Category Archives: OC Fair

  • Friday, January 26, 2024 (8:20 am)

    2024 OC Fair will run July 19-Aug. 18, theme is ‘Always a Good Time’

    COSTA MESA (Jan. 26, 2024) – OC Fair has announced that “Always a Good Time” will be the theme of the 2024 festival that will run July 19-Aug. 18, celebrating summer, community and making memories.
     
    Admission tickets will go on sale online in February. This will be the fourth year the Fair will use a limited-capacity model and days are again expected to sell out.
     
    The OC Fair Every Day Passport will also be offered, allowing guests to visit the Fair any day of its 23-day run without advance tickets or reservations required.
     
    “The annual OC Fair is ‘always a good time’ and this year will be no exception,” said OC Fair Board Chair Nick Kovacevich. “Our staff is hard at work planning to once again welcome back the community for 23 days of fun and entertainment.” 
     
    A special feature exhibit, “The Art of Music,” will return for a second year with new displays highlighting album covers, posters, artwork and interactive experiences. Also on display will be community fine art and photography entries, handcrafts, woodworking, agriculture competitions and more. Deadlines vary and details can be found at ocfair.com/oc-fair/competitions-contests/.
     
    The OC Fair Board voted to keep admission ticket prices the same as 2023, $13 general admission on weekdays (Wednesday, Thursday) and $15 on weekends (Friday, Saturday and Sunday). Tickets for seniors 60+ and kids 6-13 are $9 all days. OC Fair will again absorb the online admission ticket transaction fees. The Every Day Passport is $60 for visits to the Fair any day, without restrictions. Parking in 2024 will be $15.
     
    Fair hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday; 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Sundays.
     
    Tickets are now available to purchase for shows in Pacific Amphitheatre and The Hangar. ABBA LA and Bee Gees Gold will perform on July 20, Chris Young and Conner Smith will be in the Pacific Amphitheatre July 19 and Los Tucanes de Tijuana and Voz de Mando will be on stage July 14. Updates are available on pacamp.com and ocfair.com as well as on the new OC Fair Radio platform.
     
    Tickets to performances in Pacific Amphitheatre, The Hangar and Action Sports Arena during the run of the OC Fair also include same-day Fair admission.
     
    Returning OC Fair favorites include magician Frank Thurston, Brew Hee Haw craft beer festival, monster trucks, demolition derbies, All-Alaskan pig races and, of course, unique and memorable fair food. The Junior Livestock Auction will take place on July 27.
     
    Also featured during the Fair at Heroes Hall will be The Vietnam War Through the Art and Photography of Ed Bowen. The SAAAB Story exhibit continues on the second floor educating visitors on the history of the Santa Ana Army Air Base. Admission is free with Fair entry.
     
    The OC Fair is looking for local people to participate in the annual 2024 event. Community entertainment (unpaid) applications will be accepted through April 5 at ocfair.com/oc-fair/be-a-part-of-the-fair/community-entertainment/. Applications for vendors and concessionaires are now open at ocfair.com/oc-fair/be-a-part-of-the-fair/vendors/. Sponsorship and marketing information is available at ocfair.com/oc-fair/sponsors/.
     
    The 2023 OC Fair had an attendance of 1,048,181 with 12 sold-out days.
     
    For more information, visit ocfair.com.
  • Sunday, September 24, 2023 (3:30 pm)

    OC Register and readers name OC Fair best fair/festival in OC

    From the OC Register:

    The OC Fair was voted Best Fair/festival in the 2023 Best of Orange County balloting

    For many locals, a trip to the OC Fair is an essential part of any summer. There’s so much to experience that multiple visits are common, with more than a million people attending annually. OC Fair Chief Business Development Officer Joan Hamill says the event “is a place where memories are made. Families, friends, and (those) you’ve never met come to gather and celebrate together. It attracts a wide variety of people from all different walks of life.”

