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2024 LA County Fair Recap

Arcadia’s Symphony Orchestra was invited to play at the LA County Fair’s Performing Arts Showcase on Friday, May 17, 2024. The showcase was first established this year, making the invitation even more meaningful for Arcadia! The LA County Fair started in 1922 on what used to be a beet field in Pomona, CA. Over the years, it’s evolved to be an annual event, filled with enthralling fair foods, compelling rides, small-business vendors, and even a livestock barn.

The bustling LA County Fair at night!

At about 3:15 pm, the two buses arrived at the Red Lot. Hardworking council members helped unload the white truck that carried the instruments, including ones from percussion which the fair would rent for the other groups performing. The students made their way towards Expo Hall 8, which was a building used as the vast storage/warm-up room. After dropping their instruments off, everyone finally entered the fair with eagerness to experience new sights.

One of the most memorable activities was visiting the Big Red Barn Petting Farm. This area is promoted by Cal Poly Pomona students majoring in Agriculture and Animal Sciences. Junior Bassist, Josiah Chun, reflected on the vast variety of animals. “They were so cute and there were quite a lot to look at,” he says. “My favorite was the baby goats and pigs.” The interactive petting area displayed goats from young to adolescent, and with different colored coats of hair.

When it was time to return to Expo Hall 8 and warm up, the students changed to their black and white semi-formal attire. The acoustics in the hall made it so that sound could travel across the entire room (which made for really cool forte endings!). The students prepared themselves as well as they could during their allotted time to warm up.

As the featured group, Arcadia High School was the final ensemble to perform. At 7pm, Symphony Orchestra walked across to Expo Hall 5 to begin their showcase. Friends and family members of the students were present in the audience to enjoy their concert. They performed 5 pieces, including "Scheherazade,” "Somewhere” from West Side Story, Music from How To Train Your Dragon, “Idol” by YOASOBI, and “Treasure” by Bruno Mars. After the performance, the main coordinator presented an Award of Participation to Ms. Chen, who proudly received it. 

The students returned to Expo Hall 8, loaded their instruments back onto the truck, then continued the rest of their time at the fair. Throughout the night, the fair was illuminated with warm string lights, bright LEDs from the rides, and beckoning signs above the food stalls. Multiple ferris wheels stood out high in the sky, next to other daring attractions. There was also a community stage outside that showcased various dance groups. The background music made the atmosphere exciting, as groups of friends leisurely strolled down the fair. 

Senior violinists Michelle So and Faith Harnanto (myself) got to try new and intriguing foods, one of which was fried pickles. Its taste was surprisingly pleasing to the seniors. Michelle described it as “a dry crunch,” followed with a “wet crunch,” which tasted like “savory and sour brine.” They also enjoyed some corn on the cob and a funnel cake topped with peaches and cream! 

Michelle So (left) and Faith Harnanto (right) eating corn and funnel cake!

At 10 pm, the buses departed back to Arcadia, ending the day at the LA County Fair. This was the first time Symphony Orchestra had their own performance at an outside venue, which was very memorable for all the students. Special thanks to all of the performers, chaperones, teachers, council members, drivers, and coordinators who made the day’s activities run smoothly! 

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