Category Archives: OC Fair & Event Center

  • Friday, March 18, 2022 (4:12 pm)

    Heroes Hall Supervisor presented with Woman of Distinction award

    Please join us in congratulating Heroes Hall Supervisor Carol Singleton, who was named one of the 2022 Women of Distinction, presented by Rep. Michelle Steel.

    Rep. Steel presented the 2022 Women of Distinction awards to 18 of Orange County’s best and brightest female leaders in the categories of Education, Health & Wellness, Compassionate Community, Public Service, Veterans’ Services, Public Safety, Community Partnership, Financial Service, and Youth Champions.

    Throughout the rest of #WomensHistoryMonth, Rep. Steel will be sharing profiles of each of these exceptional women on her Facebook page: Be sure to follow along to learn about their remarkable contributions to our area.

  • Friday, March 11, 2022 (11:24 am)

    Senator Min Awards Orange County Fairgrounds CEO Michele Richards 2022 Woman of the Year

    (COSTA MESA, CA) — Senator Dave Min (D-Irvine) announced the 37th Senate District’s Woman of the Year honoree, Michele Richards. An Orange County resident, Richards serves as General Manager and CEO of OC Fair & Event Center where she oversees one of the largest fairgrounds in California. The OC Fairgrounds hosts over 150 events a year, including entertainment at the world class Pacific Amphitheater, and attracts approximately 4.3 million guests annually. It is an economic driver for Costa Mesa that generates $300 million for the region.

    “On behalf of the 1.1 million residents here in California’s 37th Senate District, I am honored to recognize Michele Richards as the 37th Senate District 2022 Woman of the Year,” Min said. “Michele Richards is not just the General Manager and CEO of the Orange County Fairgrounds – she is a pillar of the Orange County community.” Min continued, “Since the onset of the pandemic, Ms. Richards’ stewardship not only steered the Fair’s financial recovery but leveraged its shuttered facilities for COVID-19 response. From food distribution center to vaccine supersite, we are incredibly grateful for her leadership.”

    “I’m beyond honored to be named by Senator Min as Woman of the Year,” Richards said. “There are many exceptional women leaders in our community and it is a great privilege to be counted among them. I am surrounded by an amazing team at OC Fair & Event Center. What we do is important to the community, and to be able to help so many people during the pandemic and bring back the OC Fair has meant so much to all of us. Thank you for this recognition.”

    Ms. Richards’ full bio can be found below.

    Michele Richards was named OC Fair & Event Center’s General Manager and CEO in December, 2019 where she has led the organization through the pandemic and eventual recovery. Michele took the helm at a critical time just before the pandemic shut down all public access and revenue-generating event business at OC Fair & Event Center, including the 2020 OC Fair. Working with the employees she credits as being the heart of the team, Michele led the organization back to financial stability with the reopening of public events and return of the 2021 OC Fair, the most successful in the fair’s history. During the shutdown, Michele worked with state, county and local government agencies and nonprofits to host emergency food distribution events and COVID testing, and used the OC Fair & Event Center as a vaccination Super POD to serve the community. Prior to being appointed CEO, she served as Vice President of Business Development for more than seven years. Most notably, she was responsible for guiding initiatives which significantly increased attendance at the annual OC Fair, launching new sales programs which generated additional year-round events revenue, leading a rebranding effort and advancing the organization’s youth STEAM event, Imaginology.

  • Wednesday, 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

  • Tuesday, January 25, 2022 (10:44 am)

    OC Fair & Event Center earns Western Fairs Association honors

    Western Fairs Association honored  OC Fair & Event Center with 19 Achievement Awards at its annual convention in Reno this month.

    First-place awards included the new fair exhibit, California Fresh, and new children’s program for the OC Fair’s Experience the Great Outdoors exhibit. Other honors included the fair theme – Time for Fun – the fair logo, fair TV commercial, Junior Livestock Auction and several first-place photography awards. OCFEC also received second-place honors for agricultural programming. 

