• Friday, September 23, 2022 (4:20 pm)

    OC Fair named best fair/festival of 2022 by OC Register

    From OC Register, Sept. 22, 2022

    Best of Orange County 2022: Best fair/festival

    Still going strong after 130+ years, the OC Fair is one of the area’s most anticipated events and draws more than a million people annually. Many are return visitors. No surprise there: trying to experience all the fair has to offer in a single day can be an exercise in futility.

    OC Fair Communications Director Terry Moore calls the monthlong event a “much-loved summer tradition.”

    “We hear wonderful stories about young families making memories just like the parents did when they were growing up,” she said. “It’s about friends seeing concerts under the stars and winning giant stuffed animals in the carnival. Most of all, it’s about being together and enjoying the fun you can only find at the fair.”

    Activities include midway games, rides, the large Ferris wheel and entertainment shows at three different venues. The Action Sports Arena returned with demolition derbies, speedway races and monster trucks after being dark in 2020-21. The Hangar offered the usual tribute band favorites and the Pacific Amphitheatre’s music and comedic talent rivaled neighboring county fairs. Jackson Browne, Trevor Noah, Brett Eldredge, the Offspring, Counting Crows, Smokey Robinson, Culture Club were among this season’s performers.

    Elsewhere, the fair’s visual and photographic art contest winners guarantee something stunning, while a visit to the war-themed Heroes Hall Museum and Education Center proves enlightening. The craft beer roundup, plus all the deep-fried and barbecue food are modern fair traditions.

    — George A. Paul

    Read the entire article: https://www.ocregister.com/2022/09/22/best-of-orange-county-2022-best-fair-festival/


  • Thursday, August 18, 2022 (10:09 am)

    The 2022 OC Fair by the numbers

    COSTA MESA – The 2022 OC Fair is a wrap and there were a whole lot of summer memories for fairgoers who wanted to “Feel the Sunshine,” the theme of this year’s Fair which ran from July 15 through Aug. 14.

    Advance tickets were required again this year so daily capacity could be limited to provide a better experience for our guests, neighbors and partners. There was no increase in ticket prices again this year.

    “The annual OC Fair is very special and important to the community. It gives us such pleasure to present it every year. It’s a thrill for our team to plan and produce an event that resonates with our guests throughout Southern California and beyond,” said Michele Richards, OC Fair CEO. “It’s always sad to see the annual OC Fair end each year, but rest assured our team is already working on next year’s Fair. We can’t wait to welcome back all our guests again in 2023,” said Richards.

    Here’s a look at this year’s Fair by the numbers:

    Preliminary figures show that 1,055,173 fairgoers came out to enjoy summer’s most-anticipated event and there were 11 sold-out days. In 2021, OC Fair attendance was 1,055,770 and there were 16 sold-out days.

    10,000 competition entries from 3,068 exhibitors vied for blue-ribbons. In Home Arts, there were 399 entries, 1,292 entries in Culinary, Visual Arts had 3,754 entries and there were 4,426 entries in Horticulture. Entries were up 20 percent over 2021.

    2.5 million carnival rides were enjoyed by fairgoers and their favorites were La Grande Wheel XL, Skyride and Rave Wave. The top games were Bottle Up, Big Water Race and Bank A Ball. The most-requested midway prizes were Squishmallows and Ramen Noodle stuffies.

    7,990 kids took advantage of the Read and Ride program by reading books and earning carnival rides.

    70,600 fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies were made from scratch at Mom’s Bakeshoppe.

    16,682 hot dogs were sold by Pink’s, along with 13,754 orders of fries and 1,272 veggie dogs.

    5 top food items from Biggy’s were pizza, fried Oreos, Dole Soft Serve, corn dogs and funnel cakes.

    8,800 pounds of Ten Pound Buns were served up at this year’s OC Fair.

    20,000 deep-fried Oreos, 2,000 Kool-Aid chicken sandwiches, 9,000 Canadian lobster tails, 5,000 bacon-wrapped pickles and 3,000 fried avocados were served up at the Chicken Charlie’s stands throughout the fairgrounds.

    One new OC Fair Foodie costumed character was introduced this year, Sunny Lemon, who posed for photos daily and paraded through the fairgrounds with the OC Fair Foodie crew.

    20 piglets, five goats and four peachicks were born at Centennial Farm.

    13,958 phone calls during the Fair were answered by the Guest Experience team.

    44,611,100 social media impressions on OC Fair’s various profiles on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok.

    231,736 cars were parked in general parking during this year’s event.

    35 tons of organic waste was diverted from landfills, 55,000 pounds of trash was recycled and 7,500 gallons of cooking grease was repurposed by the OC Fair facilities team.

    $242,967.76 was paid out to agriculture students through the Junior Livestock Auction and this year we saw the sale of 153 animals.

    13,514 visitors to Heroes Hall during the Fair also had the chance to see a real Huey helicopter and to decorate 1,000 postcards for the troops.

    12 concerts were sold out in The Hangar, 11 events were sold out in Action Sports Arena and so far there have been eight sold-out shows in Pacific Amphitheatre.

    Concerts under the stars are continuing with these upcoming shows in Pacific Amphitheatre:
    Aug. 18 – Boy George & Culture Club / Berlin
    Aug. 19 – Cole Swindell / Honey County
    Aug. 25 – Steve Miller Band
    Aug. 28 – Ramon Ayala / Conjunto Primavera
    Aug. 31 – Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo / Ann Wilson
    Sept. 2 – Jackson Browne
    Tickets are for sale on Ticketmaster.

    “On behalf of the Board of Directors, I want to thank the community for supporting the OC Fair this year. We’re very proud to provide this great family event each year that means so much to so many,” said OC Fair Board Chair Doug La Belle.

