Category Archives: OC Fair & Event Center

  • Tuesday, January 12, 2021 (11:10 am)

    Please help us by taking a quick survey

    UPDATE: This survey has expired. However, we are still accepting feedback via email at

    To be notified of future surveys, please sign up to receive communication from OC Fair & Event Center:

    Community input is important to us. If you have a couple of minutes to spare, please take this survey about equity and diversity at OC Fair & Event Center.


    Thank you in advance for your feedback!


  • 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.

  • Saturday, November 21, 2020 (9:33 am)

    UPDATE: Winter Fest OC’s Night of Lights OC drive-thru announces new dates, Dec. 10 – Jan. 10, and new hours

    Winter Fest OC’s Night of Lights OC, an immersive winter wonderland drive-thru experience, has announced new plans to operate at the OC Fair & Event Center, with changes in place to safely meet all government guidelines. The previously postponed event is back and will run Dec. 10-Jan. 10 (excluding Christmas Eve), with sessions ending at 9:30pm nightly.

    Guests can to enjoy more than 1,000,000 lights from the safety of their own vehicles. The guided experience through a mile-long route features themed holiday scenery, special effects such as snow flurries and bubbles and animated light shows and tunnels synchronized to music through a car radio or smartphone. 

    Entry to the event is through online ticket purchase only at Entrance begins at 5 p.m. with timed sessions available until 9:30 p.m. Limited reservations are available per session and guests are encouraged to buy in advance to reserve their date and session before they sell out. 

    Early bird general admission starts at $39.99 per vehicle (up to five people) on select nights. Larger vehicle tickets (six to nine people) start at $59.99 on select nights. Vehicle height is limited to eight feet or less, due to the light tunnels. Pricing will increase after early bird tickets are sold out.

    Holiday favorite treats are available before entering the Night of Lights OC experience through pre-order when purchasing tickets. Seasonal favorites include hot cocoa, cinnamon sugar donuts, as well as Mom’s Bake Shoppe cookie buckets and brownies, tamales, holiday ‘Family 4 Pack’ meals, and more. Food is available to order online by 10am on the date of admission and will be available to pick-up prior to entering the drive-thru experience.

    Every Monday, Night of Lights OC will honor local community heroes with a special $5 off coupon for teachers, military personnel, law enforcement, medical workers and firefighters.

    For more information, visit


  • 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:
  • Thursday, 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

  • (4:45 am)

    Rubalcava-Garcia named new Chair of OC Fair Board

    The OC Fair & Event Center Board of Directors named Natalie Rubalcava-Garcia as Chair and Doug LaBelle as Vice Chair at it’s Sept. 24 meeting.

    Rubalcava-Garcia, who previously served as Vice Chair, replaces Sandra Cervantes as Chair. She is COO of the Orange County Business Council, where she was vice president of investor relations from 2016 to 2018. Rubalcava-Garcia was associate publisher at the Southern California News Group in 2016 and held several positions at Freedom News Group and the Orange County Register from 2007 to 2016. She has served on the Board since 2018.

    LaBelle is retired and most recently served as City Manager for the City of Chino Hills from 1995 until 2009. Prior to that he served as City Manager for the City of Signal Hill and began his career in local government in 1964 with the City of Garden Grove and has worked in various administrative capacities for the cities of Cerritos, Huntington Beach, La Mesa and Marysville. He has been a Board member since 2010.

    Board officers typically serve one-year terms and are nominated for office by a committee of fellow Board members.

  • Thursday, 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

    For more information on the Orange County Farm Bureau, visit

  • Wednesday, August 19, 2020 (10:07 am)

    County COVID testing slated to begin Aug. 26 at OC Fair & Event Center

    The Orange County Health Care Agency will begin conducting drive-through COVID-19 testing at OC Fair & Event Center starting Aug. 26, two days later than originally planned. Testing is by appointment only and will take place Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. in parking lots E and F. Guests will enter and exit through Gate 4.

    Setup began on Wednesday, Aug. 19. Testing is being conducted in collaboration with 360 Clinic and is scheduled to continue through Oct. 23.

    “OC Fair & Event Center is proud to provide use of the fairgrounds to assist the County in providing this valuable testing to Orange County residents,” said OC Fair & Event Center CEO Michele Richards. “It’s part of our emergency service to the community.”

    For information on testing, visit For information on COVID-19 in Orange County, visit or contact the Orange County Health Care Agency.