Category Archives: Board of Directors

  • March 26, 2021 (12:08 pm)

    Fair Board pays tribute to Women’s History Month

    At yesterday’s OC Fair & Event Center Board of Directors meeting, CEO Michele Richards, representing the Community Affairs Committee, paid tribute to Women’s History Month.

    The presentation highlighted the contributions women have made to Orange County’s communities, education and heritage, and to agriculture throughout California.

    View the full presentation:

  • March 25, 2021 (11:08 am)

    Dates announced for 2021 OC Fair!

    Today the OC Fair announced dates for the much-anticipated annual event – July 16- Aug. 15. The theme is “Time for Fun,” celebrating the joy of the return of Southern California’s favorite summer festival.

    “We are grateful to plan for an exciting, and safe, OC Fair this year,” said OC Fair Board Chair Natalie Rubalcava-Garcia. “This milestone will allow the community to come together to celebrate the future and generate much-needed opportunities for economic development and growth in Orange County. The Board and staff have done a fantastic job of responsibly managing our finances and preparing to meet safe reopening guidelines to not just make it through the pandemic, but to emerge resilient and ready for 2021 and beyond.”

    OC Fair officials have been working closely with public health agencies to develop protocols to keep fairgoers safe while bringing back carnival rides, fair food, entertainment, competitions, animals and more to fair fans. The plans for the 2021 OC Fair are based on health agency projections for the summer, but could change if warranted by public health conditions.

    Advance ticket sales will be required and limited capacity will give fairgoers more elbow room. The number of concessions, rides and shopping vendors will be reduced and spaced out to provide more distance between each. Admission tickets will go on sale May 1 on

    “We have worked through many different scenarios for the 2021 OC Fair and we are so excited to move forward with this plan because it means that we really can bring back the fun, and that’s why I love this year’s theme,” said Michele Richards, OC Fair & Event Center CEO. “We want everyone to continue to follow health guidelines and get vaccinated so we can finally celebrate summer together again.”

    The Fair Board voted to keep ticket prices at the 2019 OC Fair rates, $12 general admission and $7 for children and seniors on weekdays (Wednesday, Thursday), and $14 general admission and $7 for children and seniors on weekends (Friday, Saturday and Sunday). The current plan is for the fair to be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, as it traditionally has been. There is a change to move Friday into weekend pricing and OC Fair will absorb the online ticket sale fees.

    Announcements regarding concerts in Pacific Amphitheatre and The Hangar will be coming soon.


  • March 23, 2021 (8:49 am)

    Statement on hate crimes from OC Fair & Event Center

    All senseless acts of hate and violence hurt our community. OC Fair & Event Center stands in solidarity with our guests, neighbors, employees and partners in the AAPI community. When members of our community are suffering, that impacts us all. We echo the resolution passed by our Board of Directors to denounce all acts of discrimination and violence, and will continue to work toward positive change and greater equality, diversity and inclusiveness throughout the community we celebrate.

  • February 26, 2021 (10:03 am)

    Board of Directors honors Black History Month

    At yesterday’s OC Fair & Event Center Board of Directors meeting, Directors Nick Kovacevich and Robert Ruiz, representing the Community Affairs Committee, paid tribute to Black History Month.

    The presentation highlighted the contributions the Black community has made to Orange County’s communities, education and heritage, and to agriculture throughout California.

    View the full presentation:

  • February 25, 2021 (5:10 pm)

    OC Fair Board reaffirms support of LGBTQ Pride Month and display of flag

    The OC Fair & Event Center Board of Directors today voted to reaffirm its support of the Board’s 2019 resolution regarding LGBTQ Pride Month and display of the rainbow LGBTQ Pride flag throughout the year.

    The Board and its Community Affairs Committee heard from dozens of members of the public at a special meeting on Jan. 20, via email, through the results of a public survey and at monthly Board meetings before bringing the matter up for a vote.

    The Board’s decision today is that the Pride flag will continue to fly at OCFEC along with the American, California State and OCFEC flags.

    “It is extremely important for OCFEC to ensure the Orange County community feel welcome at the fairgrounds regardless of their race, creed, sexual orientation or gender.  That’s why it was so important for the full board to discuss this and vote on our position with regard to the resolution,” said Board Chair Natalie Rubalcava-Garcia. “While the OC Fair Board of Directors could not make everyone happy with this vote, the Pride flag is a nationally accepted universal symbol of inclusion and represents all diverse groups of every culture.  All lives united.”

     The Community Affairs Committee will continue to work to find additional ways to represent members of Orange County’s diverse communities at OC Fair & Event Center.

  • September 24, 2020 (3:28 pm)

    Honoring Hispanic Heritage Month

    At today’s OC Fair & Event Center Board of Directors meeting, Director Natalie Rubalcava-Garcia honored the heritage of Hispanics in Orange County with a presentation highlighting many significant contributions in myriad fields, including agriculture and the military.

    We celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month alongside all who continue to nourish, lead and forge the way to the future.

    We look forward to reopening to the public soon and will invite everyone to visit the Table of Dignity near Centennial Farm and Heroes Hall and to support our agricultural partners.

    The Table of Dignity pays tribute to and exemplifies the struggles, perseverance and accomplishments of the many Hispanic workers who provide sustenance to our nation every day. At Heroes Hall, we tell the stories of veterans and show how their sacrifices have provided us with hard-fought freedom.

    Thanks to the offices of Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris, Congressman Harley Rouda and Senator John Moorlach who showed their support by presenting certificates during today’s meeting.

