Sunday, July 12, 2009

Orange County Fair, 1948

Until Costa Mesa finally gave it a permanent home in 1949, the Orange County Fair (which opened this weekend), used to move from city to city each year. The last pre-Costa Mesa fair was held in Anaheim in October 1948, to coincide with the 25th anniversary of Anaheim's traditional Halloween parade and celebration. The fair ran only four days.
The theme for the 1948 fair was youth. There was lots of 4-H activity and involvement by 12 local high schools. Miss Phyllis Applegate of Huntington Beach High School was named queen of the fair and greeted Governor Earl Warren at an official reception.
The 1948 Fair also featured all the usual country fair standbys, like baked goods, garden and agricultural products, and displays from all the local chambers of commerce. In the photo below, Susan Robinson, 14, kneels amid an exhibit of locally grown fruits and vegetables.
At the beginning of the 1948 Orange County Fair, the L.A. Times wrote, "Fair officials... announced that 40 bombs would be set off throughout the county tonight announcing the opening ceremonies." Can you imagine how many people would be thrown in jail for pulling a stunt like that today?!

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