    Western Fairs Association is a trade group supporting the fair and festival industry.

    OC Fair & Event Center earned the following awards:

    Single Television Ad

    1st Award and Judges’ Choice 

    Fair Logo

    1st Award

    Year-Round Logo

    1st Award

    Special Event Logo

    1st Award and Judges’ Choice 

    Virtual & Live Auctions

    1st Award for pre-Fair Junior Livestock Auction

    Agricultural Programming

    2nd Award for Centennial Farm’s partnership with Don Knipp, a.k.a. “Mr. Fertilizer,” and La Verne Nursery during the 2021 OC Fair

    Theme Program

    1st Award and Judges’ Choice for Time For Fun and its  programming during the 2021 OC Fair

    New Fairtime Exhibit 

    1st Award for California Fresh: Celebrating the Bounty Of Our Counties

    New Children’s Program

    1st Award and Judges’ Choice for Explore the Great Outdoors

    Give It Your Best Shot: Animals

    Two 1st Awards

    Give It Your Best Shot: Carnival

    Two 1st Awards, Award of Excellence – Overall Best Photo, and Award of Excellence – Third Best Overall Photo

    Give It Your Best Shot: Exhibits

    1st Award and 2nd Award

    Give It Your Best Shot: Entertainment

    1st Award and 2nd Award

    Give It Your Best Shot: People at the Fair

    1st Award and 2nd Award

  • Monday, 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



  • Thursday, December 16, 2021 (11:15 am)

    FAQs about the 2022 OC Fair

    (Updated May 13, 2022)

    The theme of the 2022 OC Fair is “Feel the Sunshine,” and we can’t wait to celebrate from July 15 through Aug. 14.

    When will tickets for the 2022 OC Fair go on sale?

    Tickets are on sale now at The 2022 OC Fair will be July 15-Aug. 14, 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 15 and Aug. 14 (closed Mondays and Tuesdays). Dates may sell out. 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. 

    Is it safe to buy tickets online?

    The only authorized seller for OC Fair tickets online is Ticketmaster. OC Fair & Event Center is not affiliated with any other vendor for the purchase of OC Fair admission or concert tickets. 

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

    Information about Covid precautions, vaccination and mask requirements, etc. will be updated as we get closer to the event, but please expect to follow state/county regulations as OC Fair & Event Center is a state agency.

    What are the other restrictions?

    We have a limit on the number of tickets available; when days sell out, no more tickets will be added. Information about Covid precautions, vaccination and mask requirements, etc. will be updated as we get closer to the event, but please expect to follow state/county regulations as OC Fair & Event Center is a state agency. 

    Will you be selling a season pass this year?

    No. The Super Pass will not be for sale for the 2022 season. Super Passes from past years will not be valid. We so appreciate our loyal fans, but with limited ticket sales, we aren’t able to offer an unlimited pass. We hope you’ll still be able to Feel the Sunshine a couple times next summer ! 

    Will you offer free or discounted admission days?

    No. We are sorry that we will not be able offer admission options that were available in the past.

    Will Opening Day be free?

    No. We are sorry that we will not be able offer admission options that were available in the past.

    Can military/veterans get in free?

    No. We are sorry that we will not be able offer admission options that were available in the past.

    Will you offer any ride or food promotions?

    This information has yet to be determined but will be posted here as it becomes available.

    Will you have unlimited ride wristbands?

    This information has yet to be determined but will be posted here as it becomes available.

    When can I buy carnival tickets?

    This information has yet to be determined but will be posted here as it becomes available.

    When will concert tickets go on sale?

    All performances in Action Sports Arena and The Hangar are on sale now. Most of the performances planned for Pacific Amphitheatre are on sale now as well. Visit to plan your summer. 

    Does my concert ticket include Fair admission?

