magical midway

Magical Midway

For this native San Diegan, the unfailing annual return of the San Diego County Fair brings with it a rush of memories of fairs past. It was the bright spot of every summer of my childhood, at the conclusion of which the remainder of summer seemed to dim. The mental snapshots are a highlight reel of every kid’s dreams: searing hot corn dogs in paper trays with pools of mustard, airy, intoxicating funnel cakes dusted with sugar, dizzying thrill rides to test my mettle, the vast exhibit halls brimming with all varieties of collections, and the perpetual din of everything that makes up all the fair’s moving parts — music, machines, generators, animals, people — and its equally varied and powerful cumulative aroma. Now, I take my own kids to experience the fair much in the way I did, complete with indulgent treats and plenty of close encounters with livestock, and there’s something magical about watching the joy it still brings, as it has throughout its history; a veritable “memory factory,” year-in and year-out. The fair returns, with its thrills, smells, tastes, and memories to be made, on Friday, June 3. sdfair.com   DEANNA MURPHY

magical midway

Photo courtesy of the San Diego County Fair