Category Archives: Latest news about the fairgrounds

  • April 11, 2022 (4:11 pm)

    Upcoming April events at OC Fair & Event Center

    ♦ Discovery Day at the Farm, April 14 & April 27
    Discovery Days at Centennial Farm are open to the public and perfect for group visits. Docents are on hand to answer questions during your self-guided tours and there will be extra activities to help students learn about agriculture.

    Hours: Thursday, April 14, and Tuesday, April 27, 9 a.m.-noon
    Where on the fairgrounds: Centennial Farm
    How much: Free admission and parking
    More info: See complete list of dates and reserve your spot at ocfair.com/discoveryday

    ♦ Fight Club OC, April 14
    Pro boxing and MMA bring live action to The Hangar.

    Hours: Thursday, April 14, 7 p.m.
    Where on the fairgrounds: The Hangar
    How much: $60 tickets, parking is $10.
    More info: Visit socafights.com

    ♦ Speaker Series: Mexican American Pilots of WWII, April 16
    Judge Frederick Aguirre will present a photographic display of 11 World War II bomber pilots. He will weave in statistics regarding the service of over 500,000 Mexican American service members in WWII and discuss the challenges they faced due to their Mexican heritage. This speaker series is in conjunction with the museum’s newest exhibit, Fighting for the Right to Fight: African American Experiences in WWII.

    Hours: Saturday, April 16, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
    Where on the fairgrounds: Heroes Hall Museum
    How much: Free admission and parking.
    More info: Registration is required and limited; go to ocfair.com/heroeshall/rsvp

    ♦ Bubble Run, April 16
    Participants run, walk, dance and play across 3 miles of rad real estate. Foam Bogs of colored suds are encountered along the course, bringing back memories of car washes and bathtub bubble beards.

    Hours: Saturday, April 16; check-in begins at 6 a.m.
    The Bubble Run has three separate start times (8, 9 and 10 a.m.). Please plan on arriving 60-90 minutes prior to wave start. Packet pickup is available at Road Runner Sports in Costa Mesa on Friday, April 15, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. (no fee). Race Day packet pickup at the OC Fairgrounds is also available ($5 cash-only fee).
    Where on the fairgrounds: Lots I and G
    How much: Free admission (event insurance purchase required, plus fees), parking is $10
    More info: Visit bubblerun.com

    ♦ Foam Glow, April 16
    Foam Glow 5K is a fun-filled experience exposing runners to Glowing Foam and a ton of blacklights all over the course. Glowing runners come from all different ages, shapes, sizes and speeds.

    Hours: Saturday, April 16, 7-10 p.m.; check-in starts at 5 p.m.
    Please plan on arriving 60-90 minutes prior to wave start. Packet pickup is available at Road Runner Sports in Costa Mesa on Friday, April 15, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. (no fee). Race Day packet pickup at the OC Fairgrounds is also available ($5 cash-only fee).
    Where on the fairgrounds: Lots I and G
    How much: Free admission (event insurance purchase required, plus fees), parking is $10
    More info: Visit foamglow.com

    ♦ The Original O.C. Swap Meet, April 23-24
    This event was created to provide a space for local small businesses and the community to come together in an outdoor setting. The swap meet showcases products and goods for all to buy and enjoy.

    Hours: Saturday & Sunday, April 23-24, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
    Where on the fairgrounds: Lot D
    How much: Free admission. Parking is $10.
    More info: Check instagram.com/ogocswapmeet, email ogswapmeet@gmail.com or call (949) 302-0355

    ♦ OC Fair Board of Directors meeting, April 28
    OC Fair’s Board of Directors typically meets monthly via Zoom and in person at OC Fair & Event Center. The agenda and location for this meeting will be available later in the month at ocfair.com/public-information/public-meetings.

    The public is invited to watch or participate in Board meetings via Zoom or in person. The meetings, which begin at 9:30 a.m., will also be recorded and posted on our website afterward.

    ♦ The SDCCU OC Marathon Running Festival, April 29-May 1
    Join us as we celebrate Orange County with the 18th Annual OC Running Festival. Event weekend includes OC Half Marathon, Full Marathon, Kids Run the OC and the Celebrate OC 5K – not to mention activations from various sponsors, and the celebrate OC festival!