    Yes, if the performance date is during Fair-time. Tickets to shows in Pacific Amphitheatre, Action Sports Arena or The Hangar that occur during the 2022 OC Fair, July 15-Aug. 14, include same-day admission to the OC Fair. Parking is not included. 

    Will there be Action Sports Arena performances?

    Yes! We are so excited to bring back monster trucks, demo derbies and speedway! Go to for tickets.

    Can I be a vendor?

    The deadline to apply to be a vendor was March 4. If you’re interested in being a Platinum Partner, which is handled through our sales department, the application is  available at

    Can I perform at the OC Fair?

    The deadline to apply to be a part of the community entertainment program was March 4. To join the waitlist, the application is still available at

    Will there be competitions this year?

    Yes. Entries are now open and competition guides are available at Deadlines begin soon!

    We will continue to add information to our website at as it becomes available.

    Other frequently asked questions are below, or go to For a list of upcoming events at OC Fair & Event Center, go to

    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. 

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

    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.

    Is the farm open?

    Yes. Centennial Farm is open daily for visitors and is currently accepting reservations for school and group tours. See hours and more info at

    Got another question? We are working hard to plan for the 2022 OC Fair. We appreciate your patience as we work out the logistics! If you have a question regarding a specific issue, please use our contact form

  • Friday, November 19, 2021 (10:49 am)

    OC Fair & Event Center honored with 6 industry awards

    The OC Fair & Event Center received six Awards of Excellence during the International Association of Fairs and Expositions 2021 Virtual Awards Show on Nov. 18.

    First place awards honored OCFEC in the categories of online advertising and unique exhibits. Second place was given to the organization for miscellaneous marketing programs.

    Three third place awards recognized OCFEC for out-of-the-box marketing, a newly established or evolving agriculture program and a technique to correct an issue or challenge to an agriculture program.

    The industry awards were presented during the 2021 Virtual Awards Show on Zoom and Facebook Live. The International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE), based in Springfield, Mo., is a voluntary, nonprofit corporation, serving state, provincial, regional and county
    agricultural fairs, shows, exhibitions and expositions.

    Its associate members include state and provincial associations of fairs, non-agricultural expositions and festivals, associations, corporations and individuals engaged in providing products and services to its members, all of whom are interested in the improvement of fairs, shows, expositions and allied fields.

    For more information, visit

  • Tuesday, 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

    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

    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 

    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, email 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, call (801) 544-9125 or email

    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, email or call (949) 302-0355

  • Monday, November 15, 2021 (3:31 pm)

    Be a part of the 2022 OC Fair

    Community Entertainment

    Share your talent! Whether you sing, dance or play – solo or as part of a group – the OC Fair Community Entertainment program provides the stages where you can shine.
    Applications will be accepted until Friday, March 4, at 5 p.m.

    Apply Now

    Vendor Information

    Do you sell the best food or product in the county? Become a commercial vendor or concessionaire at the 2022 OC Fair.  Applications will be accepted until Dec. 10, 2022 (returning vendors) and March 4, 2022 (new vendors).

    Apply Now

  • Friday, October 8, 2021 (4:00 pm)

    Governor Signs Legislation to Bolster California’s Nation-Leading Gun Safety Laws, Support Survivors of Domestic Violence

    (Oct. 8, 2021) From the Office of Governor Gavin Newsom –

    AB 1057 enables law enforcement to seize ghost guns under gun violence or domestic violence restraining orders, SB 320 strengthens procedures ensuring the relinquishment of firearms 

    AB 1191 requires analysis of crime gun data to track gun violence trends 

    AB 887 allows domestic violence survivors to file restraining orders online and SB 538 enables electronic filing and remote appearances 

    SB 264 prohibits the sale of guns or ammunition at Orange County Fair and Event Center

    SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom today announced that he has signed legislation to enhance protections for survivors of domestic violence and bolster the enforcement of California’s nation-leading gun safety laws, including measures to strengthen gun violence restraining orders and analyze crime gun data to track trends impacting communities across the state.

