreme Circus, human cannonball, ExtremeDog Stunt Show and the classic pig races.
Guests can bite into fair food just featured on A&E’s “Deep Fried Dynasty,” like Juicys’ Texas-sized turkey legs, funnel cake, deep-fried Oreos, cotton candy and lemonade.
Juicys Outlaw Grill cooks 1,500 turkey legs at once on the world’s largest grill; it’s 83 feet long.
“Juicys is the largest food concessionaire in the country,” Severance says.
“They’ve been features in the Guinness Book of World Records. They have all the greats. They have a smash burger concept this year that’s great. His corn product is one of the best. They have everything you’d want and some of the stuff you shouldn’t.”
Brett Enright is chief executive officer and founder of 30-year-old Juicys LLC.
“We’re always a popular — if not the most popular — stand out there,” Enright says.
“Annually, we serve 1 million customers at the fairs in California. A lot of people know our brand. It’s a family business.”
Enright had his first food stand at age 15, selling hot dogs and lemonade at the Del Mar fair.
“What’s been so neat about this business is most of the kids who work for us, this is their very first job,” Enright says. “That has been quite an honor to be able to work with talented and amazing kids from California to around the country.”
As far as the “fun stuff,” Enright says his company goes all out.
“On our big barbecues out front, the food is always on display,” he says. “The giant corn dogs are a fair favorite. They’re almost 13 inches long, and they are amazing. The other thing we’re doing this year is Juicys’ curly fries.
“We have a mountain of curly fries, and we’re having fun with them. We do a Mexican curly fry with jalapeños, beans, and fajita onions and peppers. We’re doing to curly fries what people did to nachos. We have mac and cheese and carne asada curly fries.”
Kicking it old school, Enright has lemonade made with California lemons and strawberries. He boasts that the turkey legs and “amazing.”
“At the end of the night, when the meat is absolutely the best, we make turkey leg street tacos,” Enright says.
“Not only is it good, but it’s not wasting anything.”
Other items on his menu are cheeseburgers made with doughnuts, deep-fried Oreos, and funnel cakes with vanilla soft-serve ice cream.
“We have Juicys’ big famous sausage sandwich with a big heaping pile of peppers and onions,” he says. “The new arrival is jalapeños and cheese sausage sandwich. We have variants of that. We fun-faired them up. We Frankenstein all these things.
“We have a lot of fun with some of the traditional fun food.”
For music fans, the fair includes more than 90 free concerts from nationally recognized tribute bands and award-winning artists.
Among the artists are tributes to Bruno Mars, Guns N’ Roses, AC/DC, Garth Brooks, Shania Twain, Elton John and the Beatles.
“State Fair Entertainment was created around the idea that a large-scale, high-quality entertainment venue can promote positivity, be eco- and family-friendly, and be an asset to the community in which it is held,” Severance says.
“The whole idea was to create a bunch of attractions. A lot of fairs do the agricultural piece and do it well. We decided it was best for us to focus on the entertainment piece. Hockey games have gotten expensive. Dodgers games have gotten expensive. With Ticketmaster, concerts are expensive. We’re trying to get people together.”
State Fair Entertainment of Los Angeles
WHEN: Various times through Saturday, August 20
WHERE: Santa Anita Park, 285 W. Huntington Drive, Arcadia
COST: Tickets start at $10