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Orange County Fair gets into full swing

July 17, 2010 | 10:32 am

Jamen Carr, 16, of Santa Ana, upper left, and Athena Machado, 16, of Aliso Viejo share a kiss Friday while riding the Sky Ride high over the crowds on opening day at the Orange County Fair in Costa Mesa. <br>

<a href="http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-0717-heat-20100717,0,139952.story"><u>See full story</u></a>

The Orange County Fair was in full swing Saturday -- after a Friday opening that attracted people from around the region.

They came from near and far, some carrying umbrellas to shield themselves from the sun, others with their children in tow, still others in motorized wheelchairs, phone headsets strapped to their ears.

Kathleen Pope and her clan of half dozen grandchildren came from Irvine.

"I've been bringing them here since they were tiny children," said a proud Pope, 70. "Every single year, they come with their grandma."

Bruce Johnson, 78, has been going to the fair, he said, since 1964, when he first moved to Southern California from the small Nebraskan town of Holdrege to become a math teacher here.

A resident of Long Beach, Johnson, who taught for years at Baldwin Park High School, said he mostly comes to see the elephants in the infamous "Have Trunk, Will Travel" show. He also likes to check out the telescopic flag poles, which are generally stronger and more versatile than a typical flag pole, for sale.

"I'm going to see what kind of deal I can get," says Johnson as he ambled toward the gate, a bit slow but still going strong.

It was about hot dogs, and corn dogs, and deep-fried Klondike bars, roller coasters and mega drops, and games as simple and time-worn as throwing pingpong balls into gold fish bowls and shooting free throws.Read the full story here.

--Tom Regan

RELATED: Details and schedules for the Orange County Fair.

Photos: Jamen Carr, 16, of Santa Ana, upper left, and Athena Machado, 16, of Aliso Viejo share a kiss Friday while riding the Sky Ride high over the crowds on opening day at the Orange County Fair in Costa Mesa. Side: Kid enjoys the fair. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times / July 16, 2010)
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