• 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.

  • Wednesday, July 31, 2019 (3:25 pm)

    Baby calf, piglets born at Centennial Farm during OC Fair

    A baby calf and baby piglets were recently born at Centennial Farm during the 2019 OC Fair.

    On Tuesday, July 23, a baby calf was born and currently can be seen in the Century Barn in the Centennial Farm area.

    On Wednesday, July 31, a Yorkshire mix sow  gave birth to several piglets. The mother will get a day to rest and get used to the little piglets before all will be on display at Centennial Farm.

  • Saturday, July 27, 2019 (9:00 am)

    Here are some ways the 2019 OC Fair offers sustainability to help the environment

    To highlight the 2019 OC Fair’s agricultural theme, “Acres of Fun,” and its connection to the environment, the OC Fair went all out to bring fun and useful sustainability to the  best party of the summer. 

    Some of those ways included:

    • There are four agricultural-themed lounges spread throughout the fairgrounds where fairgoers can sit, relax and learn more about these California commodities: avocados, strawberries, oranges and beef. The lounges also feature recycled OC Fair banners re-purposed into cushions along with re-purposed palettes made into sofas, chairs, tables and stools. 
    • In addition to the lounges, there are areas sprinkled throughout the fairgrounds that were turned into decorative vignettes using items that would have normally ended up in landfills: Old bicycles, old tires, watering cans, empty 2-liter bottles, glass jars, cabinets, denim jeans and more.
    • Look up and all around to spot the festive pennants that were re-purposed from vinyl banners and signs.
    • Solar- and wind-powered stations in Plaza Pacifica allow fairgoers to recharge their phones without using electricity from the power grid.
    • Watch where you step because there are drought-tolerant plants found throughout the fairgrounds that use less water and require less maintenance. 
    • Fairgoers are encouraged to use and re-use special OC Fair souvenir cups. After purchasing these reusable cups the first time, fairgoers can then get discounted refills at vendors. 
    • In addition to reusable cups, the OC Fair is free of most plastic straws with vendors and concessionaires offering paper straws.
    • The Culinary Arts area in OC Promenade has edible spoons that come in two flavors: a sweet, chocolatey variety and a savory option. 

  • Friday, July 26, 2019 (6:06 pm)

    Here are the 2019 OC Fair Concessionaires Cup winners for best food and drinks

    The results are in for our Concessionaires Cup competition, which awards the best of this year’s OC Fair food.

    Here are the category winners:

    • Best-of-the-Best and Best New Flavor Winner: The Smokestack from Tater Twister’s
    • Best Fried Food Winner: Puffy Taco de Carnitas/Asada from Papi’s Puffy Taco
    • Best On-a-Stick/Bun Winner: Big Daddy Cheetos & Cheese Corn Dog from Biggy’s
    • Best Specialty Food Winner: Shrimp Cocktail from Pepe’s Mariscos
    • Owner’s Favorite Winner: Maui Chicken from Pineapple Express 
    • Best Dessert Winner: Cinnamon Roll with Cream Cheese Frosting, Bacon and Maple Syrup from D&D Country Fair Cinnamon Rolls
    • Best Beverage Winner: Dole Soft Serve Slush Float from RCS Nitro Treats

  • (12:36 pm)

    The song ‘Taps’ and a historical connection to Heroes Hall

    Mitchell Butterfield introduces the playing of “Taps,” played at 6 p.m. each night of the OC Fair at Heroes Hall. (Inset photo) Daniel Butterfield, largely credited with composing “Taps.” Main photo by Mike Goulding, inset photo courtesy of the Library of Congress.

    When “Taps” gets played at 6 p.m. nightly at Heroes Hall during the 2019 OC Fair, there’s one man standing there who has an especially direct attachment to the song.

    Mitchell Butterfield, who works at Heroes Hall during the Fair, is related to Daniel Butterfield, the Medal of Honor-winning Civil War Army general largely credited with composing the song. 

    Daniel Butterfield, along with bugler Oliver Willcox Norton, wrote “Taps” as a new way to establish the military call for the end of the day. It wasn’t until after the Civil War that it became the official end-of-day call.

    Nowadays, it’s most associated with being played at military funerals.

    Mitchell Butterfield salutes the flag as “Taps” plays at Heroes Hall. The song is played at 6 p.m. each night of the OC Fair at Heroes Hall. Photo by Mike Goulding

    Mitchell Butterfield’s fellow workers at Heroes Hall had no idea about the connection.

    “When we had the first kid who played ‘Taps,’ I went up and told him, ‘You know, my great great grandfather wrote that song,’ Butterfield said. “And (Heroes Hall Supervisor Carol Singleton) heard that and said, ‘Really?’ And then it just went from there.”

    Taps has been played at Heroes Hall for the OC Fair since the military museum opened in 2017.

    Mitchell Butterfield, 72, from Orange, is also an Army veteran, while his father was a Marine who was stationed at El Toro, lived in Tustin and later moved to Orange.

    While Butterfield is proud of the historical connection — “I feel proud that he had something to do with it. I tell it to anyone who wants to listen” – he’s also reluctant to mention it when he introduces the playing of “Taps” at Heroes Hall.

    Centennial Farm volunteer Richard Grogan, a bugler who plays “Taps” at Heroes Hall. Photo by Carol Singleton

    “When I do the announcement, I don’t mention the family part of it,” he said. “It’s not relevant. It’s about the vets. It’s about the servicemen.”

    During a recent night at Heroes Hall, “Taps” was played for the first time with the correct musical instrument: a bugle.

    And the bugler playing it? Another OC Fair connection: Richard Grogan, a Centennial Farm volunteer as an oxen teamster.

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