• Monday, November 16, 2020 (3:33 pm)

    Heroes Hall interior temporarily closes to comply with county’s COVID-19 response

    Heroes Hall veterans museum at OC Fair & Event Center will be temporarily closed starting Nov. 17 to comply with Orange County’s COVID-19 response.
    Outdoors, Heroes Hall’s Medal of Honor Courtyard and Orange County Walk of Honor remain open so visitors can learn about local veterans who served their country and see the Skyhawk aircraft what was installed outside the museum last year.
    The Heroes Hall Virtual Museum is also available for visitors to read the stories and see photos and memorabilia of Southern California veterans anytime online.
    Nearby Centennial Farm, the fairgrounds’ year-round working farm, is open by reservation for self-guided tours. Centennial Farm hours are Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Free admission and parking (donations welcome); masks and reservations are required and COVID-19 safety protocols are in place. To reserve a time to visit, go to ocfair.com/reservations.
    The new Heroes Hall exhibit, Private Charles J. Miller: WWII Paintings from the South Pacific, will reopen when the Orange County Health Care Agency deems it is safe for Heroes Hall to welcome back indoor guests.
    Featured is the visual diary of Miller, who chronicled his military service in the South Pacific theater during WWII. He was a self-taught artist who had been drawing throughout his lifetime, teaching himself perspective, anatomy and drawing and painting techniques.
    For more information, visit ocfair.com/millerexhibit.

  • Monday, November 9, 2020 (10:26 am)

    Heroes Hall’s Carol Singleton chosen as a Veteran of the Year

    On November 11, Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris will be honoring six veterans as 2020 Veterans of the Year.

    Petrie-Norris said, “The opportunity to celebrate real American heroes reminds us that we have much more in common than we do at odds. The ties that bind us together are so much stronger than the forces that seek to tear us apart.” 

    The veterans were nominated by fellow community members from the Assemblywoman’s district and recognized for their service in the armed forces and in our communities. Their service records span from World War II to current active duty, and are reflective of the diversity and wealth of experience in our district.

    Join in to watch a virtual ceremony on Veterans Day on Facebook live at 11 a.m. 

    2020 Veterans of the Year

    Carol Singleton, Costa Mesa
    US Army

    David Hayward, Huntington Beach
    US Air Force

    Mohamed Omar Diab, Irvine
    US Marine Corps

    Anthony Michael Page, Laguna Beach
    US Army

    Gary Bain, Laguna Woods
    US Air Force

    Nancy Ise, Newport Beach
    US Navy


  • Wednesday, November 4, 2020 (9:53 am)

    OC Fair & Event Center now using goats as landscapers in challenging areas

    They are quite the sight at OC Fair & Event Center, a herd of 18 Angora goats chomping away at weeds while their trusty miniature donkey guards keep watch.

    The animals are hard at work solving problems by clearing weeds and improving the soil on the berm around Pacific Amphitheatre.

    “The berm is a challenging area for our landscaping crew and the goats are the perfect solution, but we do have some coyotes around the property so the two miniature donkeys will help protect the herd,” said Barbara Gregerson, OC Fair & Event Center’s Landscape Supervisor. “Not only will the goats and donkeys eat the vegetation, they will fertilize and break up the soil, preparing it for planting.”

    Gregerson developed the animal landscaping program to reduce erosion, maximize water filtration and improve the resilience of the soil. Once the soil improves, the ultimate goal is to create a diverse habitat of California native plants that invite birds, butterflies and other pollinators.

    The berm has been divided into quadrants where the animals will be rotated to evenly work the land. In addition to the weeds and grasses on the berm, the goats will have shelter, water and supplemental feed to ensure they are getting a well-rounded diet. They will also receive regular veterinary care like the animals that reside year-round at nearby Centennial Farm.

    The goats and miniature donkeys are on loan from Eureka Mohair Farm in Tollhouse, CA, a longtime competitor in the annual OC Fair livestock competitions. They will be on the property through December and will return in March and work until the annual OC Fair in July. The plan is then to have the animal landscapers back again in September through December 2021 and continue the pattern for a couple of years.

    The annual cost of the program is almost the same as using traditional landscapers. There were fencing and shelter costs to get the program up and running and OC Fair & Event Center will cover feed and veterinary care for the animals in exchange for their labor. Gregerson says the expenses basically even out.

    Centennial Farm and Heroes Hall veterans museum are reopening to the public tomorrow, Nov. 3. Hours are Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Free admission and parking; masks and reservations are required. To reserve a time to visit Centennial Farm and Heroes Hall, go to ocfair.com/reservations.

    Visitors to Centennial Farm and Heroes Hall may catch a glimpse of the goats donkeys at work on the berm, but there is no public viewing area at this time.

  • Wednesday, October 28, 2020 (11:21 am)

    Centennial Farm and Heroes Hall veterans museum ready to reopen on Nov. 3

    Centennial Farm and Heroes Hall veterans museum at OC Fair & Event Center are set to reopen to the public on Tuesday, Nov. 3. Visitors must make a reservation in advance.

    Centennial Farm and Heroes Hall will both be open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (last reservation accepted at 2 p.m.; group will be allowed to stay until 3 p.m.). Parking is free and available through Gate 1 off of Fair Drive in Costa Mesa. Admission to both venues is free and masks are required.

    “We are very excited to welcome our guests back to Centennial Farm and Heroes Hall,” said Michele Richards, OC Fair & Event Center CEO. “These venues are really the heart and soul of our fairgrounds year-round and we have all missed doing what we do best – educating and entertaining. I know our animals at the Farm are especially anxious to see visitors again.”

    This will be the first chance for visitors to see the new exhibit at Heroes Hall, Private Charles J. Miller: WWII Paintings from the South Pacific. Through his watercolor paintings and sketches, Miller, of the U.S. Army, shares his story of a soldier’s experience during World War II in the South Pacific. He used limited resources – from large sheets of paper to the insides of cigarette cartons – to create powerful works of art. The exhibit is on loan from The Wright Museum of World War II in Wolfeboro, NH. To learn more, visit ocfair.com/exhibitions.

    OC Fair & Event Center’s top priority is the health and safety of guests and staff. Visitors will be required to make reservations in advance so the number of guests can be limited. No walkups will be permitted.

    Before entering, guests will check in at the Wellness Booth for temperature checks. Hand-sanitizing stations have been added and regular cleaning will be conducted throughout the day.

    To reserve a time to visit Centennial Farm and Heroes Hall, go to ocfair.com/reservations.

    Food or drinks are not allowed but bottled water or water in enclosed containers is permitted. More information can be found on the FAQ page.

  • Tuesday, October 27, 2020 (1:04 pm)

    OC Fair & Event Center activated as large-animal evacuation site

    OC Fair & Event Center has been activated as a large-animal evacuation site for areas impacted by the current wildfires.

    About 20 horses are sheltered at the fairgrounds’ equestrian center in stalls that were vacant. The animals are being cared for by their owners. Temporary stalls have also been constructed in the Action Sports Arena in case more space is needed for evacuated animals.

    PLEASE NOTE: While we appreciate the offers for help, no volunteers or supplies are currently needed and we are not able to accept either on the fairgrounds at this time.

    We are proud to be able to help in times of crisis and the fairgrounds and staff stand prepared to further assist as needed.

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