    OC Lifestyle and Fitness Expo – Friday, April 29, 4 -8 p.m. & Saturday, April 30, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
    OC 5K & Kids Run the OC – Saturday, April 30, 5 p.m. (Finish Line Festival is 3-7 p.m.)
    SDCCU OC Marathon start – Sunday, May 1, 5:30 a.m.
    SDCCU OC Half Marathon start – Sunday, May 1, 6:15 a.m. (Finish Line Festival is 8 a.m.-noon)
    How much: Visit ocmarathon.com for registration fees. Admission to OC Lifestyle & Fitness Expo is free. Parking at OC Fair & Event Center is $10.

    Ongoing events at OC Fair & Event Center
    ♦ COVID testing – Open Monday-Friday
    Free COVID testing on the fairgrounds.

    Hours: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
    Where on the fairgrounds: Lot E (corner of Fairview and Arlington; enter at Gate 4)
    How much: Free drive-through COVID-19 testing
    More info: Make an appointment online. PCR test results take 24-48 hours.

    ♦ 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
    More info: Visit ocfarmbureau.org

    ♦ Heroes Hall Museum – Open Wednesday-Sunday
    Visit our museum to view the latest exhibits and learn about local veterans. The museum is currently closed for exhibit installation but will reopen on Feb. 16.

    Hours: Wednesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
    Where on the fairgrounds: Heroes Hall is next to Centennial Farm
    How much: Free admission and parking
    More info: Visit ocfair.com/heroeshall

    ♦ Centennial Farm – Open daily
    Visit our three-acre working farm, which features seasonal crops, farm animals and knowledgeable staff.

    Hours: Monday-Friday, 1-4 p.m.; Saturday & Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
    Where on the fairgrounds: Centennial Farm is on the south side of our property
    How much: Free admission and parking
    More info: Visit ocfair.com/centennialfarm

    Coming up in May
    ♦ 626 Night Market OC, May 6-8 & May 13-15
    626 Night Market is back at OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa, California. The iconic Californian festival features 200+ food, merchandise, crafts, arts, games, music and entertainment attractions in an epic event that appeals to all ages. Come happier and hungrier together with friends and family for the biggest reunion of the summer!

    When: May 6-8 and May 13-15
    Hours: Friday, 4-11 p.m.; Saturday & Sunday, 1-11 p.m.
    Where on the fairgrounds: OC Promenade, Lot G and Lot I
    How much: $5 admission plus fees; free for children 3 and younger. Parking is $10. Most vendors accept cash only; ATMs are available.
    More info: Visit 626 Night Market

    Also in May:
    ♦ AAOC Trade Show & Conference, May 5
    ♦ March for Babies Orange County, May 7
    ♦ California Sneaker Convention, May 7
    ♦ Gem Faire, May 13-15
    ♦ Garden Classes, May 14 & May 21
    ♦ SOS Wild & Crazy Taco Night, May 19
    ♦ Sand Sports Super SWAP, May 21
    ♦ Costa Mesa Speedway, May 21
    ♦ Scottish Fest, May 28-29

    View all events

  • 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.

  • February 16, 2022 (3:32 pm)

    OC Fair receives accolades in CDFA report for agriculture exhibit

    OC Fair was featured as a “Grant Spotlight” in the 2021 California Department of Food & Agriculture report for its new exhibit, California Fresh.

    The report mentions the backstory of the Specialty Crop Block Grand Program, which was originally granted to Cal Expo in 2020. The State Fair could not host their event in 2021, so Cal Expo granted a “subaward” to its Orange County counterpart – that’s us! 

    OC Fair’s Exhibits & Education team developed the exhibit and made it adaptable for display at Cal Expo as well. During the 2021 OC Fair, the exhibit was on display in the OC Promenade.

    The CDFA report says, “A tip of the hat to all involved, with CDFA’s thanks for making sure this project ended up where the public could enjoy it, even with all the hurdles the past few years have thrown in everyone’s way.”

    See the full 2021 CDFA report

  • December 27, 2021 (8:03 am)

    CEO Michele Richards named top influencer of 2021 by OC Register

    Congratulations to OC Fair & Event Center CEO Michele Richards on being named one of the most influential people of 2021  in Orange County by the OC Register.

