• Monday, July 24, 2023 (9:00 am)

    2023 OC Fair is in full swing! There is so much fun for kids and so much is FREE!

    COSTA MESA (July 24, 2023) – The OC Fair always brings the fun and we know that families count on making summer memories when they visit. Here are some tips for a great trip to the Fair with kids:

    Explorium adventure: Located in OC Promenade, the Explorium area for kids has been transformed into a fun and informative Bug Bizarre. Explore this year’s Bug Bizarre Exhibit where touchable displays and hands-on demonstrations will immerse you into the exotic world of bugs! Visitors will also have the chance to learn from an expert entomologist about these critters’ intricate ecosystems, ecological importance and how different cultures utilize insects in their daily lives.

    Daily crafts, contests and games are at the adjacent Promenade Stage. See the 2023 OC Fair app or visit ocfair.com/oc-fair/things-to-do/activities/ for a daily schedule.

    Read & Ride + carnival: Of course the kids will want to go on rides, and what better way to motivate them beforehand than with the Read & Ride program. Kids ages 5-11 can earn two free carnival rides by reading three books and writing (or drawing) a short summary. Use the form at ocfair.com/readandride and turn it in to the RCS guest services booth in the main carnival area. And families can snap photos of the kids with those giant stuffed animals! Here’s all the info on carnival rides and games: ocfair.com/oc-fair/things-to-do/carnival/

    Painted faces and smiling faces: There are two face painting booths where Fairgoers can be transformed into superheroes, favorite animals or flower-festooned fairies. Also look for henna and festival glitter booths for more temporary body art. Don’t forget to stop by one of the photo booths to capture those happy moments.

    Animals you can touch or watch: The Great American Petting Farm is the place to be if the kids are obsessed with animals. Located next to Green Gate, this petting zoo is full of animals that are far from shy – in fact, they’ll follow you around all day if you let them! Don’t forget to stop by Centennial Farm as well, OC Fair’s year-round working farm that features goats, cows, bunnies and brand-new piglets that were recently born!

    Animals you can cheer on: One of the Fair’s most popular attractions is the All-Alaskan Pig Races, located this year in the Plaza Pacifica area. The races are a hoot for all ages, and take place daily. Plus, the Oasis Camel Dairy exhibit will be in the livestock area for the final two weeks of the Fair and families can watch the babies and learn all about these exotic creatures.

    Entertainment: Magician Frank Thurston puts on kid-friendly shows daily in OC Promenade and there are local performers of all ages on community stages during the day. Roving entertainers include the Red Light Brass Band, Veekay the clown and others delighting guests as they move throughout the Fair. The OC Fair’s own costumed characters, The Foodies, Oliva Orange, Strawberry Jan, Sunny Lemon, Arturo Churro and Cornelius Corn are at the giant OC Fair letters and outside The Hangar daily for picture opportunities.

    New this year: The Flying Royals, located near Green Gate, thrill Fairgoers with their aerial acrobatics and daring feats way up high. Shows take place every 30 minutes. Back this year – the splash fountain in front of The Hangar is back on!

    Food and treats: $4 Taste of the Fair Food is offered on Thursdays until 4 p.m., giving Fairgoers a chance to try select samples of food from every vendor for just $4 each – and these are the perfect size for the kids as well! It’s a great way to try the foods without filling up on too much sugar. To just look at sugar, check out the sugar arts winners on display in the OC Promenade – the cakes are amazing. Many food options are great for sharing and there are several take-and-bake choices or buckets of goodies to bring home.

    Arts & crafts: Stop by the tent in front of Heroes Hall so the kids can color postcards for veterans and troops while they learn all about the sacrifice our servicemen and servicewomen make every day. In the Visual Arts Building kids and adults can see all the blue ribbon-winning competition entries that include youth project divisions. It’s always fun to look at the woodworking, quilts and more in the home arts area. And this is the perfect spot to cool off during the day. Look for special entries from local Girl Scout troops.

    Shop for fun: The shopping buildings located in the Main Mall have some toy booths and fun options, plus plenty of family items for purchase. There are also great shopping options in Crafters Village where artisan and other shops sell everything from fossils to sun hats.

    Bonus! Here are 5 tips for parents and families:

    Photo ops: There are classic photo booths as well as several cutouts throughout the Fairgrounds. There is a great concentration of these in the OC Promenade. Also check food vendors like Eddie’s Asian Inspired Cuisine and Australian Battered Potatoes for more cutouts.

