• October 12, 2017 (11:42 am)

    Animals safely evacuated to Fairgrounds during Canyon Fire 2


    OC Fair & Event Center is a designated large animal rescue facility and we had a plan in case of emergency, but we could not have assisted the animals evacuated from the Canyon Fire 2 area without the help of amazing volunteers, nonprofits and local businesses.

    We housed 127 horses, six pigs, six goats, six mini-horses/ponies, three tortoises, two sheep and one steer. We appreciate all who donated feed, stalls and even food to keep our volunteers fortified.

    Fair staff quickly moved into action after the Fairgrounds was activated as an evacuation center. Temporary stalls were erected in the Action Sports Arena, show ring and in our livestock area. Key personnel were designated to handle processing the animal intake and to help owners get their animals settled in. During the week, staff members were on hand 24 hours a day to assist with the care of the evacuated animals and to make sure owners’ needs were met.

    A huge thank you goes out to Star Milling Company, Kruse Feed & Supply, Inc., Laughing Pony Rescue, Midway City Feed Store, Feed Barn Costa Mesa, Hitching Post, Vons, Stater Bros., Carl’s Jr., L.A. on Cloud9, OC Fairgrounds Equestrian Center, the City of San Juan Capistrano’s Large Animal Response Team and the numerous individual volunteers who donated their time and effort. We had help feeding and watering the evacuated animals, walking horses, cleaning stalls and assisting with intake and check-out processes.

    Join us in thanking these groups, businesses and individuals for their time and donations. And best wishes to the animals as they head home.

    Read more about the evacuation and the wonderful people who helped:

    Daily Pilot: Animals evacuated from O.C. wildfire find a temporary home at the fairgrounds

    OC Register: Canyon Fire 2: Fairgrounds or Noah’s Ark? OC Fair becomes safe haven for displaced animals


  • October 2, 2017 (9:00 am)

    You’re invited to a Community Forum on Oct. 18-19

    Community Forum

    Be a part of OC Fair & Event Center’s Strategic 5-Year Business Planning Process

    In conjunction with the 10-year Master Site Plan, OC Fair & Event Center will be launching a Strategic 5-Year Business Plan to develop our organizational goals.

    We will be seeking input at two open community discussions on how OC Fair & Event Center can further support our mission of developing programs focused on community, education and agriculture.

    If you’re an interested neighbor, educator, member of the agricultural community, non-profit leader or business associate, we value your input.

    Join us:

    Wednesday, October 18
    2:30-4:30 p.m.


    Thursday, October 19
    7-9:30 p.m.

    OC Fair & Event Center
    Administration Building
    Corner of Fairview & Arlington in Costa Mesa
    (714) 708-1500

    RSVPs are not required. If you’re unable to attend but would like to provide input, please email your thoughts and ideas to CommDept@ocfair.com.

  • September 29, 2017 (3:01 pm)

    Centennial Farm will host several gardening classes in the coming months

    Whether you’re just getting started or have been gardening for years, Centennial Farm will be hosting a few gardening classes you’re sure to love. 

    All classes begin at 9:30 a.m. and require pre-registration

    Here’s a look at what’s coming up: 

    Growing an Herb Garden – Oct. 21 & Nov. 25

    Learn general identification, care and propagation techniques of the most popular herbs grown today. Then, design and create your very own herb container garden to take home. Leah Matsuoka of Laguna Hills Nursery in Santa Ana will be the guest speaker.

    $15 includes materials and handouts. Tools, pots and herbs will be provided. 

    Backyard Beekeeping – Oct. 28

    Learn the basics of beekeeping from Christine Ferrian, president of the OC Beekeepers Association. Ferrian, who is also involved with OC Local Honey, will help you learn about the role beekeepers play in maintaining the health of their hive, producing honey and in gardening and agriculture. $5 includes materials and handouts. 