    “Michele Richards

    As CEO of the OC Fair & Event Center, Richards helped shepherd the return of the OC Fair during the coronavirus pandemic with several sold-out dates. Even with caps on attendance, the fair turned a profit in 2021.”

    Read the full article:

    Most influential: Meet Orange County’s 125 top influencers for 2021

     

     

  • November 16, 2021 (8:00 am)

    Mid-month update: November 2021 events

    COVID Testing

    When: Mondays-Fridays, 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m., through Dec. 31 (closed Saturdays & Sundays)

    Where: OC Fair & Event Center – Lot E (corner of Fairview and Arlington; enter at Gate 4)

    How much: Free drive-through COVID-19 testing

    More infoMake an appointment online. PCR test results take 24-48 hours.


    Discovery Days at the Farm

    Discovery Days at Centennial Farm 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.
    • Chick Education: Learn 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.

    When: 9 a.m.-noon on the following dates
    Tuesday, November 16, 2021
    Thursday, November 18, 2021
    Wednesday, December 1, 2021
    Thursday, December 9, 2021
    Friday, December 17, 2021

    Where: OC Fair & Event Center – Centennial Farm

    How much: Free admission and parking

    More info: Open to all grade levels, as well as the general public. Reserve your spot online at ocfair.com/community-programs/centennial-farm/tours-and-reservations/self-guided-tours/


    Progressive IMS Outdoors – Southern California

    Experience the Ultimate Powersports Weekend at Progressive IMS Outdoors, the all-new version of Progressive International Motorcycle Shows. Grab your friends, get outside and ride! Take motorcycle demo rides from top manufacturers, 4-wheel offroad test rides, electric bicycle demos, learn-to-ride courses and put the kids on 2-wheels in the Kids Zone with Strider. See bikes, bikes and more bikes in the J&P Cycles Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Show and IMS Vintage collections. You can also meet the industry’s top brands, shop, enjoy live music, food and attractions.

    When: Friday, Nov. 19, 11:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 20, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; and Sunday, Nov. 21, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

    Where: OC Fair & Event Center

    How much: Tickets are available online, $20-$35. Kids 12 and younger are free. Parking is $10.

    More info: Go to motorcycleshows.com/southern-california


    Seasonal Adventures Christmas Tree Lot

    When: Open daily 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Nov. 26-Dec. 17

    Where: OC Fair & Event Center – Lot C (corner of Fair and Fairview)

    How much: Free admission and parking; tree prices vary

    More info: Visit seasonaladventures.com 


    Night of Lights OC

    After last year’s sold-out event, Night of Lights OC is back! Don’t miss a magical and interactive Winter Wonderland Drive-Thru Experience. From the safety and comfort of your own vehicle, guests will be guided through a mile-long course featuring:

    Over one million dazzling lights
    Themed holiday scenery & immersive vignettes
    Characters and dancers including Santa (through Dec. 24), Snow Princess, Toy Soldiers, Yeti, Snow Angels and more
    Animated light shows to music through your car radio
    Light tunnels
    Snow flurries and bubbles falling on your car!

    When: Nov. 26, 2021, through Jan. 2, 2022 
    Wednesdays, Thursdays & Sundays, 5-10 p.m.
    Fridays & Saturdays, 5-11 p.m.

    Where: OC Fair & Event Center 

    How much: Tickets per car start at $39 for general admission and $59 for VIP (early bird pricing, limited supply)

    More info: Visit NightofLightsOC.com, email Info@NightofLightsOC.com or call (657) 333-2520


    Crossroads of the West Gun Show

    When: Saturday, Nov. 27, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
                  Sunday, Nov. 28, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

    Where: OC Fair & Event Center – Lot I (enter at Gate 10 off Newport and park in Lots A & H) 

    How much: $18 two-day admission. $17 for seniors (65+) and military; children 12 and younger are free when accompanied by a parent or guardian. Parking is $10 daily, credit card only; the parking lot will be open one hour prior to event time.

    More information: Guests are strongly encouraged to purchase tickets online prior to the event. Visit crossroadsgunshows.com, call (801) 544-9125 or email gunshows@crossroadsgunshows.com


    The Original O.C. Swap Meet

    This event was created to provide a space for local small businesses and the community to come together in an outdoor setting. Showcasing products and goods for all to buy, with the thought of bringing common items and at times unique ones for all to enjoy.