    Baby changing station: Located to the left of The Hangar building and behind the west end of the Sky Ride.

    No lines in the mornings: The Fair opens at 11 a.m. and parking is a breeze, no lines for rides and games and there is plenty of elbow room.

    What to bring: Bring along your wagon, snacks, extra baggies for leftover Fair food and a soft-sided cooler to keep it all fresh. Factory-sealed water bottles are OK as are refillable water bottles that can be filled at our water stations.

    Safety: Find a landmark and designate it as a meeting place if you plan on separating. Be aware that the Guest Services and Lost & Found offices are located to the left of The Hangar building.

    Key things to know about the 2023 OC Fair:

    · A limited number of tickets are available each day – some days are selling out

    · Advance online ticket sales only – no transaction fees

    · Tickets are good only for the date purchased; please choose dates carefully – no refunds

    · Same-day Fair admission is included with tickets to concerts during the Fair

    · OC Fair is not currently planning to increase capacity which is capped at 45,000 daily

    · Masks are required indoors for unvaccinated guests

    Tickets are $13 weekday general admission (Wednesday, Thursday) and $15 weekend general admission (Friday, Saturday, Sunday). Admission for seniors (60+) and youth (ages 6-12) is $9 every day and children 5 and younger are free.

    The 2023 OC Fair mobile app is now available with information on daily activities as well as a map, news & information and tickets. Search for “ocfair 2023” in your app store.

    The Fair will open each day at 11 a.m. and close at 11 p.m. except on Fridays and Saturdays, when it closes at midnight.

    General parking is $12, $24 for buses and limos, credit card only. Carnival tickets are also on sale now so Fairgoers can skip the ticket booths, and tickets for concerts in The Hangar and Pacific Amphitheatre can be found at ocfair.com/entertainment.

  • Monday, July 10, 2023 (2:54 pm)

    2023 OC Fair runs through Aug. 13 – What’s free with Fair admission?

    COSTA MESA (July 10, 2023) – OC Fair fans have been waiting all year for the return of summer’s best party – and it starts this Friday. Here are some awesome things that are free with Fair admission.

    For a full OC Fair schedule, visit ocfair.com, or download the 2023 OC Fair app. Advance tickets are again required – no fees – and daily capacity is limited. The Fair runs July 14-Aug. 13.

    NEW! The Flying Royals – near Green Gate
    Comedy hypnotist Mark Yuzuik – nightly in Plaza Pacifica
    The Magic of Frank Thurston – daily in OC Promenade
    Roving entertainment including the OC Fair Foodies costumed characters, Red Light Brass Band and Ellas mariachi group – throughout the Fairgrounds
    Community entertainment featuring local music groups, dance troops and more – daily on three stages
    Live band karaoke – nightly in Plaza Pacifica
    Live music – nightly in Baja Bar and Grill
    Latin music and dancing – nightly in La Cantina
    The Hangar and Action Sports Arena – performances accessible via standing room with Fair admission (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

    FEATURED EXHIBIT – The Art of Music: This exhibit showcases hand-painted large scale reproductions of album covers, renderings of legendary musicians, neon signs and displays and more
    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 and displays – daily in Visual Arts Gallery

    Explorium kids’ learning and 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
    Kids’ carnival area

    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
    • Advance ticket purchase is required – days will sell out – get tickets at ocfair.com for the days you want to attend.
    • The Fair will be open Wednesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday and 11 a.m. to midnight weekends (Friday and Saturday).
    • General admission is $13 on weekdays (Wednesday, Thursday) and $15 general admission on weekends (Friday, Saturday and Sunday). Tickets for seniors 60+ and kids 6-12 are $9 all days.
    • Parking is $12 for cars and motorcycles and $24 for buses and limos.
    • 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 $44. 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. Prices increase after July 13. Carnival ride and game tickets can also be bought online now. 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.

  • Friday, June 30, 2023 (9:36 am)

    Take our survey

    Community input is important to us! Please take this short survey about ticket purchasing to help OC Fair & Event Center improve. 

    Take the survey now!

  • (9:36 am)

    New food is on the way to the 2023 OC Fair – plus all the crazy treats that guests crave

    COSTA MESA (June 30, 2023) – Concessionaires have been working hard to create even more unusual and tasty food to serve to adventurous and hungry guests at the 2023 OC Fair.

    The theme this year is “Happy Together” and the dates are July 14 to Aug. 13, Wednesday through Sunday.

