Category Archives: Centennial Farm

  • 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 ocfair.com.

    “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.

     

  • November 4, 2020 (9:53 am)

    OC Fair & Event Center now using goats as landscapers in challenging areas

    They are quite the sight at OC Fair & Event Center, a herd of 18 Angora goats chomping away at weeds while their trusty miniature donkey guards keep watch.

    The animals are hard at work solving problems by clearing weeds and improving the soil on the berm around Pacific Amphitheatre.

    “The berm is a challenging area for our landscaping crew and the goats are the perfect solution, but we do have some coyotes around the property so the two miniature donkeys will help protect the herd,” said Barbara Gregerson, OC Fair & Event Center’s Landscape Supervisor. “Not only will the goats and donkeys eat the vegetation, they will fertilize and break up the soil, preparing it for planting.”

    Gregerson developed the animal landscaping program to reduce erosion, maximize water filtration and improve the resilience of the soil. Once the soil improves, the ultimate goal is to create a diverse habitat of California native plants that invite birds, butterflies and other pollinators.

    The berm has been divided into quadrants where the animals will be rotated to evenly work the land. In addition to the weeds and grasses on the berm, the goats will have shelter, water and supplemental feed to ensure they are getting a well-rounded diet. They will also receive regular veterinary care like the animals that reside year-round at nearby Centennial Farm.

    The goats and miniature donkeys are on loan from Eureka Mohair Farm in Tollhouse, CA, a longtime competitor in the annual OC Fair livestock competitions. They will be on the property through December and will return in March and work until the annual OC Fair in July. The plan is then to have the animal landscapers back again in September through December 2021 and continue the pattern for a couple of years.

    The annual cost of the program is almost the same as using traditional landscapers. There were fencing and shelter costs to get the program up and running and OC Fair & Event Center will cover feed and veterinary care for the animals in exchange for their labor. Gregerson says the expenses basically even out.

    Centennial Farm and Heroes Hall veterans museum are reopening to the public tomorrow, Nov. 3. Hours are Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Free admission and parking; masks and reservations are required. To reserve a time to visit Centennial Farm and Heroes Hall, go to ocfair.com/reservations.

    Visitors to Centennial Farm and Heroes Hall may catch a glimpse of the goats donkeys at work on the berm, but there is no public viewing area at this time.

  • October 28, 2020 (11:21 am)

    Centennial Farm and Heroes Hall veterans museum ready to reopen on Nov. 3

    Centennial Farm and Heroes Hall veterans museum at OC Fair & Event Center are set to reopen to the public on Tuesday, Nov. 3. Visitors must make a reservation in advance.

    Centennial Farm and Heroes Hall will both be open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (last reservation accepted at 2 p.m.; group will be allowed to stay until 3 p.m.). Parking is free and available through Gate 1 off of Fair Drive in Costa Mesa. Admission to both venues is free and masks are required.

    “We are very excited to welcome our guests back to Centennial Farm and Heroes Hall,” said Michele Richards, OC Fair & Event Center CEO. “These venues are really the heart and soul of our fairgrounds year-round and we have all missed doing what we do best – educating and entertaining. I know our animals at the Farm are especially anxious to see visitors again.”

    This will be the first chance for visitors to see the new exhibit at Heroes Hall, Private Charles J. Miller: WWII Paintings from the South Pacific. Through his watercolor paintings and sketches, Miller, of the U.S. Army, shares his story of a soldier’s experience during World War II in the South Pacific. He used limited resources – from large sheets of paper to the insides of cigarette cartons – to create powerful works of art. The exhibit is on loan from The Wright Museum of World War II in Wolfeboro, NH. To learn more, visit ocfair.com/exhibitions.

    OC Fair & Event Center’s top priority is the health and safety of guests and staff. Visitors will be required to make reservations in advance so the number of guests can be limited. No walkups will be permitted.

    Before entering, guests will check in at the Wellness Booth for temperature checks. Hand-sanitizing stations have been added and regular cleaning will be conducted throughout the day.

    To reserve a time to visit Centennial Farm and Heroes Hall, go to ocfair.com/reservations.

    Food or drinks are not allowed but bottled water or water in enclosed containers is permitted. More information can be found on the FAQ page.

  • 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

  • August 27, 2020 (4:10 pm)

    New farmers market program provides more fresh produce to low-income people in OC

    A new program to provide local families and individuals receiving CalFresh benefits with additional healthy produce is starting Sept. 3 at the Costa Mesa Certified Farmers Market at OC Fair & Event Center.

    The Market Match program provides nutrition incentives to help low-income residents stretch their CalFresh shopping dollars to afford more healthy, locally grown, fresh fruits and vegetables. As a direct result, the program also supports small- and mid-sized local farms and boosts the local economy.

    Thanks to a grant from the Gus Schumacher Incentive Program, those receiving CalFresh EBT (electronic benefits transfer) can use their cards to get more healthy food from the the Costa Mesa Certified Farmers Market held at OC Fair & Event Center.

    Participants can swipe their card at at the Market Manager’s Booth to receive up to an additional $20 in Market Match incentives per visit through the use of tokens/scrip.

    Matching funds can be spent on eligible CalFresh items such as fresh fruits and vegetables. CalFresh Market Match signs will be posted at the farmers market to help program participants navigate the offerings.

    The Costa Mesa Certified Farmers Market takes place each Thursday at OC Fair & Event Center from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in front of the Pacific Amphitheatre box office in Lot D.

    The Centennial Farm Foundation was organized in 1991 to support educational programs at the farm and to solicit and disburse funds to operate Centennial Farm and other agriculturally and youth-related education programs and exhibits of OC Fair & Event Center. For more information, visit https://ocfair.com/community-programs/centennial-farm/centennial-farm-foundation/

    For more information on the Orange County Farm Bureau, visit https://www.ocfarmbureau.org/

  • July 25, 2020 (11:30 am)

    How to make a terrarium at home

    Our friend Barbara, who is in charge of the landscaping on the fairgrounds, is here today to teach you how to put together a cute little terrarium at home!

    If you make a terrarium at home with your kids, take a pic and show them off – we’d love to see them!

    What you need: clamshell, pea gravel, horticultural charcoal, potting soil, worm castings, a variety of small succulents, and decorations such as sand, reindeer moss and trinkets.

    We put together an Amazon shopping list for anyone who’s starting from scratch (or just needs a couple of items): https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/VCUFF0CZIZ1H?ref_=wl_share

  • July 23, 2020 (5:00 pm)

    Learn about angora goats and mohair

    Our friends at Eureka Mohair Farm have been showing their goats at the annual OC Fair for a long time. In fact, some of their goats are at Centennial Farm! Allen has a few fun facts about angora goats for you.

  • July 21, 2020 (11:00 am)

    Cow milking demonstration at the farm

    In the big red barn at Centennial Farm during the annual OC Fair, our farm staff give cow milking demonstrations throughout the day. Here are some fun facts and a peek at how cow milking is done!

  • July 19, 2020 (4:00 pm)

    Take a virtual tour of Centennial Farm

    We took our mascot Olivia the Orange on a tour of Centennial Farm! Did you know our farm is a real working farm? We grow crops and have lots of animals including pigs, goats, cows and chickens. Our friend Evy has lots of fun facts to share with you.

  • 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 ocfair.com 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 ocfair.com/refunds.

    “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.”