    Succulent Container Garden – Nov. 4

    Learn general identification, care and propagation techniques of the most popular succulents grown today as well as basic principles of design. Then, design and create your very own succulent container garden to take home! Centennial Farm’s own Adam Waugh, a long-time succulent enthusiast, has nursery and arboretum experience, and has been creating succulent and mixed-plant container gardens for years. $20 includes materials and handouts; tools, terracotta pots and succulents will be provided. 

    Pruning Fruit Trees: The Basics – Nov. 18

    Learn the best time to prune stone fruit trees, citrus trees and avocado trees in Southern California. Isabel Barkman, who has been a UCCE Orange County Master Gardener since 1999, will cover the basics of pruning and discuss why the pruning season in Southern California is different than the rest of the country. $5 includes materials. 

    Make It, Take It: Food Preservation –Holiday Pepper Jelly – Dec. 2

    This workshop is an introductory hands-on lesson teaching waterbath and steam canning methods and safety standards of canning high acid foods. OC Fair & Event Center’s Culinary Supervisor Pam Wnuck will demo how to make a holiday pepper jelly to enjoy later, give as a gift or enter in the 2018 OC Fair competitions. Each participant will take home what they make in class. Ages 9 and up are welcome in this class, but children must be accompanied by an adult. $25 includes materials, but participants must bring three half-pint (8 ounce) canning jars with lids and bands. 

    Make It, Take It: Winter Wreaths – Dec. 9 & 16

    Nancy Claxton will demo how to make a winter wreath from fresh greens. $20 includes materials and handouts.

    To register for any of the garden classes offered at Centennial Farm, use the form at http://ocfair.com/community-programs/centennial-farm/garden-classes/. Classes are intended for participants 16 years and older unless otherwise noted. Each class is generally about 1.5 to 2 hours and take place in the Silo Building at Centennial Farm, 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa. 

  • September 28, 2017 (3:39 pm)

    Heroes Hall to close Oct. 2-13 in preparation for new exhibit

    Heroes Hall will be closed Oct. 2-13 in order to make room for a photography exhibit, Kimberly Millett’s Operation Iraqi Freedom, debuting Oct. 14.

    September will be the last month to view The Things They Carried, one of the veterans museum’s first exhibitions since its opening in February 2017. 

    The Things They Carried is loosely based on the book by Tim O’Brien and offers a glimpse into veterans’ personal experiences of war. Working in conjunction with local veterans groups, the stories of Orange County veterans are gathered and told through the personal objects they carried into conflict. The exhibition consists of objects that individual veterans carried with them as well as film, audio, photography, text and art.

    Heroes Hall is open daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m, except Oct. 2-13, 2017. Admission is free. For more information, visit ocfair.com/heroeshall.

  • August 16, 2017 (2:23 pm)

    Agricultural Workers Memorial unveiling is Aug. 25

    On Aug. 25, OC Fair & Event Center will officially unveil Table of Dignity, the newly renovated agricultural workers memorial. The public art piece commemorates the contributions of agricultural workers to the growth and prosperity of Orange County.

    The memorial was designed as a restful place for guests to gather and celebrate the beauty and abundance created by those who have worked in the fields and on the farms of Orange County.

    The memorial is comprised of three key design elements: two large-scale entry portals made of rammed earth (creating the impression of free-standing walls), a central sculptural table made of a large boulder and a single-cut tree slab (designed to commemorate agricultural workers’ contributions of food on our tables), and a perimeter bench constructed of large timber surrounding the landscape. A grape arbor stretching above the memorial is growing to create a shady place for visitors to pause and reflect.

    New additions to the memorial include plaques explaining the meaning and intention of the Table of Dignity and the names of OC Fair board members recognizing their dedication to the project. The arbor and additional seating have been added to the original design and the rammed earth walls have been renovated and stabilized.

    The unveiling of the memorial will be held on Aug. 25 at 10 a.m. at the east end of Centennial Farm. Admission is free. Please RSVP at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/table-of-dignity-unveiling-tickets-36801894457.