    Here is what these fairway gourmets have been cooking up:

    OC Fair exclusives
    • Candied Bacon-Wrapped Pork Belly Bites – Bacon-A-Fair
    • Campfire Breakfast on a Bun – Ten Pound Buns
    • Mediterranean Bowl – Chicken Charlie’s
    • Fruit Pizza – Bangin’ Berries
    • Pineapple Whip Dumplings with Fruit Rollups – Swirl
    • Eggroll Turkey Dog – Pink’s
    • Ice Cream Sundae Flight – Sweets by Cardinali
    • New vegan and vegetarian options – California Grill
    • Double Trouble dual ice cream cone – Swirl
    • Hot Cheetos Cheese Chicken on a Stick – Biggy’s
    • Maple Bacon Smoothie – Bacon-A-Fair
    • Frozen Grapes with Tajin and Fruit Rollup on a Stick – Swirl
    • Mini Pies: Strawberry, apple and peach – Bangin’ Berries
    New at OC Fair
    • Bucket of Cookie Dough to Go – Cathy’s Cookies
    • Nacho Average Cheeseburger Fries – Tasti Burger
    • Mazapan Funnel Cake – Dutchmen’s Funnel Cake
    • Hot Cheetos Pickle Pizza – Biggy’s
    • Maui Chicken Sliders – Chicken Charlie’s
    • Cap’n Crunch Churros – Swirl
    • Tasti Papas Locas – Tasti Chips
    • Deep-Fried S’mores – Chicken Charlie’s
    • Pina Colada Shake – Sweets by Cardinali
    • Oreo Churros – Dutchmen’s Funnel Cake
    • New flavor ICEE Cherry ‘n’ Blue Razz Ice – dippin’ dots
    • NEW STAND – Fair Pretzels, Country Lane
    • NEW STAND – Western Saloon, Livestock Lane
    Returning Fair favorites
    • Australian Battered Potatoes
    • Bangin’ Berries (new stand name)
    • Papi’s Puffy Tacos
    • Fabe’s Churros and Gelato
    • Pepe’s Mariscos Fresh Mexican Seafood
    • Northgate Market Guacamole Stand
    • MoonGoat Coffee
    • Turkey legs – various locations
    • Michelaugas and aguas frescas – various locations
    • Cotton candy, candied apples, kettle corn, popcorn – various locations
    • Ice cream, milkshakes, smoothies, floats – various locations
    • Deep-fried treats on a stick – various locations
    • Hotdogs, corndogs, hamburgers, fries, pizza – various locations
    • Funnel cakes, donuts, cinnamon rolls – various locations
    • Nachos, chicken bowls, roasted corn, baked potatoes – various locations

    … and more!

    Many of these treats will be available to sample during $4 Taste of Fair happening each Thursday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. View the menus here.

    The basics – what to know before you go

    OC Fair runs July 14-Aug. 13

    Advance ticket purchase will again be required for admission to summer’s best event, which will be open Wednesday through Sunday with limited daily capacity. Hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday, and 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday. Guests are encouraged to buy tickets for the specific days they want to attend as soon as possible – days will sell out. Visit ocfair.com/tickets – there are no fees on admission tickets.

    OC Fair ticket prices are $13 general admission Wednesday and Thursday and $15 Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Tickets for seniors 60+ and kids 6-12 are $9 all days; children 5 and under are free. Parking is $12 for cars and motorcycles and $24 for buses and limos.

    New this year, the Every Day Passport gives Fairgoers access any day – or every day – to all 23 days of the OC Fair for $60 with no restrictions or blackout days. Supplies are limited. Learn more at ocfair.com/everydaypass/.

    The 2023 OC Fair app is on its way – download for tickets, events, food, shopping, maps and more! Go to ocfair.com/fair or your app store.

    For more information, visit ocfair.com.

    Photos and video for media use are available here.

  • Wednesday, June 28, 2023 (4:06 pm)

    What’s going on at the OC Fairgrounds in July

    I think we can all agree the hottest ticket in town is the 2023 OC Fair! The Fair promises to bring everything from cute, cuddly animals to thrilling shows, exhibits and entertainment. There’s something for everyone in the lineup that will surely keep you and the family coming back for more. But don’t forget to join us for the City of Costa Mesa’s Independence Day Community Celebration happening pre-Fair. And, of course, we’re working to keep the party going post-Fair with some exciting events and exhibits in the fall. Whether pre-, during or post-Fair we can’t wait to host your good time.

    See you on the Fairgrounds!


