6 Ways the OC Fair Remains Wonderfully Old-School

Categories: OC Fair View

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Amid the funnel cakes, the Texas-sized corn dogs, the $11 beers, the garish carnival rides and Hall & OatEs performances and the swap meet called the Parade of Products and all the reasons why the Orange County Fair is dismissed by the hipstergentsia for catering to the consumer-addled and high-calorie sensibilities of Middle America, there is something to keep in mind. The fair, as part of the state's 32nd Agricultural District, remains firmly committed to the reason why county fairs began in the early 1800s: to promote agriculture. Whether it's the livestock judging and exhibits to the expansive Centennial Farm, the Fair offers residents of one of the most most urbanized counties in the country a chance to see their Big Mac's aren't farted out by cows as tiny, seasoned patties, and that pizza doesn't grow on trees. Those are just two of the six reasons how the Fair still has its roots plunged deeply in the soil of old-school fairs....

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Orange County Fair Board Feet to be Put to Fire Again at Morning Meeting

Categories: OC Fair View
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Ever since former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger backed the Orange County Fair Board's desire to sell the state-owned property, a good chunk of fun has left the place known for good times since 1949. Let the bad times roll: the Orange County Fair Preservation Society (OCFPS), which has been highly critical of state/city/developer desires regarding the 150-acre site, warns of an important meeting this morning by the state fair board.

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OC Fair 2012 Commercial Celebrates National Obesity and Decline of the Family Farmer

Categories: OC Fair View, TV
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To celebrate the arrival of the 2012 Orange County Fair (in 11 days!), the 32nd Agricultural District (or its PR monkey) is running a television advertisement that celebrates the heartbreaking decline of the family farm and the frightening rise of obesity in America.

Wait . . . what? That's not the intended message of the spot?

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Orange County Fair Elephant Ride is Over

The Orange County Fair Board, facing a crowd of more than 100 that included many animal advocates today, voted to end elephant rides.

The news was cheered by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), which has sought bans on performing pachyderms around the country, and disdained by Have Trunk Will Travel, the Perris-based contractor that has been supplying the elephants and running the ride at the fair for 25 years.

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Fair Board Evicts 42-Year Tenant, TelPhil Enterprises, Owner of the OC Market Place

Categories: OC Fair View
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John Gilhooley/OC Weekly
Teller took over the family business, which was started in 1969.
Though they call it a necessary business decision, yesterday's vote by the OC Fair & Event Center board of directors feels a bit personal. The 6-3 vote terminates a lease, which happens from time to time. But this particular lease was with Jeff Teller and TelPhil Enterprises, which has run the weekend OC Market Place (or swap meet) for 42 years at the Orange County Fairgrounds, and is the same company which brought a lawsuit against the sale of the fairgrounds and was involved with the group (OC Fairgrounds Preservation Society) that identified the Fair Board's attempt to purchase the land using questionable means. TelPhil has 18 months to vacate.

"This was not unexpected," Teller told the Weekly. "It's repugnant to them that TelPhil played a part in exposing [the Board's] mastermind creation of an organization to take over fairgrounds themselves."

David Ellis, the chairman of OCFEC sees the situation quite differently.
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[UPDATED: TelPhil Comments; Costa Mesa Mayor Calls For DA Investigation of Berardino] OC Fairgrounds Sale Dead (Never Buried); New Names Join the Party

Categories: OC Fair View
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John Gilhooley/OC Weekly
Jeff Teller
UPDATE, AUG. 18, 5:04 P.M.:
If Nick Berardino's intention was to stir shit up around the Orange County Fairgrounds, he's officially succeeded. 

Now that the OC Fair is over, the focus has returned to the fate of the fairgrounds--a now two-year struggle--emerging from a three-week hibernation. And already, the heavy-hitters are sparring.

Jeff Teller, the president of TelPhil Enterprises, which operates the OC Marketplace, contacted the Weekly, taking time away from a family vacation in Alaska to comment on Berardino's proposals and David Ellis' responses to those proposals. 

"As my grandfather used to tell me, 'An honest man doesn't ask to be trusted,'" said Teller, in regard to Ellis' letter to Berardino (see previous Update) essentially dismissing the suggestions for a forensic audit of OCFEC dealings and the creation of a Citizen's Oversight Committee. "It's appalling that a public agency is pushing back when its members are asking questions. Why? What do they have to hide?"

