The 2015 San Diego County Fair ended its almost four-week run at 11:00 p.m. of July 5. Just after the entry gates closed at 10:00 p.m., attendance for the 26 days was pegged at 1,503,538 visitors.
With about a half hour left before closing, at still crowded picnic tables, I shared fair food and conversation with one of the fair’s biggest fans. Marlene from La Costa first started coming to fair when she was 18. While she wouldn’t disclosure her age, she’s probably been coming for around six decades. She came almost every night for the entertainment, the shops, and the Mexican village. Her favorite acts this year were Tanya Tucker and Switchfoot.
Stuart from McKinney, TX, said he had been on his feet for 11 hours a day, selling Ginsu Knives in his booth under the chairlift ride. “I’ve been doing this for 40 years,” said Stuart. “My feet are like Jell-O and I am dog-tired, but Del Mar is always a huge success. Thank you San Diego,” he added.
Jennifer said her six photo booths on the midway clicked off a strip of four black-and-white poses for 6500 people.
At my favorite food booth on the midway, Tastee Chips manager Steven estimated they went through 50,000 pounds of potatoes, deep-fried in 8000 pounds of peanut oil.
Dixie and her adult grandchildren who own Dixie’s Mini Donuts in Bing Crosby Hall said she served about 42,000 donuts — 10,000 more than last year. “I look forward to going shopping for real food,” Dixie said. Unfortunately, she wouldn’t be able to rest at her home in Vista tomorrow, as the family has to return to break down the booth.
Over at the fair’s lost-and-found office, the staff had logged in the date, time, and location of all found items that were turned in. During the fair’s run, they received 24 wallets, 174 keys, 68 pieces of jewelry, 87 IDs or driver’s licenses, 128 credit cards, 232 items of clothing, and 226 cell phones.
The most unusual item found? A violin that was used in a booth offering children a chance to try musical instruments. Some kid walked off with it, the parents probably realized what had happened, and ditched it in a planter.
About half of the found items had already been returned. Items will be retained at the fair until September and then given to thrift stores.
Around the corner at the first-aid station, all the EMTs looked tired and ready for the fair to end. The most memorable aid rendered? The group said that a young lady came in really drunk, wearing white shorts and cowboy boots.
“She craps in her shorts, it got in her boots and all over our back wall.” The gang of seven pointed to the two EMTs who had to clean it up.