    “California has the strongest gun safety laws in the nation, but we’re reminded every day that we can’t afford to be complacent in the fight against the gun violence epidemic in this country – we can and must do more,” said Governor Newsom. “Today’s action strengthens enforcement of our common-sense gun safety laws, helping ensure that dangerous individuals who are prohibited from possessing firearms surrender their weapons and advancing other lifesaving polices to make our communities safer.”

    SB 320 requires the implementation of uniform procedures to ensure individuals who are prohibited from owning firearms due to a domestic violence restraining order relinquish their weapons. The bill also strengthens coordination between courts and law enforcement when there has been a violation of a relinquishment order. AB 1057 by Assemblymember Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-Laguna Beach) allows law enforcement to seize ghost guns under gun violence restraining orders and domestic violence restraining orders, expanding an important tool to protect survivors.

    AB 1191 by Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) requires the Department of Justice to analyze crime gun data to trace the history of firearms used in crime and identify trends, providing important insight on how these guns are trafficked. SB 264 by Senator Dave Min (D-Irvine) prohibits the sale of guns or ammunition at the Orange County Fair and Event Center. Gun violence prevention experts warn that gun shows can create a venue to circumvent gun safety laws.

    Increasing access to the courts, AB 887 by Assemblymember Marc Levine (D-Marin County) enables domestic violence survivors to file restraining orders and temporary restraining orders electronically, and SB 538 by Senator Susan Rubio (D-Baldwin Park) requires courts to enable electronic filing and remote appearances for domestic violence restraining orders and gun violence restraining orders.

    Expanding access to California’s address confidentiality program, Safe at Home, the Governor previously signed AB 277 by Assemblymember Suzette Valladares (R-Santa Clarita), which requires the application and related notices for the program to be available in at least five languages. AB 673 by Assemblymember Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield) supports domestic violence shelter service providers by ensuring the timely distribution of grant funding administered by Cal OES.

    A full list of today’s bills is below:

    • AB 673 by Assemblymember Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield) – Domestic violence.
    • AB 887 by Assemblymember Marc Levine (D-Marin County) – Domestic violence: restraining orders.
    • AB 1057 by Assemblymember Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-Laguna Beach) – Firearms.
    • AB 1191 by Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) – Firearms: tracing.
    • SB 264 by Senator Dave Min (D-Irvine) – Firearms: the OC Fair and Event Center.
    • SB 320 by Senator Susan Talamantes Eggman (D-Stockton) – Domestic violence protective orders: possession of a firearm.
    • SB 538 by Senator Susan Rubio (D-Baldwin Park) – Domestic violence and gun violence restraining orders.

    California pioneered statewide gun safety protections, approved by voters in Proposition 63, to ban possession of large-capacity ammunition magazines and require background checks to keep ammunition out of the hands of dangerous people. Since assuming office, Governor Newsom has signed multiple bills aimed at reducing gun violence, including strengthening gun violence restraining orders, regulating the sale of firearms and ammunition and accelerating the regulation of ghost guns.

    The 2021 state budget includes a $200 million investment in the CalVIP program to support initiatives designed to break the cycle of violence in disproportionately impacted communities. The budget also invests $11 million to facilitate outreach,  education and training efforts related to gun violence restraining orders and $10.3 million for local law enforcement agencies to support the seizure of firearms from individuals prohibited from possessing them.

    The Governor advanced a series of initiatives to support survivors of domestic violence during the COVID-19 pandemic, including support for local service providers, a partnership with the Women’s Foundation of California to raise private funds that support domestic violence organizations and private sector partnerships to provide free accommodation and transportation to survivors fleeing violence. California has also launched “text-to-911” capability throughout the state and the 2021 state budget includes $15 million in funding for Cal OES to administer grants that support domestic and sexual violence prevention efforts.