• Monday, August 12, 2019 (12:01 pm)

    An entire grove of lemons to make lemonade – and more 2019 OC Fair fun facts

    COSTA MESA (Aug. 12, 2019) – The camels are heading home to their dairy, the stilt walkers are back to their normal heights and the blue ribbons have all been handed out. That means that the 129th annual OC Fair is a wrap.

    By the time the clock struck midnight last night, the Fair had welcomed 1,393,482 guests, including 40,042 who entered free between noon and 3 p.m. on Opening Day and 59,069 children who received free admission on Kids Days or were under 5 years old. Some 11,143 members of the military received free admission as did 2,071 first responders.

    The total number of guests came in just under last year’s record attendance of 1,470,636. Final revenue numbers are expected to be released in October.

    “We are extremely happy with the numbers for this year’s OC Fair. We had fantastic weather, several new events, a great entertainment lineup and all the Fair favorites that keep people coming back year after year,” said OC Fair Communications Director Terry Moore. “We are pleased that so many people chose to spend part of their summer at the OC Fair and that they went home with many happy memories.”

    Through its community programs, the OC Fair collected 87,300 school supplies, 25.69 tons of food, 82,984 childrens books and 31,069 clothing items for local charities through the We Care Wednesday program during which guests received free admission with their donation.

    The Friends of the Fair program welcomed 3,363 guests with special needs for a free experience while the OC Fair Kids Club brought 1,185 children from local Title 1 programs to the Fair where they enjoyed free admission and rides, a gift card and bus service.

    Fairgoers munched on so many Flamin’ Hot Cheetos on top of so many things that Ray Cammack Shows concessions used an entire truckload of the crunchy treats. They also used more than 9 tons of sugar to make cotton candy, candied apples, funnel cakes and deep-fried desserts. Enzo’s Pizza tossed 4 tons of pizza dough and Ten Pound Buns dished up more than 7,200 pounds of their sourdough bread with toppings.

    Some 15,000 ICEES and 20,000 Hot Dogs on a Stick were sold and an entire grove of lemons was used to make Squeezers lemonade.

    In the Culinary Arts building, more than 1,200 fairgoers ate their way through the Culinary Crawl. There were 29,000 olive oil samples handed out and more than 125 culinary stage demonstrations.

    This year the OC Fair held its first-ever Out at the Fair Day and welcomed hundreds of LGBTQ guests and friends to a day of family-friendly events and classic Fair fun.

    Also new was the Love is in the Fair Contest which was won by Leslie Leong and Michael Nguyen who were married at the Fair on Aug. 10 in front of their friends, clowns, entertainers, fairgoers and farm animals, including Best Ox, Patches.

    The Brew Hee Haw craft beer celebration was expanded and moved to The Hangar and a new Viva El Mariachi festival was held in Pacific Amphitheatre featuring Mariachi Sol de Mexico de Jose Hernandez, Ana Barbara and more.

    The OC Fair does have an artistic side, and a quarter of an acre was devoted to the Visual Arts Gallery where 72 hours of demonstrations were held while 4 tons of clay was used to make pottery over at Muddy’s Studio. And at the Home Arts Craft Table, some 73,000 yards of yarn was used to teach guests to make 4,000 pom poms.

    There were more than 1,600 entries in the culinary arts competitions, including pies, cakes, jams and breads, and $12,490 was paid out in winnings. Garden and floral entries totaled 5,830 this year and winners were paid $13,615.

    The annual Jr. Livestock Auction featured the sale of 257 animals, bringing in a total of $279,476 for the 4-H and FFA students who raised the animals as agriculture educations projects.

    And Centennial Farm welcomed a calf and 10 piglets who were born during the Fair.

    Heroes Hall, OC Fair & Event Center’s veterans museum, welcomed 16,328 Fair guests who created 3,670 postcards for veterans while 2,125 children enjoyed a special scavenger hunt. Another 1,600 kids had fun at the Thursday Kids Day scavenger hunts in the Explorium tent where 3,600 balloons were popped at Pitch Burst and 920 people chomped their way through eating contests.

  • Saturday, August 10, 2019 (10:45 am)

    You are invited to a wedding at the OC Fair!

    When: Saturday, Aug. 10, at 1 p.m.

    Where: In front of Millennium Barn during the OC Fair

    The winning couple of our Love is in the Fair wedding contest have been chosen and they’ll say “I do” in front of 20 of their guests — plus the entire OC Fair! The wedding will take place at 1 p.m. on Aug. 10 and will include the ceremony, special entertainers and an unforgettable OC Fair experience.

