Category Archives: OC Fair

  • July 22, 2022 (4:12 pm)

    2022 OC Fair runs through Aug. 14 – What’s free with Fair admission?

    OC Fair fans have been waiting all year for the return of summer’s best party – and they know how to get the best value out of their visit. Here are some awesome things that are free with Fair admission.

    For a full OC Fair schedule, visit ocfair.com, or download the 2022 OC Fair app. Advance tickets are required – no fees – and capacity is limited.

    ENTERTAINMENT
    Comedy hypnotist Mark Yuzuik – nightly in Plaza Pacifica
    The Magic of Frank Thurston – daily in OC promenade
    Roving entertainment including Dragon Knights Stilt Show, Red Light Brass Band and Ellas mariachi group (limited run) – daily throughout the fairgrounds
    Community entertainment featuring local music groups, dance troops and more – daily on three stages
    Tupua Polynesian dance group – nightly in Plaza Pacifica
    Live music – nightly in Baja Blues
    Latin music and dancing – nightly in Hussong’s Cantina
    The Hangar and Action Sports Arena – performances accessible via standing room (or via paid ticket for reserved seating)
    Performance of Taps – 6 p.m. nightly at Heroes Hall

    ANIMALS
    All-Alaskan Racing Pigs – daily in Plaza Pacifica
    Animal judging and displays – daily in Livestock
    Great American Petting Farm – daily near Green Gate
    OC Fair’s resident animal educators including pigs, goats, cattle, chickens, rabbits, peacocks and sheep – daily at Centennial Farm

    DEMONSTRATIONS
    Cow milking – daily in Millennium Barn
    Food preservation, chef’s tips and more – daily in OC Promenade/Culinary
    Camel dairy – limited run in livestock
    OC Vaulting horse acrobatics – limited run in livestock
    Wine talks and pairings – daily in The Courtyard
    Crafts and handmade goods – daily in Home Arts & Collections Gallery

    EXHIBITS
    Produce and floral competitions – daily at Centennial Farm
    Woodworking, quilting, table setting, baking and more – daily in Home Arts & Collections Gallery and OC Promenade/Culinary
    Cal Fresh exhibit featuring the state’s crops – daily in OC Promenade
    Fine arts and visual arts competitions – daily in Visual Arts Gallery

    KID STUFF
    Explorium Fun on the Farm learn & play area – daily in OC Promenade
    Food-related contests for kids – daily in OC Promenade
    Photos with OC Fair Foodies – daily throughout the fairgrounds
    Color postcards for troops & veterans – daily at Heroes Hall

    For more ideas on what to do & see at the OC Fair, visit https://ocfair.com/oc-fair/things-to-do/

    Things to know before you go

    The Fair will be open Wednesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekdays (Wednesday, Thursday) and 11 a.m. to midnight weekends (Friday, Saturday and Sunday).
    General admission is $12 on weekdays (Wednesday, Thursday) and $14 general admission on weekends (Friday, Saturday and Sunday). Tickets for seniors 60+ and kids 6-12 are $7 all days.
    Parking is $10 for cars and motorcycles and $20 for buses and limos.
    Tickets are on sale now and must be purchased in advance with no fees on ocfair.com. Fairgoers should make sure to get tickets for special days and group adventures now, with limited capacity days could sell out (in 2021 17 out of 23 days sold out).
    Performances in Pacific Amphitheatre, The Hangar and Action Sports Arena during fair-time include same-day Fair admission. Tickets are on sale now. For more information visit ocfair.com.
    Unlimited ride carnival wristbands are back this year for $49. The one-day wristbands can be used Wednesdays and Thursdays, must be purchased or redeemed by 5 p.m. and include unlimited rides and two free games; guests can ride and play from 11 a.m. till 8 p.m.
    Carnival ride and game tickets can also be bought online now and are $1.25 each. Tickets required for each ride range from two to 14 tickets and games require between two and eight tickets each. For more information on this year’s rides and games, visit our website.

  • June 21, 2022 (2:54 pm)

    New character, Sunny, heading to this year’s OC Fair

    Today we held auditions for our new Foodie, and this was one of our favorites – we hired them on the spot!

    We thought it’d be the perfect way to introduce our Lemon’s name. *drumroll*

    Meet SUNNY!!