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[UPDATED: Early Attendance Numbers] Hide Your Gas-Guzzling Oldsmobiles, There's a Patience-Swallowing Epidemic on the 55: It's FAIRMAGEDDON!

Categories: Main, OC Fair View
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Chasen Marshall/OC Weekly
The traffic is here. Be patient.
UPDATE, JULY 15, 5:45 P.M.: By 3 p.m., the OC Fair had already had 32,439 people come through the gates, which was significantly up from last year's numbers at the same time. Last year, by the same time 24,164 had entered the fair. We estate that adds 32 to 51 minutes to a commute on the 55 Freeway. (Note: There is no science or math behind that estimate. Just pure BSing.)
 
ORIGINAL POST, JULY 15, 2:13 P.M.:And we in Orange County thought we wouldn't be bothered by the likes of Carmageddon, aside from maybe a few more LAites coming into town to use our beaches a bit earlier than the weekend. We have our own version of the traffic epidemic and it's taking place on the 55 Freeway as you read this. It's increasing in size by the minute. Tempers are flaring and car horns are ringing. It's FAIRMAGEDDON

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[UPDATED: Court Denies Rehearing] Court Critical of Sale Process, Denies FMW's Fairgrounds Bid--Sale Halted

Categories: OC Fair View
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Chasen Marshall/OC Weekly
UPDATE, JULY 7, 1:06 P.M.:
For a second time, Facilities Management West's hope to purchase the Orange County Fairgrounds has been shot down. On Tuesday, the 4th District Court of Appeal denied its request to reconsider last months decision to halt the sale. 
The appeal was filed by FMW in mid-June. 

Days ago, Becky Bailey-Findley, the former CEO of the OC Fair & Event Center and current CEO of FMW, wrote an editorial in the Daily Pilot, describing FMW's plans for the land, and criticizing the moves to prevent the sale.

It would seem this move effectively ends FMW's attempt to purchase the 150 acres of land in Costa Mesa, but it is possible that the company could take its appeal to the California Supreme Court, which Voice of OC has reported may be a possibility.


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[UPDATED: FMW Appeals Ruling] Court Critical of Sale Process, Denies FMW's Fairgrounds Bid--Sale Halted

Categories: OC Fair View
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Chasen Marshall/OC Weekly
UPDATE, JUNE 29, 10:02 A.M.: Facilities Management West has filed a petition appealing the ruling by the court, asking the justices to reconsider their decision. FMW is claiming that the errors made (details in the Original Post below) by the Department of General Services in the bidding process are fixable, and therefore, should not be the death of the sale. "Neither flaw is fatal," read the petition.

The petition was filed last week, but there has been no word on how the appeal may or will move forward.
ORIGINAL POST, JUNE 7, 8:10 P.M.: This afternoon, a Fourth Appellate District Court of Appeal voted 3-0 that the state's process that led to Facilities Management West's $100 million bid for the Orange County Fairgrounds was flawed and wouldn't be accepted. For the time-being, the sale of the 150-acres is dead.


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David Ellis Opens Up About the Fair Board Foundation, the Appraisal and His Reputation

Categories: OC Fair View
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Mr. David Ellis
​With that pesky controversial sale of the Orange County Fairgrounds out of the way (or so we hope), it seems the time for bridge building. Relationship mending. Or pointing out any inaccuracies in any accusations that may have been fired off since the land was put on the auction block by then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in May 2009. 

David Ellis opted for the latter. 

You remember Ellis, don't you? The chairman of the board of directors to the OC Fair & Event Center; the businessman with the scandalous background; the favorite punching bag of the Preservation Society; the guy who wouldn't comment when the Weekly was reporting its cover story about the sale. Yeah, that guy. Well, Ellis is talking now: "I get to choose when I comment and when I don't comment," he said during a recent conversation, explaining why he wouldn't return phone calls or emails for months. (According to Ellis, it was a blanket decision, pushed by fellow board member, Kristina Dodge.) He then did something more surprising than calling: he invited us into his office to view highly sought after documents: the articles of incorporation, the bylaws and all the other jargon for the controversial OC Fair & Event Center Foundation.


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