    When: Saturday, Nov. 27, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

    Where: OC Fair & Event Center – NEW LOCATION! Enter the event at Green Gate, which is located on the north side of Pacific Amphitheatre

    How much: Free admission, $10 parking

    More info: Check instagram.com/ogocswapmeet, email ogswapmeet@gmail.com or call (949) 302-0355

  • August 25, 2021 (10:39 am)

    OC Fair & Event Center receives grant from SBA

    OC Fair & Event Center has been notified that it will receive a Shuttered Venue Operator Grant from the Small Business Administration of approximately $4.888 million.

    The grant will help to replace the revenue lost from 2020 when the OC Fair performances in The Hangar and Pacific Amphitheatre summer concert series were canceled.

    The SVOG grant money must be spent specifically on replacing the lost revenue and it will be earmarked to offset costs from the 2021 Hangar performances and Pacific Amphitheatre concert series.

    CEO Michele Richards said the grant is “very welcomed relief from a lost concert season.”
    .

  • July 24, 2021 (6:38 pm)

    COVID vaccination station coming to the OC Fair

    The Orange County Health Care Agency will administer COVID-19 vaccines at a special vaccination station at the 2021 OC Fair. The clinic will be in the Costa Mesa Building starting Wednesday, July 28 and going through the run of Fair, which ends on Aug. 15.

    Initial days of operation will be Wednesday–Friday, and back again on Sunday, with hours from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The county plans to administer approx. 100 vaccines daily. Depending on public feedback and activity at the clinic, that number could increase to up to 200 vaccines daily and the county will adjust hours of operation accordingly.

    No appointments are needed for OC Fair guests, staff or partners.

    For more information, visit https://occovid19.ochealthinfo.com/covid-19-vaccine-resources

  • April 29, 2021 (9:27 am)

    Take a quick survey to help OC Fair & Event Center

    Community input is important to us. Please take this short survey to assist OC Fair & Event Center.

    TAKE SURVEY

    The survey expires May 6. Thank you in advance for your feedback!

     

     

  • April 8, 2021 (1:01 pm)

    FAQs about the 2021 OC Fair

    The theme of this year’s OC Fair is “Time For Fun,” and we can’t wait to celebrate this summer from July 16 through Aug. 15.

    When will tickets for the OC Fair go on sale?

    Tickets are on sale now at ocfair.com/oc-fair/buy-tickets. The 2021 OC Fair will be July 16-Aug. 15, open Wednesdays-Sundays. 

    Do I have to purchase my tickets in advance?

    Yes. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster; you will be able to select a date between July 16 and Aug. 15 (closed Mondays and Tuesdays). Advance online ticket sales will help ensure we stay within our capacity limits. Bonus: no transaction fees for Fair admission tickets! 

    What if I buy tickets for the wrong day?

    Tickets are sold through Ticketmaster and are non-refundable and non-transferable. Please select your ticket date carefully before purchasing. 

    Will tickets be available at the gate?

    No. We cannot guarantee tickets will be available for purchase at the gate during the run of the OC Fair. Please purchase your tickets online in advance. We’d hate to have to turn you away if we are at full capacity, and parking fees are non-refundable. 

    I am fully vaccinated. Do I have to wear a mask at the fair?

    No. Masks are only required for unvaccinated guests inside OC Fair buildings. 

    What are the other restrictions?

    There is limited capacity at the 2021 OC Fair, so advance tickets are required. In addition to a mask requirement for unvaccinated guests indoors, and increased sanitization, we will have more elbow room on the fairgrounds, distancing will be encouraged and some events will be on hold. 

    Will you be selling a season pass this year?

    No. Due to capacity limitations, the Super Pass will not be for sale for the 2021 season.

    What about my 2020 Super Pass?

    If you purchased a 2020 Super Pass and did NOT request a refund, your pass will be valid for any day of the 2021 OC Fair. Those existing pass holders will receive 2021 passes in the mail prior to opening day of the OC Fair. Refunds are no longer being offered at this time.

    Will you offer free or discounted admission days?

    No. To comply with public health directives, this year’s OC Fair will be a limited-capacity event. We are sorry that we will not be able offer all admission options that were available in the past.

    Will Opening Day be free?

    No. To comply with public health directives, this year’s OC Fair will be a limited-capacity event. We are sorry that we will not be able offer all admission options that were available in the past.