    This year, Sunny will join his Foodie friends Olivia (the Orange), Arturo the Churro, Cornelius and Strawberry Jan every day at the OC Fair.

    THANK YOU to everyone who participated in our naming contest on social media – we had 250+ votes! John Lemmon came in real close, and there were lots of votes for Twist/Twisty and Drop/Lemon Drop.

    Some of the write-ins were also pretty great. We got tons of variations of Squeezy, Zesty, Lemony and Lemonade. Some of you went with citrus themed, suggesting names like Pucker, Sour and Tart. Others went literal with names like Meyer and Bonnie Brae. Lots recommended we name the Lemon after famous people or characters such as Miley Cytrus, Lemon Stefani, Jack Lemon, Liz Lemon LuluLemon and even Pikalemon. A few gave the Lemon fun last names like Bigfair, McLemonFace and Picket. We especially enjoyed the creative ones like Nomel (lemon spelled backwards) and the French-sounding Sunny Le Monet.

    Don’t forget to say hi to Sunny this summer at the OC Fair!

  • June 16, 2022 (5:30 pm)

    Learn all about OC Fair’s Commercial Wine Competition

    The OC Fair Commercial Wine Competition is the largest California-only wine competition and is in its 46th year. Only the best winemakers and winery principles were invited to be a part of the 17 panels of up to five judges who blindly tasted 2,516 wines June 4-5.

    Fran Gitsham, the president of Orange County Wine Society and host of the event, was in charge of this massive production powered by 300 volunteers. “The flow” is how Gitsham referred to the system of how the wines were judged.

    First, the bar-coded wines were poured in sequence by stewards, who delivered them carefully to each table. Once a judging table completed their tasting, they waved a green “pick up glasses” sign, signaling the stewards to retrieve the glasses and walk them to a side room to be cleaned for the next wines. At the same time, their judging forms were picked up and taken to the data validation and entry room. The data was then verified using computerized lists, and by the end of the day they had complete reports of the day’s judging. This was repeated until all wines had been judged.

    Results for the 2022 Commercial Wine Competition are now available at winecompetition.com/results/2022. Plus, the wines will be available to purchase by the glass at the annual OC Fair in the Courtyard. 

  • February 17, 2022 (1:01 pm)

    Now accepting entries for the 2022 OC Fair Competitions!

    The OC Fair has begun accepting entries for the annual competitions, which are a long-standing tradition at the summer event – especially for the local fans.

    For the 2022 OC Fair, guests are invited to show off their best talents by participating in more than 20 different competitions.

    Competitions this year include:

    Visual Arts

    • Fine Arts
    • Photography
    • Woodworking

    Hand Crafts & Hobbies

    • Collections
    • Hand Crafts
    • Fiber Arts
    • Jewelry

    Garden & Floral

    • Cut Flowers
    • Fruits & Vegetables
    • Container Plants
    • Floral Arrangements

    Table Settings
     

    Culinary

    • Bars & Brownies
    • Cookies
    • Sugar Arts & Confections
    • Yeast & Quick Breads
    • Honey
    • Preserved Food & Liqueur

    Wine

    • Home Wine
    • Commercial Wine

    Livestock

    • Market Livestock Shows
    • Breeding Livestock Shows

    There are also designated divisions and separate competitions for youth.

    Deadlines for entries vary based on category. Competition Guides are available at ocfair.com/competitions for each competition. The guides detail rules, regulations, important dates and more. Some competitions are free to enter.

    LAST YEAR
    In 2021, the OC Fair condensed the number of competitions but still received more than 3,000 entries and issued about 1,400 awards. Results for the 2021 OC Fair Competitions are available at ocfair.com/oc-fair/competitions-contests/results/, including a city-by-city breakdown of how each O.C. resident fared.

    TABLE SETTINGS DOCUMENTARY
    The OC Fair was recently featured in a documentary about the highly competitive annual Table Settings Competition. SET! was filmed during the 2019 OC Fair and released in 2021 on Discovery+. The film follows the process of several participants in the Table Settings Competition, from registration and brainstorming to finding out whether or not they placed well. Find out more at setdocumentary.com.

