Category Archives: Latest news about the fairgrounds

  • 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

  • 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.


    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 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 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  Entries are now open.

    We will continue to add information to our website at 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

    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 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

  • 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.


  • December 3, 2020 (12:46 pm)

    Fairgrounds activated for large-animal evacuations

    OC Fair & Event Center has been activated for large-animal evacuations by the Orange County Office of Emergency Services due to local wildfires.

    We are using vacant stalls at the Equestrian Center on the fairgrounds to house evacuated animals. If the need should arise, our staff has also constructed temporary stalls inside Action Sports Arena.

    At this time, no volunteers or supplies are needed. Large-animal evacuation efforts are being coordinated through the OC Animal Care agency.

    We hope everyone in the community stays safe.

  • 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

    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 27, 2020 (1:04 pm)

    OC Fair & Event Center activated as large-animal evacuation site

    OC Fair & Event Center has been activated as a large-animal evacuation site for areas impacted by the current wildfires.

    About 20 horses are sheltered at the fairgrounds’ equestrian center in stalls that were vacant. The animals are being cared for by their owners. Temporary stalls have also been constructed in the Action Sports Arena in case more space is needed for evacuated animals.

    PLEASE NOTE: While we appreciate the offers for help, no volunteers or supplies are currently needed and we are not able to accept either on the fairgrounds at this time.

    We are proud to be able to help in times of crisis and the fairgrounds and staff stand prepared to further assist as needed.

  • October 13, 2020 (3:46 pm)

    Last chance to get a taste of OC Fair food!

    COSTA MESA (Oct. 13, 2020) – The drive-up OC Fair food fun is entering its final two weeks with a fresh lineup of vendors. Now’s the time to make plans to get those funnel cakes, turkey legs and deep-fried treats on a stick!
    The OC Fair Food Drive-Thru will take place Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 25 at OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa. Hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays. There is no parking and no entrance fee. Guests enter the fairgrounds at Gate 1 off of Fair Drive, drive up and order from the vendors; some take credit cards only.
    This is the only official fair food event presented by the OC Fair.
    Concessionaires are Dole Whip, Funnel Cake, Roasted Corn, Fried A Fair, Who Fried the Cheese, Australian Battered Potatoes, Chicken Charlie’s, Kettle Corn, Mom’s Bakeshoppe, Pink’s Hot Dogs, Olde Tyme Ice Cream, Juicy’s and JP’s Old West Cinnamon Rolls.
    The OC Fair Food Drive-Thru is open for those heading to the Urban Legends Halloween Haunt and the Autosonic Concerts live drive-in shows this weekend featuring Sweet and Tender Hooligans on Friday, Queen Nation on Saturday and Jefferson Starship on Sunday. Make sure to grab your OC Fair Food before the show!
    Weekly maps and menus are available here: