Fun Times At The San Diego County Fair

The famous San Diego fair is back in town and Zeon and I got a chance to check it out this weekend. As always, the trip was fun and we've come back with dozens of pictures of weird foods, cute animals and fun rides so you can sit back and enjoy the fair without ever leaving your home or office.

The Fabulous Food

This year, the big buzz was about the bacon-wrapped churro that was injected with Jack Daniels and served with whipped cream and a Jack Daniels dipping sauce. We didn't try it, but we did try a few other treats from the Bacon-A-Fair booth that made them.

If you couldn't tell by the name, this place loves bacon (just like us Neatorama writers). 

I tried the bacon-wrapped mushrooms that were stuffed with a little cheese and served with parmesean cheese. It was pretty much amazing although if I make it myself, I'd add in more cheese in the middle.

Meanwhile, Zeon tried the cheesy bacon bombs, which featured jack cheese wrapped in croissant dough and then wrapped in bacon before being deep fried. It was rich, bacony and as ooey-gooey as you'd expect.

Here are some of their other menu specialties. The chocolate-covered bacon is a little disappointing though, as the bacon is a little too thin to really get the full smokey flavor over all the chocolatey goodness.

Zeon also opted to try the Trump fries from Pink's Hot Dogs, which is a famous hot dog stand up in LA. The Trump fries essentially consisted of most of their crazy hot dog toppings on fries instead of a dog -as you can tell, they were as messy as they were delicious, with American cheese, sour cream, chili, tomatoes and bacon.

Perhaps the most famous food stand at the fair though is Chicken Charlies, which is home to fried Kool Aid, Klondike Bars, Oreos, Twinkies and more. This year, their innovations weren't quite as bizarre as we'd come to expect, but the deep fried chicken skins were certainly just as fatty as you'd expect from them and the bacon-wrapped pickles did look delicious. The most popular item though was the triple-decker Krispy Kreme burger.

While not the most popular food stand, this place was notable for their impressive selection of massive meat and fries -including a two-pound rib! We got the colossal fry stack and it was pretty much a meal in and of itself.

I was pretty tempted by the fried cheese curds myself.

For those seeking somehting a little more refined, you could always hit the Lobster Shack and gab a thirty-dollar lobster dinner. If you still want something on a stick though, don't worry, they do offer lobster-on-a-stick too.

Here was my dessert, a chocolate, peanut butter, bacon bannana. The bacon wasn't too flavorful, but it did gave the whole thing an incredible crispiness. It was a dessert you know Elvis would approve of.

If that's just not crazy enough for you though, perhaps you'd prefer a Baby Ruth stuffed inside a jalepano and deep fried and served on a bed of churros.

For those who prefer spice with a little cooling touch, there was always the Cowboy Sundae.

That one was available here, which looks like a typical dessert joint until you see their menu.

Even their semi-normal desserts still had some goofy names like the Cow Pies.

Radical Rides

I didn't ride any of the rides because they're just too expensive, but I'm still a sucker for a twilight walk through the attractions where I can enjoy the bright lights and fascinating paintings. The giant ferris wheel was rather attractive though.

The swing ride was also quite stunning at night.

I'm a huge sucker for unlicensed knock-offs and this superhero Fun Factory was covered in Marvel and DC characters.

The Creep Show features a few knock-offs like Chucky, Flying Monkeys, the Devil from Tenacious D and more, but the artwork is pretty darn impressive regardless.

One ride that's never upgraded to become more modern and never incorporated licensed monsters is the Zombie ride, which has been there at least since I was a kid.

Speaking of cool art, this was the first time they had a full on side show and the canvas posters around the tent were as delightful and classic as the barker outside.

There were also a few animal sideshows, including this massive steer that apparently could be used to be make over 10,000 hamburgers.

The best knock-offs though are the toys and this year, Despicable Me was all the rage. I regret that I nevver got my hands on an "it's so fluffy" unicorn because I really wanted one.

When it comes to rides though, this sling shot design is definately one of the biggest and most intimidating.

Cute Critters

My favorite part of the fair every year is the critters and we were lucky enough to show up on the day where they had bunny rabbits.

There were some friendly, cudly bunnies out there, but this little angora was my favorite with his crazy mop bangs.

We made a quick return to the fair a few days later and at that point, we got to see guinea pigs.

Like the bunnies, they have all kinds of delightful haircuts. 

I also love the goats and sheep in the barns.

We really fell in love with these little critters. The keeper said they're Shetland sheep, the smallest of all sheep breeds and man were they friendly!

The longhorn cows were friendlier than I expected, but he still wasn't exactly cuddly.

Inside the kid's area was a horse display featuring an array of different breeds. I was a big fan of this gorgeous draft horse.

OK, maybe this guy isn't really an animal, but he's sure cute -way cuter than any real termite we've ever seen.

Farming Fun

One of the big educational goals of the fair seems to be to connect kids with where their food comes from. Their farm games were an adorable way to get that message across.

I was a particularly big fan of this milking simulator -if only because "cow water" is a phrase I want to see more often in my life.

They also had an impressive collection of vintage farm vehicles which was a pretty cool sight for anyone who loves old cars and machines.

Just imagine tending your farm with these beautiful old tractors.

Fantastic Flora

If you couldn't tell by the sign outside, the theme of the fair was The Fab Four and this succulent Yellow Submarine was something I bet The Beatles would enjoy.

And hey, if you're going to chase away crows from your garden, why not do it with a little rock and roll flair.

These great Fab Four statues were out there with the rest of the garden stuff and they looked quite cheerful out there too. In case you were wondering, Paul was there too, he was just hidden in the back.

The bonsai display was really great. Personally, I'm a big fan of the non-traditional trees like this ficus.

Or this bougainvillea plant.

Cool Crafts

The wood carving display was impressive as always. I particularly enjoyed this cool wooden chandelier. 

Boardgame geeks and Beatles fan everywhere would appreciate this delightful puzzle that claims to be the longest puzzle on earth. 

When it comes to furniture, I was particularly impressed by this cool dragon-inspired lamp. 

For those who prefer their art to have some major realism, this statue of a bird eating a lizard from a tree was seriously amazing.

Over in the jewelry/minerals section, this necklace stole the show for a creative take on the fair's theme.

On the more scientific side, this display on diosaur bones turned into gemstones was pretty incredible.

The beautiful glowing quartz balls display was utterly striking and really emphasized how wonderfully unique rocks and minerals are.

So that's it for this trip, but as you can see it was a pretty fun and memorable experience. If you're looking for more fun fair photos don't miss our past coverage of the fair from last year, 2011 and 2010.

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I'm sadly disappointed that Jill and Zeon didn't try the bacon-wrapped churro injected with Jack Daniels. Maybe next year, guys! Great photos, by the way! It looked like a lot of fun!
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