    YOUTH COMPETITIONS AT IMAGINOLOGY
    Imaginology, OC Fair’s annual family event focused on education, is also accepting entries for two youth competitions: Mural Project and Cardboard Engineering. The deadline for the Imaginology competitions are March 30; Imaginology takes place April 9-10. For more information, visit ocfair.com/imaginology

    ABOUT THE 2022 OC FAIR
    “Feel the Sunshine” will be the theme of this year’s OC Fair, which take place July 15-Aug. 14. Hours: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays; 11 a.m. to midnight Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Advance ticket purchase is required, and tickets are on sale now.

  • 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

  • January 19, 2022 (2:31 pm)

    Jim Gaffigan, Kool & the Gang headlining this summer; plus, annual craft beer fest to return to 2022 OC Fair

    OC Fair has announced more if its 2022 summer entertainment lineup. Live music performances at Pacific Amphitheatre include Kool & the Gang with Sister Sledge on opening weekend, and Jim Gaffigan on Aug. 4.

    Also performing during the OC Fair at The Hangar: Elton – The Early Years – A Tribute to Elton John, Dog N Butterfly – The Heart Experience and The Long Run – Experience the Eagles. OC Brew Hee Haw, the annual craft beer festival, will return this summer at a new venue: Action Sports Arena.

    Tickets for these shows will go on sale Saturday, Jan. 22, at 10 a.m. on Ticketmaster.

    COMING TO PACIFIC AMPHITHEATRE

    Kool & the Gang with Sister Sledge
    July 15, 2022, 7:30 p.m.
    Tickets are $39.50-$79.50

    Get ready for a dance-filled summer night with Kool & the Gang and special guest Sister Sledge. Formed as a jazz ensemble in the mid-’60s, Kool & the Gang became one of the most inspired and influential funk units during the ’70s, and one of the most popular R&B groups of the ’80s after their breakout hit “Celebration.” They’ll follow Sister Sledge, the sibling vocal group behind the anthem “We Are Family.”

    Jim Gaffigan
    Aug. 4, 2022, 8:15 p.m.
    Tickets are $55-$95

    It’s about time for some belly laughs. Jim Gaffigan is a five-time Grammy-nominated comedian, actor, writer, producer, best-selling author, two-time Emmy-winning top touring performer, and multi-platinum-selling recording artist. He is known for his unique brand of humor, which largely revolves around his observations on life. Gaffigan recently released his seventh stand up special, Quality Time, with Amazon Studios, making history as their first original comedy special. He also continues to tour around the world.


    COMING TO THE HANGAR

    Elton – The Early Years – A Tribute to Elton John
    July 21, 2022, 8:15 p.m.
    Tickets are $20-$25

    Accomplished musician and vocalist, Kenny Metcalf recreates the multiple Grammy-winning legend and flamboyant superstar in each and every performance. Dazzling outfits, stunning vocals, and a spectacular backing band complete this reproduction that brings the audience on an adventure of both sight and sound.

    Dog N Butterfly – The Heart Experience
    July 29, 2022, 8:15 p.m.
    Tickets are $20-$25

    Created in late 2003, Dog N Butterfly is a five-piece band dedicated to bringing their talent and love of Heart’s memorable music to the stage. Complete with retro-inspired costume and dance, Dog N Butterfly performs all the ’70s hits as well as the chart-toppers that brought Heart back into the lime light in the ’80s.

    The Long Run – Experience the Eagles
    Aug. 4, 2022, 8:15 p.m.
    Tickets are $20-$25

    The Long Run is a hard-working tribute act from Los Angeles dedicated to faithfully recreating the timeless music of The Eagles. Marked by lush harmonies and exceptional musical accuracy, every performance delivers a reverence for the beloved Eagles recordings, blended with TLR’s own live-concert personality.


    COMING TO ACTION SPORTS ARENA

    OC Brew Hee Haw – A Craft Beer Roundup
    Tickets are $50 (GA) / $60 (VIP) / $25-$30 (no-alcohol tickets)
    Session 1: July 15, 6 p.m. (VIP) / 7 p.m. (GA)
    Sessions 2: July 16, 12:30 p.m. (VIP) / 1:30 p.m. (GA)
    Sessions 3: July 16, 6:30 p.m. (VIP) / 7:30 p.m. (GA)

    Following another record-breaking year, the 8th Annual OC Brew Hee Haw Craft Beer Roundup will return to the OC Fair on July 15 & 16, 2022! In addition to delicious unlimited beer tastings, each session will include entertainment with epic themes in their genres by some great live music. Band information to be announced, so stay tuned!

