2009 OC Super Fair - Costa Mesa CA -
Theme: Think. Big.
This Fair runs 5 weeks, dark Mondays and Tuesday.
The California Building, which housed the nonprofit booths, was demolished. The ham radio group's antenna wasn't saved, unfortunately. In its place is a large exhibit arena. 1/4 of the arena was set aside for the nonprofits, and since they no longer have a contest for decoration, education, etc., many of the organizations have scaled down their "tone." The nonprofit I volunteer for, O.C. Deaf Advocacy Center has decided to rent an unmanned kiosk panel. It's a departure from the past years of running an interactive, informational booth full of gadgets the deaf and disabled use, where people can demonstrate them.
I saw a problem with the new building. There is no Nixalite installed, which means birds are free to decorate tables, displays, chairs, whatever is below the perches. I saw a pigeon moving nesting materials away from the Main Stage Arena, to the other side by the midway. Didn't want the music scrambling the eggs when they get laid.
The Action Sports Arena looked very different. The Maloof Money Cup made a stopover, so it was pretty heavy into that skateboarding theme. Several popular skateboarders were on hand to sign board decks sold there. Tech Deck even had a fingerboard set where folks can show their finger tricks. World Industries passed out tattoos, and Zoo York gave away cockroach stickers. Zoo York Roach Sticker at ActionVillage.com : Skateboard I'll bet those things would show up in the least suspecting of places. At least I was able to sample a whole can of Lost energy drink in the Lost sampling lounge. (The lounge was their way of avoiding expensive health certification fees for just pouring samples into cups.) That's there till Sunday the 12th, then the stadium's card lightens up a bit.
The Pacific Ampitheater's concert schedule looks more interesting than last year, which fell flat. It'll probably look more interesting as one of the free show stages was removed from the fairgrounds.
The product merchants have been rearranged all into one zone, except for the midway merchants. (Wax Hand Jive, Old-Tyme Photos, Nostalgia Shop, etc.) This could be bad for the merchants, because they're all crammed into one space. It would be very easy for a fairgoer to keep that pocketbook shut unless they know what they're exactly looking for. A few vendors picked up duplicate spaces since the economy has driven some to not showing up. One vendor was hit by the DTV changeover. This one vendor, selling wireless headphones, couldn't get any DTV reception from inside the steel-and-concrete building. The vendor was haggling on the phone trying to get something, anything to demonstrate the headphones with. I don't they can just play DVDs from the 99 cents store, even thought they're sourced from the public domain.
They had a new children's exhibit, which was a 3D presentation of "Weird Al's Brain" The glasses were Polaroid 3D. The movie was okay, but it's no Captain EO. Just corny Weird Al fare. In 3D. They were carving a sandcastle of Weird Al's head and Brainy in front of it.
Some of the classic fair attractions of old were removed to make way for reality. R.I.P. Biorhythm booths, your partly accurate electronic fortunetelling will surely be missed.
The midway hasn't changed much. The toy variety looks bland, right down to the gingham-check Scooby Doos. The only new ride I saw was a simulator. It was self contained, and running, so I couldn't check to see if it was a 3-cylinder or a 4-cylinder model. I'll go back later and see what it is, but I'll bet it's a 3-cylinder (front center, rear left, rear right) It looks like it seats 6 people. Ah, yeah, simulators are another interest field of mine, especially the ones that come from ::: Simuline. Inc ::: I have some script ideas on making a couple of ride film games for it.
Ahh, food! That's what the fair is all about! I still see a few people buy a giant turkey leg, only to toss it out after taking one bite. Why? Think of it. Those turkey legs are real huge. Do you think the rest of the bird came any smaller? There's a lot of weight in that thar bird. They're genetically modified to fatten up fast like pork pigs. All that extra weight needs a lot of extra support. You guessed it. Bone "feathers" in the legs. The meat is delicious, but who wants to spend time peeling layers of greasy bone to get at the meat?
This year showed three new food items. Chicken Charlie, famous for its artery-clogging fried fare, is featuring fried frog legs this year, along with a hot-dog stuffed fried cucumber. I'll stick with the kebabs, they're the healthiest entree item at the fair, period. Elsewhere, a newest entry caught me by surprise: Bob's Pickle Pops! I've heard of people drinking pickle juice (not me) but I guess there's a market for 'em, well, at least in Texas where they came from. They juice whole pickled cucumbers to make the tasty things. Not bad if you want to try something different. There's a few eBay sellers selling 'em, if you want to try 'em. If they ever came out with a frozen Tabasco pop, I'll be one of the first in line.
Saw a few animals, yeah, but the rest of the exhibits will come after the skateboard mania leaves, hopefully.