    Can military/veterans get in free?

    No. To comply with public health directives, this year’s OC Fair will be a limited-capacity event. We are sorry that we will not be able offer all admission options that were available in the past.

    Will you offer any ride or food promotions?

    Yes! We will have Taste of Fair Food on Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., featuring $3 food options. The Read & Ride program for kids (ages 5-11) will also be available during fair time. Unlimited ride wristbands will not be available this year.

    Will you have unlimited ride wristbands?

    No, not this year. Carnival tickets for rides and games are available for purchase in packs of 40, 100, and 200. We recommend purchasing in advance online or getting the FunPass app to avoid lines on the fairgrounds. 

    I have a free voucher from the 2020 virtual 5k/Goodwill donation. Will that still work?

    Yes. Virtual 5k participants can bring their voucher any day of the 2021 OC Fair for one admission. Goodwill donors can bring their voucher any weekday (Wednesday-Friday) of the 2021 OC Fair for one admission. These printed vouchers have been accounted for in our capacity limits. 

    What about my 2020 concert tickets?

    If you purchased tickets for the 2020 entertainment season and did NOT receive a refund, your tickets will be valid for the rescheduled 2021 date. Please check pacamp.com for the lineup. 

    Does my concert ticket include Fair admission?

    Yes. Tickets to concerts in Pacific Amphitheatre or The Hangar that occur during the 2021 OC Fair include same-day admission to the OC Fair. Parking is not included. 

    Will there be Action Sports Arena performances?

    No. Action Sports Arena will be closed; typical motorized sports and rodeo shows will not take place during the 2021 OC Fair. 

    Can I be a vendor?

    The application deadline to be a vendor, sponsor or platinum partner at the 2021 OC Fair has passed. 

    Can I perform at the OC Fair?

    The application deadline to be a part of the community entertainment program at the 2021 OC Fair has passed. 

    Will there be competitions this year?

    Yes. Competition guides are available on our website at ocfair.com/competitions.  Entries are now open.

    We will continue to add information to our website at ocfair.com/oc-fair as it becomes available.


    Other frequently asked questions:

    Is the swap meet open?

    No. The OC Market Place, also known as the weekend swap meet, is no longer operating at OC Fair & Event Center. The company that was contracted to operate the OC Market Place through a formal agreement with OC Fair & Event Center has opted not to reopen. 

    Why can’t the OC Fair run the OC Market Place?

    As a state agency, OC Fair & Event Center is not permitted to operate a swap meet business.

    However, a new event, the Original O.C. Swap Meet on May 29, will likely welcome many of the same vendors as the former swap meet. More info on our event calendar.

    Is the farm open?

    No. Due to the vaccination site on the fairgrounds, the entrance to Centennial Farm and Heroes Hall is inaccessible. The farm and veterans museum will reopen July 16. 

    Is the campground open?

    No. OC Fair & Event Center’s campground and RV parking site is still currently closed.

    For a list of upcoming events at OC Fair & Event Center, go to ocfair.com/events.


    Got another question? We are working hard to plan for the 2021 OC Fair, but there are still a few things pending. We appreciate your patience as we work out the logistics! If you have a question regarding a specific issue, please use our contact form

  • March 31, 2021 (2:50 am)

    County opens vaccine Super POD at OC Fair & Event Center

    The County of Orange opened a large COVID-19 vaccination site on March 31 at OC Fair & Event Center and it is expected to provide up to 2,000 inoculations per day, with that number increasing as vaccine supplies increase.

    The site features both drive-up handicapped-access lanes as well as a walk-up area where vaccines are administered indoors. Vaccines are by appointment only Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit othena.com to book an appointment.

    “OC Fair & Event Center always stands ready to serve the community in times of need and there is currently no greater need than helping provide the life-saving COVID-19 vaccine to the people of Orange County,” said  OC Fair & Event Center Board Chair Natalie Rubalcava-Garcia. “The Board and staff of the OC Fair are proud to assist with this vaccine rollout as we continue to be a valuable resource to the people of Orange County.”

    Rubalcava-Garcia joined OC Supervisor Katrina Foley and other officials to welcome the media to the opening of the vaccine site at a press conference on March 31.

    For more information on vaccines and on COVID-19 in Orange County, visit occovid19.ochealthinfo.com.