    View Director Rubalcava-Garcia’s presentation

  • (4:45 am)

    Rubalcava-Garcia named new Chair of OC Fair Board

    The OC Fair & Event Center Board of Directors named Natalie Rubalcava-Garcia as Chair and Doug LaBelle as Vice Chair at it’s Sept. 24 meeting.

    Rubalcava-Garcia, who previously served as Vice Chair, replaces Sandra Cervantes as Chair. She is COO of the Orange County Business Council, where she was vice president of investor relations from 2016 to 2018. Rubalcava-Garcia was associate publisher at the Southern California News Group in 2016 and held several positions at Freedom News Group and the Orange County Register from 2007 to 2016. She has served on the Board since 2018.

    LaBelle is retired and most recently served as City Manager for the City of Chino Hills from 1995 until 2009. Prior to that he served as City Manager for the City of Signal Hill and began his career in local government in 1964 with the City of Garden Grove and has worked in various administrative capacities for the cities of Cerritos, Huntington Beach, La Mesa and Marysville. He has been a Board member since 2010.

    Board officers typically serve one-year terms and are nominated for office by a committee of fellow Board members.

  • June 26, 2020 (10:39 am)

    OC Fair Board issues solidarity proclamation in support of the Black Community

    The OC Fair & Event Center Board of Directors unanimously issued a proclamation on June 25, 2020, in support of the Black Community and stands united against discrimination and committed to inclusion, diversity and equality.

    Recognizing this painful time for many members of our community, the Board voted to reaffirm its commitment to denounce discrimination or violence in any form.

    The following statement was approved at today’s Board of Directors meeting:

    Proclamation of the Board of Directors of the 32nd District Agricultural Association

    WHEREAS, the mission of the 32nd District Agricultural Association (the 32nd DAA) is the “Celebration of Orange County’s Communities, Interests and Heritage”; and

    WHEREAS, the 32nd DAA is against discrimination on the basis of race, creed, national origin, ancestry, religion, age, disability, political affiliation, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, or marital, parental or military status; and

    WHEREAS, the 32nd DAA condemns the deeply troubling actions that occurred in Minneapolis, Minnesota, which led to the inexcusable and senseless death of Mr. George Floyd; and the same troubling actions that have taken the lives of so many other Black men, women, boys and girls, even since Mr. Floyd; and

    WHEREAS, the 32nd DAA stands in solidarity with those that peacefully protest against violence, inequality and excessive force; and

    WHEREAS, the 32nd DAA recognizes the community is in turmoil, and looking to its leaders to affirm their commitment to inclusion, diversity, and equality; and

    WHEREAS, the 32nd DAA stands with the members of our Black Community and all people of color who have been ignored, marginalized and disenfranchised;

    NOW, THEREFORE, the Board of the 32nd District Agricultural Association hereby does proclaim on June 25, 2020, that it stands in solidarity with the Black
    Community and reaffirms its commitment to denounce discrimination or violence in any form.

  • May 15, 2020 (7:49 am)

    Gov. Newsom appoints Nicholas Kovacevich to OC Fair Board

    SACRAMENTO (May 14, 2020) – Gov. Gavin Newsom has announced that Nicholas Kovacevich, 34, of Newport Beach, has been appointed to the 32nd District Agricultural Association, Orange County Fair Board of Directors.

    Kovacevich has been chief executive officer of KushCo Holdings since 2014. He was chief operating officer for BigRentz Inc. from 2012 to 2014. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Kovacevich is a Democrat.

    View official announcement. 

  • April 27, 2020 (9:52 am)

    OC Fair Board cancels 2020 Fair due to pandemic

    The OC Fair & Event Center Board of Directors voted unanimously today to cancel the 2020 OC Fair, one of the most anticipated and enduring summer celebrations in Southern California for 130 years. The Board considered ongoing guidance and updated information from State and County health care and government officials about the status of the coronavirus pandemic and the improbability that mass gatherings like the OC Fair could safely and responsibly take place this summer.

    In addition to the regularly scheduled monthly meeting, the Board called a second April meeting specifically to review all options and discuss whether or not to move forward with the 2020 OC Fair. The action comes amid unprecedented community stay-at-home and social distancing orders and will protect guests, vendors and staff during the COVID-19 crisis.

    “The decision to cancel the 2020 OC Fair was not taken lightly by the Board. As Governor-appointed representatives the Board has a responsibility to provide a safe experience to the community-at-large, the hundreds of people who depend on county fairs for their livelihood, fairgoers and OC Fair staff,” said Board Chair Sandra Cervantes. “While many of our guests have expressed extreme disappointment over the idea of the 2020 Fair being canceled, we strongly believe it is the right thing to do in this current situation. However, we will keep the spirit of the OC Fair alive with virtual fair concepts such as contests, competitions, entertainment and concessions to bring the fair experience to guests through and social media.”

    The 23-day OC Fair welcomes more than 1.3 million fairgoers each year and has an estimated economic impact of $350 million annually. The Fair was canceled 1942-1947 during wartime, but otherwise has been a summer staple since 1890. Information on refunds for concert tickets and Super Passes that have already been purchased can be found at

    “We love the OC Fair as much as our guests do. And, while it’s disappointing that the Fair can’t take place this year, we fully support the Board’s decision,” said Michele Richards, OC Fair & Event Center CEO. “But please know OC Fair & Event Center will still be here to serve the community as we plan for the next OC Fair and the eventual return of our wonderful events.”