    2023 OC Fair Tickets

    Tickets are on sale now at ocfair.com/tickets. Advance admission purchase is required, please choose dates carefully as there are no refunds or exchanges. Buy now – days will sell out. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster. Our on-site box office will sell admission tickets only until July 13. Tickets will not be available at entry gates during the Fair. There are no transaction fees for admission tickets. Do not purchase tickets elsewhere as they may not be valid. 



    New for 2023 is the Every Day Passport. Now, you can enjoy the Fair any day or every day – no restrictions or blackout dates!

    The Every Day Passport is available for $60. Availability is limited and the offer is valid only while supplies last. To purchase, visit ocfair.com/everydaypass/.


    TNT Fireworks Stand, June 30 – July 4

    Costa Mesa High School Baseball is selling safe and sane TNT fireworks.
    When:  June 30 – July 4, hours vary by day.
    June 30, Noon – 10 p.m.
    July 1 – 3, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
    July 4, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
    Where: OC Fair & Event Center – Lot E
    How much: Free admission and parking. Firework prices vary. 
    More info: Visit Costa Mesa High School Baseball

    Independence Day Community Celebration, July 3

    What better way to commemorate America’s 247th birthday than with an Independence Day Community Celebration! The festivities include free entry, activities and a firework show. Bring your picnic, lawn chairs and blanket and create a memorable evening as we celebrate our nation’s independence.

    Food and drinks will be available. Glass containers and bottles are prohibited. No hard-sided coolers or outside alcohol permitted.

    When: Monday, July 3, 5 – 11 p.m.
    Firework show starts at 9:30 p.m.
    Where: OC Fair & Event Center – Lot A
    How much: Free admission and parking.
    More info: Visit City of Costa Mesa 


    2023 OC Fair – Happy Together, July 14 – Aug. 13

    We are thrilled to welcome everyone back for the 2023 OC Fair, “Happy Together.” Get ready for 23 days of fun-filled live entertainment, exhibits, food, carnival rides, shopping and more!

    When: July 14 – Aug. 13
    Wednesday, Thursday, Sunday: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
    Friday & Saturday: 11 a.m. – midnight
    Where: OC Fair & Event Center
    How much:
    $13 general admission on Wednesday & Thursday
    $15 general admission on Friday, Saturday & Sunday
    $9 seniors 60+ and kids 6-12 every day
    Free for kids ages 5 and younger
    Parking is $12 for cars and motorcycles, $24 for buses and limos
    More information: Visit 2023 OC Fair

    Entertainment during the 2023 OC Fair

    Pacific Amphitheatre

    Pacific Amphitheatre is celebrating its 40th anniversary and delivering entertainment you don’t want to miss. Performances include comedians Gabriel Iglesias and Jeff Dunham, concerts by Beck, Ne-Yo, War, George Thorogood, Rebelution, Los Tucanes de Tijuana, -X-, Stephen Marley, Cheap Trick, Bee Gees Gold, The Green, Dwight Yoakam, 3 Doors Down, Yung Gravy, Ziggy Marley, The Fab Four, Styx, Chicago, Gerardo Ortiz, Smokey Robinson, Midland, Ramon Ayala, AJR, Common Kings and Sweet & Tender Hooligans.

    When: July 1 – Sept. 2
    Where: OC Fair & Event Center – Pacific Amphitheatre
    How much: Varies by performer and seating selection
    More info: Visit Pacific Amphitheatre


    The Hangar

    In The Hangar, tribute bands Dead Man’s Party, Twisted Gypsy, Devotional, Journey Unauthorized, Wild Child, Don’t Look Back, Sweet Home Alabama, Zeppelin Live, Elton: The Early Years, Yachty By Nature, Ticket to the Moon, 24K Magic!, Red Corvette, Which One’s Pink?, Start Making Sense, Damage Inc., Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers, The Beatles vs The Stones and Queen Nation join Mariachi Sol de Mexico de Jose Hernandez and Spencer Sutherland over the course of the Fair.

    When: July 14 – Aug. 13

    Where: OC Fair & Event Center – The Hangar

    How much: Varies by performer and seating selection

    More info: Visit OC Fair


    Action Sports Arena

    Non-stop adrenaline is scheduled in Action Sports Arena with Monster Truck Nitro, demolition derbies, rodeos, charros and more taking over. There’s sure to be something to keep everyone entertained.

    When: July 14 – Aug. 12

    Where: OC Fair & Event Center – Action Sports Arena

    How much: Varies by performer and seating selection

    More info: Visit OC Fair

    * Entertainment tickets include same-day Fair admission for shows

    happening July 14 – Aug. 13.


