Category Archives: Latest news about the fairgrounds

  • Wednesday, 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

  • Thursday, 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.


  • Thursday, 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.

  • Wednesday, 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.

  • Tuesday, 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.

  • Tuesday, 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 Soft Serve, 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:
  • Friday, May 1, 2020 (3:01 am)

    Joan Hamill named Chief Business Development Officer

    Joan Hamill was appointed Chief Business Development Officer May 1, 2020 to lead Communications & Guest Experience, Exhibits & Education, Entertainment, Event Sales & Services, Marketing & Creative Services and Sponsorship & Sales. She worked in various positions for OC Fair & Event Center in the exhibits department and served as the department director since 2003. During this time she developed and directed numerous programming and exhibits for OC Fair and Imaginology as well as year round educational programs and events for Centennial Farm. She lead the development and creation of permanent and rotating exhibitions and educational programs for Heroes Hall since its opening in 2017.

  • Monday, 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.”

  • Friday, April 10, 2020 (9:49 am)

    News about OC Fair & Event Center use for emergency relief during pandemic

    OC Fair & Event Center leadership is in communication with state, county and city agencies regarding the use of the fairgrounds for emergency purposes during the coronavirus pandemic.

    We have received an updated notice that 10 temporary trailers will be delivered today, April 10, to the corner of parking lot G, nearest Gate 10, for potential emergency housing. These trailers were requested by the City of Costa Mesa from the State of California to assist with housing if needed for unsheltered residents who may have risk factors that make them vulnerable to COVID-19. It is not yet known if or when the trailers will be utilized for this purpose. The trailers will be placed in a secured area.

    Also, three buildings in the Main Mall area of the fairgrounds are being considered for emergency medical use. The Orange County Health Care Agency has assessed the property and is considering it to assist with hospital overflow. Details about how the facilities will be utilized and who will occupy them is not yet known. If the buildings are put into use, the area will be secured. The timetable is also in the works as coordination continues.

    “Fairgrounds all over the state are being called into service to assist their communities and we are happy to do our part in helping Orange County through this pandemic,” said Michele Richards, OC Fair & Event Center CEO.

    Thank you for your continued support as it is determined how the fairgrounds will be used to assist our community during this unprecedented crisis.

  • Thursday, April 2, 2020 (9:00 am)

    A message from our CEO Michele Richards