    Tickets to these shows go on sale to the public Saturday, Jan. 22, at 10 a.m. on Ticketmaster. Tickets to concerts occurring during the OC Fair include same-day admission to the OC Fair. The 2022 OC Fair is July 15-Aug. 14, open Wednesday-Sunday. Advance tickets are required.

  • December 16, 2021 (11:30 am)

    Dates announced for 2022 OC Fair; ‘Feel the Sunshine’ is chosen as the theme

    Today the OC Fair announced that “Feel the Sunshine” will be the theme of the 2022 annual event which will be back July 15-Aug. 14 and tickets are on sale now.

    Advance ticket purchase will again be required with limited capacity for summer’s best party, which will be open Wednesday through Sunday. Hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays; 11 a.m. to midnight Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

    “We are excited to invite everyone to come out to the 2022 OC Fair and ‘Feel the Sunshine,’” said OC Fair & Event Center CEO Michele Richards. “Our limited capacity, advance ticket sale model worked out so well last year that we are bringing it back so fairgoers can have more great experiences.”

    Fair officials kept the ticket prices at the same as the past several years, $12 general admission on weekdays (Wednesday, Thursday) and $14 general admission on weekends (Friday, Saturday and Sunday). Tickets for seniors 60+ and kids 6-13 are $7 all days. OC Fair will absorb the online admission ticket transaction fees. Parking is $10 for cars and motorcycles and $20 for buses and limos.

    Tickets are also on sale for the first OC Fair concerts announced for Pacific Amphitheatre and The Hangar. Live music performances include Steve Miller Band, ABBA LA and Bee Gees Gold, Which One’s Pink?, 24K Magic and the brand new show, LA Sound Machine.

    “The annual OC Fair is a wonderful opportunity to provide fun and education to the community,” said OC Fair Board Chair Doug La Belle. “Our guests get to experience agriculture, our competitions, Centennial Farm and Heroes Hall along with all the excitement of the carnival, food and entertainment.”

    Returning OC Fair favorites include magician Frank Thurston, Brew Hee Haw craft beer fest, monster truck races, Dragon Knights stilt walkers, Russell Brothers Circus, hypnotist Mark Yuzuik, demolition derbies, All-Alaskan pig races and, of course, crazy fair food.

    The OC Fair returned to an in-person event during the summer of 2021 with attendance at 1,055,770 after a virtual Fair was held online in 2020 due to the pandemic.

  • (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 ocfair.com/oc-fair/buy-tickets. 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 ocfair.com/entertainment 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 ocfair.com/oc-fair/entertainment/action-sports-arena/ 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 ocfair.com/oc-fair/be-a-part-of-the-fair

    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 ocfair.com/oc-fair/be-a-part-of-the-fair/community-entertainment

    Will there be competitions this year?

    Yes. Entries are now open and competition guides are available at ocfair.com/oc-fair/competitions-contests. Deadlines begin soon!

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


    Other frequently asked questions are below, or go to ocfair.com/about-us/faq/. For a list of upcoming events at OC Fair & Event Center, go to ocfair.com/events.

    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 ocfair.com/centennial-farm/calendar-hours


    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

  • December 6, 2021 (2:32 pm)

    OC Fair named No. 7 in North America based on attendance by industry publication

    The OC Fair is ranked No. 7 in North America – and top in the state – based on attendance in 2021, according to the list of top 5o Fairs released by  carnivalwarehouse.com.

    Even with daily capacity limits in place, the 2021 OC Fair, which ran from July 16-Aug. 15, attracted 1,055,770 guests during the 23-day event. 

    Fair officials are proud that the annual OC Fair guest survey results showed that attendees ranked this year’s festival as rating 4.20 out of 5 for overall enjoyment, and a 4.52 for the new advance ticket sale process.

    Guests rated their favorite aspects of this year’s OC Fair as food, animals and exhibits. Some 16 percent of attendees were first-timers while the average years attended was 4.5.

    See a full list of top fairs by attendance here, as  reported by carnivalwarehouse.com.

  • 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