Eat ice cream this weekend to help Save Our Fairgrounds. No, seriously, read this.




(Not to scale.)

Number one, you ARE going to want to go to the OC Marketplace (or “swap meet”) down on the Fairgrounds, today or tomorrow  – the weekend after Thanksgiving – the best time and place to do your first Christmas shopping!

But when you do, don’t forget that if we don’t manage to save the Fairgrounds – which is still looking like a fifty-fifty chance, it all comes down to the next few weeks – this Marketplace will probably not be here next year.  Nor the Equestrian Center, nor the Centennial Farm.  Nor the Gun Show, you righties!  And the Fair itself will probably be unrecognizable and far more expensive.

So when you’re there this weekend, please stop at Bob’s ice cream and buy all the ice cream you can – 100% of the money will go to the Orange County Fairgrounds Preservation Society (of which I’m a member and La Femme Wonkita is president.)  I’ll put the OCFPS announcement down below, let me first do some explaining:

Our goal now is to draw this process out, through the use of lawsuits, through the month of December until the first week of January when we’ll have a new governor who will NOT sell the Fairgrounds.  Because as much as Arnold pretends his motive is to help ease the budget deficit (with a drop in the bucket) it’s really all about favors to his political allies, and Jerry Brown owes no such favors.  Which is why Arnold and Facilities Management West (FMW) are so desperate to seal the deal this month.

But these lawsuits we and our allies are filing are not free!  Which is why we would really appreciate you buying Bob’s Ice Cream this weekend, and whatever other donations you can spare.   We’ll have plenty of literature and explanations there, and remember, we’re doing this for all Orange County citizens.

A little summary of this past month’s news, if you haven’t been keeping up:

  • A lawsuit was filed by three companies – actually pretty much all entities run by Jeff Teller, president of the OC Marketplace – to stop the sale because of the unfair nature of the auction.  Judge Horn found the complaints to be serious and substantial, put a “restraining order” on the sale and set a hearing for Dec. 8 in Santa Ana.  Boy, is that going to be a show.  I’ll get there early for a good seat.  There will be horses and crowds outside the courthouse.
  • Dave Padilla, the lone dissident on Arnold’s Fair Board, who has always opposed the sale, was suddenly thrown off the Board earlier this month with no explanation.  Why at that particular time, we wondered?  Well, now he is free and has joined us in our crusade, and we sure are glad to have him!  I’ll have an interview with him on the blog next week.
  • Oh – this must be why Padilla was fired when he was:  At the last Board meeting, it was revealed that FMW has agreed to keep the Board as some sort of “advisory Board” and promised them some unspecified “royalty fees” as compensation.  They spent most of that meeting in one of their many and frequent closed sessions, and we have no idea what they discussed.  Neither, conveniently, does Dave Padilla.
  • Last week, FMW demanded to join in the lawsuit on the state’s side, because *snark* TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE, and if this deal isn’t pushed through this month, CALIFORNIA WON’T GET THE $100 million it desperately needs!  (And FMW won’t get the sweetheart deal it’s been pushing for by hook and by crook these 18 months.)  They must have noticed what a half-hearted, listless job Jerry Brown’s AG office has been doing defending their and Arnold’s interests in this lawsuit.  LOL!  I can just imagine what our attorneys, and hopefully the judge, would say to that:  “What’s the rush, FMW?  If this is such a good deal for the state, why not do it in January or February under the new Governor?  Why would Governor Brown not go along if it’s such a good idea?  Patience, good sirs…”
  • Lobdell passed on a rumor that a lot more people are going to join in the lawsuit against the state and FMW, some time next week.  Where did he hear that?  Who’s babbling?  Didn’t come from me.  I know nothink.

Here’s the Orange County Fairgrounds Preservation Society press release, for this weekend – come Sunday and I’ll be there!

Help SAVE the OC Fairgrounds

We are having a weekend of Fund Raising and Outreach

The Orange County Fairgrounds is about to be sold to a private developer, but together we can stop it. We could lose the Orange County Market Place, the Centennial Farm, and the equestrian center. There’s still time to act, but we need your help!

This weekend, November 27 and 28, one hundred percent of proceeds from sales of Bob’s Ice Cream at the OC Market Place will go to the fight against the sale. For a minimum donation can get an ice cream and help save the fairgrounds, too. Look for the booth under the giant Pepsi at the OC Market Place.

Please help support the OCFPS! Come and enjoy an ice cream!!!

Volunteers Needed! We are also looking for volunteers to hand out fliers and work at the outreach booth on November 27 – 28. We are doing short shifts of a few hours. WE NEED YOUR HELP! Please email Lisa at


“The entire sale has been orchestrated by the governor’s office to benefit FMW.” said Costa Mesa Councilwoman Katrina Foley.

Assemblyman Jim Silva has said, “… selling the Fairgrounds just doesn’t make sense.”

Assemblyman Jose Solorio stated, “I and others will continue to fight to preserve the OC Fair, the equestrian facility and the talented staff that run the fairgrounds.”

Legislation action to stop the sale of OC Fairgrounds is also in the works. Stay tuned!


About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official troubador of both Anaheim and Huntington Beach (the two ends of the Santa Ana Aquifer.) Performs regularly both solo, and with his savage-jazz quintet The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at, or 714-235-VERN.