  • Friday, July 22, 2022 (4:12 pm)

    2022 OC Fair runs through Aug. 14 – What’s free with Fair admission?

    OC Fair fans have been waiting all year for the return of summer’s best party – and they know how to get the best value out of their visit. Here are some awesome things that are free with Fair admission.

    For a full OC Fair schedule, visit ocfair.com, or download the 2022 OC Fair app. Advance tickets are required – no fees – and capacity is limited.

    Comedy hypnotist Mark Yuzuik – nightly in Plaza Pacifica
    The Magic of Frank Thurston – daily in OC promenade
    Roving entertainment including Dragon Knights Stilt Show, Red Light Brass Band and Ellas mariachi group (limited run) – daily throughout the fairgrounds
    Community entertainment featuring local music groups, dance troops and more – daily on three stages
    Tupua Polynesian dance group – nightly in Plaza Pacifica
    Live music – nightly in Baja Blues
    Latin music and dancing – nightly in Hussong’s Cantina
    The Hangar and Action Sports Arena – performances accessible via standing room (or via paid ticket for reserved seating)
    Performance of Taps – 6 p.m. nightly at Heroes Hall

    All-Alaskan Racing Pigs – daily in Plaza Pacifica
    Animal judging and displays – daily in Livestock
    Great American Petting Farm – daily near Green Gate
    OC Fair’s resident animal educators including pigs, goats, cattle, chickens, rabbits, peacocks and sheep – daily at Centennial Farm

    Cow milking – daily in Millennium Barn
    Food preservation, chef’s tips and more – daily in OC Promenade/Culinary
    Camel dairy – limited run in livestock
    OC Vaulting horse acrobatics – limited run in livestock
    Wine talks and pairings – daily in The Courtyard
    Crafts and handmade goods – daily in Home Arts & Collections Gallery

    Produce and floral competitions – daily at Centennial Farm
    Woodworking, quilting, table setting, baking and more – daily in Home Arts & Collections Gallery and OC Promenade/Culinary
    Cal Fresh exhibit featuring the state’s crops – daily in OC Promenade
    Fine arts and visual arts competitions – daily in Visual Arts Gallery

    Explorium Fun on the Farm learn & play area – daily in OC Promenade
    Food-related contests for kids – daily in OC Promenade
    Photos with OC Fair Foodies – daily throughout the fairgrounds
    Color postcards for troops & veterans – daily at Heroes Hall

    For more ideas on what to do & see at the OC Fair, visit https://ocfair.com/oc-fair/things-to-do/

    Things to know before you go

    The Fair will be open Wednesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekdays (Wednesday, Thursday) and 11 a.m. to midnight weekends (Friday, Saturday and Sunday).
    General admission is $12 on weekdays (Wednesday, Thursday) and $14 general admission on weekends (Friday, Saturday and Sunday). Tickets for seniors 60+ and kids 6-12 are $7 all days.
    Parking is $10 for cars and motorcycles and $20 for buses and limos.
    Tickets are on sale now and must be purchased in advance with no fees on ocfair.com. Fairgoers should make sure to get tickets for special days and group adventures now, with limited capacity days could sell out (in 2021 17 out of 23 days sold out).
    Performances in Pacific Amphitheatre, The Hangar and Action Sports Arena during fair-time include same-day Fair admission. Tickets are on sale now. For more information visit ocfair.com.
    Unlimited ride carnival wristbands are back this year for $49. The one-day wristbands can be used Wednesdays and Thursdays, must be purchased or redeemed by 5 p.m. and include unlimited rides and two free games; guests can ride and play from 11 a.m. till 8 p.m.
    Carnival ride and game tickets can also be bought online now and are $1.25 each. Tickets required for each ride range from two to 14 tickets and games require between two and eight tickets each. For more information on this year’s rides and games, visit our website.

  • Tuesday, June 28, 2022 (4:26 pm)

    State of the Fair report presented to Board of Directors

    On June 23, the OC Fair Board reviewed a presentation from CEO Michele Richards on the mid-year state of the Fair.

    The report covered the agency’s budget process, our place in the fair industry, bringing mission and values into focus, engaging the community, new business development, transparency, technology, workforce development, the financial outlook and opportunities and challenges.

    View the 2022 State of the Fair presentation.  

  • Tuesday, June 21, 2022 (2:54 pm)

    New character, Sunny, heading to this year’s OC Fair

    Today we held auditions for our new Foodie, and this was one of our favorites – we hired them on the spot!

    We thought it’d be the perfect way to introduce our Lemon’s name. *drumroll*

    Meet SUNNY!!

    This year, Sunny will join his Foodie friends Olivia (the Orange), Arturo the Churro, Cornelius and Strawberry Jan every day at the OC Fair.

    THANK YOU to everyone who participated in our naming contest on social media – we had 250+ votes! John Lemmon came in real close, and there were lots of votes for Twist/Twisty and Drop/Lemon Drop.

    Some of the write-ins were also pretty great. We got tons of variations of Squeezy, Zesty, Lemony and Lemonade. Some of you went with citrus themed, suggesting names like Pucker, Sour and Tart. Others went literal with names like Meyer and Bonnie Brae. Lots recommended we name the Lemon after famous people or characters such as Miley Cytrus, Lemon Stefani, Jack Lemon, Liz Lemon LuluLemon and even Pikalemon. A few gave the Lemon fun last names like Bigfair, McLemonFace and Picket. We especially enjoyed the creative ones like Nomel (lemon spelled backwards) and the French-sounding Sunny Le Monet.

    Don’t forget to say hi to Sunny this summer at the OC Fair!

View All