Category Archives: Centennial Farm

  • April 7, 2022 (3:05 pm)

    Imaginology is this weekend!

    Imaginology returns in person this Saturday and Sunday, April 9-10! We’ve got a packed schedule of take-home crafts, science experiments, live performances by local entertainers, youth competitions and more.

    The free two-day event gives students the chance to explore careers in the S.T.E.A.M. fields –that’s science, technology, engineering, arts and math – as well as agriculture education.

    After being canceled in 2020 and going virtual in 2021, this year the family fest returns IN PERSON with activities and entertainment for kids of all ages.

    Programming includes:

    Science exploration

    Local exhibitors like Compass Charter Schools, YMCA of Orange County and Gemology will provide hands-on experimenting. Plus, try a little physical science with activities like hula hoops, Recess Revolution’s free-play area, or Heroes Hall Museum’s Fort Blisters Boot Camp.

    Tech lessons

    The Coder School and National College Resources Foundation will be on hand to talk about the future and the history of computers. Plus, OC Fair has a fun augmented reality activity in which kids can make their own coloring page come alive!

    Engineering playtime

    From woodcarving and scroll saws to Rigamajigs and module trains, there will be plenty to put together at Imaginology. Harbor Soaring Society will host aerospace adventures, Brain Builders will show off robots and LEGOs and Imaginology’s cardboard engineering competition will be on display.

    Arts in crafts, displays and more

    Local entertainers such as dance groups, DJs and music groups will provide live entertainment at the Main Stage. There is also a plethora of hands-on crafting – many of which come with a take-home project! Plus, Imaginology’s mural competition will be on display.

    Math by way of strategy

    We can find math in just about everything (like having students count out the cash for a burger and brat!). But logic and mathematical reasoning is the way to win at chess, and the local Academic Chess chapter will host their annual Tournament of Champions on Saturday from 12:30 to 4 p.m. Registration is $30 at strategickids.com.

    Agricultural education

    Livestock competitions and exhibits will be on display throughout Imaginology. Plus, OC Fair & Event Center’s year-round Centennial Farm will feature activities such as radish seed planting, a terrarium makeshop, oxen demos and more – and don’t miss a peek at the piglets born March 16. There will also be blacksmithing demonstrations at the Farm.

    When: Saturday and Sunday, April 9-10, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
    How much: Admission is free and most activities are included. Parking is $10. Food will be available for purchase.

    For more information including a full list of exhibitors and food that will be available, visit ocfair.com/steam.

  • November 14, 2021 (3:29 pm)

    Discovery Days are back at Centennial Farm

    Want to spend a fun morning at the farm? Discovery Days are the perfect opportunity to learn all about agriculture and really get to know Centennial Farm.

    Discovery Days are open to the public and are perfect for mom groups, homeschool groups and more. Groups may participate in the following activities:

          • Self-Guided Tours: Volunteers are present to provide information.
          • Radish Seed Planting: Children will plant a radish seed to take back to school or home.
          • Chick Education: Learn all about the chick development process.
          • Oxen Demonstration: Demonstration days vary depending on the volunteers’ schedules.
          • Crops Education: Seasonal varieties.
          • See Livestock Animals: Swine, goats, sheep, cattle, rabbits and poultry.

    Discovery Days are from 9 a.m. to noon on select dates, including: Nov. 16, Nov. 18, Dec. 1, Dec. 9 and Dec. 17. Reservations are required for groups of 10 or more and can be made at ocfair.com/discoveryday.


    MORE WAYS TO LEARN ABOUT AGRICULTURE

    We have online resources available so guests can learn all about the livestock and crops on the farm.

    Animal landscapers: Our team of angora goats – guarded by miniature donkeys, a llama and a Maremma guard dog – is out on the Pacific Amphitheatre berm now through December. Read all about them.

    Resident animals: From pigs and peafowl to oxen and chickens, Centennial Farm features a slew of animals year-round on the working farm. Read all about them and see photos.

    Crops: We’ve got rotating raised garden beds, rare fruit trees and more. Read all about them and see photos.

    Activity sheets : Staff has compiled farm-themed coloring pages, instruction sheets for harvesting seeds, various worksheets and more. Browse educational material.

     

  • 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!