    Meet the couple!

    Names: Leslie Leong and Michael Nguyen

    Professions: Leslie is a veterinary assistant/nursing student; Michael is a behavior analyst for children with autism 

    How/when did you meet?

    “In 2002, we met online in a music chat room, where Michael was trying to promote his high school band. We were internet friends for a long time. We didn’t meet in person until college. We lost touch for awhile but reconnected through social media and started dating four years ago.”

    What do you like to do as a couple?

    Camping, traveling, visiting national parks and laughing uncontrollably. 

    Tell us about your engagement.

    Michael: “I had several plans since January of this year, but our vacation plans kept getting cancelled for various reasons. On July 1, the day before our 4th anniversary, I decided I didn’t want to keep postponing it because it didn’t matter if we were on a mountain or by the ocean, as long as we were together. I cooked her dinner. Afterward, I let her “open her anniversary gift” early. Leslie collects rocks and crystals, so I hid the ring inside of a geode. After a short engagement, we finally got to take a short camping vacation. When we got reception, we learned we had won the contest!”

    Why is the OC Fair special to the two of you?

    “Our anniversary is July, so the OC Fair was one of the first public places we attended as a couple. We’ve been every year since 2015.”

    What was it like trying to pull this all together in just a week? 

    Michael: Vows are “til death do us part” and we managed to not kill each other. 

    Leslie: It’s been stressful trying to get everything put together in a week, there’s so much to do and so many phone calls to make!

    What do your friends and families think of this unusual wedding?

    “Our family is more traditional so they think we’re crazy. Our friends say it’s a perfect fit.”

  • Thursday, August 8, 2019 (2:00 pm)

    OC Fair breaks ground on A-4M Skyhawk relocation project

    It’s official! The groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the incoming arrival of the A-4M Skyhawk happened on Thursday, Aug. 8 and featured several OC Fair, state, county, city and veterans leaders.

    Former news and sports anchor Ed Arnold served as the program’s emcee.

    The aircraft will move from the Santa Ana Civic Center by the end of September, and will be installed and dedicated outside Heroes Hall on Nov. 9.

    The plane had been a part of Civic Center Plaza for more than a decade, but has to be moved due to construction plans.

    The plane is on loan from the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Fla.

    Click here to see more photos from the event.

  • Wednesday, August 7, 2019 (9:00 am)

    Aug. 7-Aug. 11 is First Responders and Law Enforcement Week at OC Fair

    The OC Fair respects so much the first responders, emergency personnel, law enforcement and those who assist that we’re devoting an entire week to them!

    Active-duty and professional staff of the police, sheriff, fire and emergency services departments will receive free Fair admission from Wednesday, Aug. 7 to Sunday, Aug. 11. Those will also have the opportunity to purchase up to 4 half-price general admission tickets for guests. Respective agency ID is required.

    In addition, active-duty military and veterans get free admission each day of the OC Fair. Members may purchase up to 6 half-price, general admission tickets for guests. Military ID is required.

    For all the latest OC Fair discounts – including carnival ride and wristband deals – visit ocfair.com/deals.

  • Thursday, August 1, 2019 (2:30 pm)

    OC Fair announces A-4M Skyhawk Groundbreaking at Heroes Hall

    OC Fair & Event Center is excited to announce a groundbreaking ceremony for the relocation of a Vietnam-era A-4M Skyhawk aircraft from the Santa Ana Civic Center to Heroes Hall. The plane had been a part of Civic Center Plaza for more than a decade, but has to be moved due to construction plans.

    The ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 8 before the OC Fair opens. Refreshments will be served immediately following the ceremony.

    The aircraft is expected to be transported to OCFEC by the end of September and to be installed prior to a Veterans Day dedication ceremony in November.

    The plane is on loan from the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Fla.

    RSVP to rsvp@ocfair.com

    Note: This event will take place before the OC Fair opens. You will receive instructions for parking and entrance upon submitting your RSVP.

    Heroes Hall is a free, permanent, year-round museum and education center with exhibitions, performances and educational programs that celebrate the legacy of Orange County veterans and others who have served our nation. The museum is located next to Centennial Farm on the fairgrounds in Costa Mesa and is open to the public year-round Wednesdays through Sundays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., and featured in school tours on Mondays and Tuesdays. Parking and admission for Heroes Hall is free except during the OC Fair and select year-round events.

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