    Exhibits during the 2023 OC Fair

    ‘Armed Only With A Camera’

    The World War II Photography of Stanley Troutman is now on display at Heroes Hall. Troutman served his country by photographing the war in the South Pacific Theater including the devastated cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    When: Through Sept. 2023

    Where: Heroes Hall is next to Centennial Farm

    How much: Included with Fair admission

    More info: Visit Heroes Hall


    Junior Livestock Auction

    For a classic fair experience visit OC Fair’s Livestock Show Ring and view the Junior Livestock Auction! OC Fair’s annual Junior Livestock Auction supports 4-H and FFA agriculture education programs throughout Orange County. Bidding at the OC Fair will be in person with add-on contributions online only. Market shows will be held in person and viewing will be available during OC Fair public hours.

    When: Saturday, July 22, auction begins at 10 a.m.

    Where: OC Fair & Event Center – Livestock Showring

    How much: Included with Fair admission

    More info: Visit Junior Livestock Auction


    The Art of Music Experience

    An experiential exhibit that inspires people of all ages to discover, explore and appreciate the stories and creators behind album cover art.

    Embark on an immersive journey through a series of themed gallery and vendor environments, flip through bins of vinyl records at a pop-up independent record store, watch live painting of album cover art, rank your favorite album cover and more.

    When: July 14 – Aug. 13

    Where: OC Fair & Event Center – Huntington Beach Building

    How much: Included with Fair admission

    More info: Visit Exhibits


    The SAAAB Story

    The SAAAB (Santa Ana Army Air Base) Story exhibition celebrates the history of the flight training center, its contribution to the war effort, the servicemembers that served here and its role in the development of the growth of Orange County through film, photographs, maps, oral histories, works of art and ephemera. 

    When: Ongoing

    Where: Heroes Hall is next to Centennial Farm

    How much: Included with Fair admission

    More info: Visit Heroes Hall


    Ongoing at the OC Fair & Event Center

    Farmers Market every Thursday

    Shop local at this OC Farm Bureau-certified farmers market featuring produce, fresh flowers, fish, hummus, honey, hot sauce and more. Some vendors also sell hot food for lunch such as tamales and tacos/burritos. 

    Hours: Thursdays, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

    Where on the fairgrounds: Outdoors in Lot D

    How much: Free admission and parking; let parking attendant know you are going to the Farmers Market.

    More info: Visit OC Farm Bureau 


    Centennial Farm Pig Cam

    Want to keep tabs on our pigs during the Fair? Watch the Centennial farm pigs LIVE on our official Pig Cam and see what these adorable animals are up to!

    More info: Visit Centennial Farm Pig Cam


    Coming up in August

    OC Fair Fun Run 5K, Aug. 6

    Run, walk or skip through the OC Fair!

    When: Sunday, Aug. 6, 8 – 11 a.m.


    Bib pickup: 6 – 7:40 a.m.

    Race begins: 8 a.m.

    Where: OC Fair & Event Center

    How much: $45 until July 13, $25 for youth 6-12, $10 for kids 5 and under.

    More info: Visit OC Fair Fun Run 5K


    Fight Club OC, Aug. 24

    Welcome to Fight Club OC, a hybrid boxing and MMA fight series that does six shows a year. With three high definition cameras always on the action and an LED HD video board with instant replay, we’ll sell you the seat, but you need to bring the edge.

    When: Thursday, Aug. 24, 5:30 – 10 p.m.


    Baja Bar & Grill happy hour 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.

    Hangar doors open at 6 p.m.

    First fight 7 p.m.

    Where: OC Fair & Event Center – The Hangar

    How much: General admission is $65. Parking is $12. 

    More info: Visit Fight Club OC


    Gem Faire, Aug. 25-27

    The largest jewelry & bead show in SoCal. Shop fine jewelry, precious and semi-precious gemstones, millions of beads, crystals, gold and silver, pearls, minerals, fossils and much more at manufacturer’s prices. Jewelry repair and cleaning while you shop.

    When: Aug. 25 – 27, 2023


    Friday: Noon – 6 p.m.

    Saturday: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

    Sunday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. 

    No admittance after 4 p.m. Sunday.

    Where: OC Fair & Event Center – Santa Ana Pavilion, Costa Mesa Building

    How much: General admission is $11. Parking is $12.

    More info: Visit Gem Faire

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