    Besides fun rides, midway games and the Ferris wheel, fair activities include dozens of shows across three venues. The 8,200-capacity Pacific Amphitheatre, which marked its 40th anniversary in July, hosted concerts by Beck, X, Styx, Dwight Yoakam, Ziggy Marley, Cheap Trick, and others this season. Tribute bands appear at The Hangar, while the Action Sports Arena is the place for motocross, rodeos, themed demolition derbies, monster trucks and the annual craft beer roundup. Local and community entertainment also happens on other stages throughout the fairgrounds.

    From funnel cakes, huge turkey legs and buttery corn on the cob to Chicken Charlie’s deep-fried delights and California Grill’s vegan/vegetarian/gluten-free options, there are all types of culinary fare. Courtyard wine seminars and tastings are offered near the food contest winners. Shopping opportunities abound. Marveling at the work of OC’s best amateur visual artists and photographers provides plenty of inspiration.

    Hamill notes that some chilled water stations help reduce plastic water bottle usage and the Every Day Passport allows patrons to visit anytime.

  • Wednesday, September 20, 2023 (12:05 pm)

    Please help OC Fair & Event Center by taking a quick survey

    Community input is important to us. If you have a few minutes to spare, please take this survey about the music and bands that play in The Hangar during the OC Fair.

    Thank you in advance for your feedback to help OC Fair & Event Center improve!

    Take the survey now!

  • Thursday, August 17, 2023 (2:22 pm)

    2023 OC Fair by the numbers

    COSTA MESA – The 2023 OC Fair is a wrap and there were a whole lot of summer memories for Fairgoers who wanted to get “Happy Together.” This year’s Fair ran July 14 through Aug. 13.

    “It is an absolute joy for our team to bring the OC Fair to the community each year,” said OC Fair & Event Center CEO Michele Richards. “There is definitely something for everyone at the OC Fair and this year was no exception. From animals and agriculture, exhibits and entertainment, food and fun, the 2023 OC Fair was the place to be this summer. We want to thank our guests for supporting the OC Fair and we look forward to seeing everyone again in 2024.”

    Advance tickets were required again for the third year so daily capacity could be limited to provide a better experience for guests, neighbors and partners.

    The Fair welcomed 1,048,181 Fairgoers who came out to enjoy summer’s most-anticipated event and there were 12 sold-out days during the 23-day run. In 2022, OC Fair attendance was 1,055,173 and there were 11 sold-out days.

    “The Board of Directors is very pleased with the performance of this year’s Fair,” said OC Fair Board Chair Newton Pham. “Once again, our attendance model is proving to be a huge success for the organization. By controlling our daily attendance, we have achieved a high level of per capita spending, while greatly minimizing the impact of the Fair on our surrounding neighborhoods and creating a great guest experience.”

    Here’s a look at this year’s OC Fair by the numbers:

    16,255 competition entries came in from 3,784 exhibitors who vied for blue-ribbons. In Home Arts, there were 1,322 entries, 1,592 entries in Culinary, Visual Arts had 4,768 entries and there were 5,068 entries in Horticulture. Entries were up 21 percent over 2022.

    2.3 million carnival rides were enjoyed by Fairgoers and their favorites were Sky Ride, La Grande Wheel XL, Raptor Coaster, Rave Wave and Crazy Coaster. More than 400,000 stuffed toys were won by Fairgoers trying their luck in the carnival midway.

    112 53-ft. trailers delivered all the carnival rides to the OC Fair.

    91,200 fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies were made from scratch at Mom’s Bakeshoppe.

    35,000 pounds of fries were served up at Biggy’s and these were topped with 400 pounds of Parmesan cheese and 1,500 pounds of garlic. It took one truckload of Kennebec potatoes to get these in to feed hungry Fairgoers. Biggy’s also doled out seven miles of foot-long Big Daddy corn dogs.

    29,914 tickets were purchased for performances in Pacific Amphitheatre, The Hangar and Action Sports Arena.

    42 concerts were sold out in Pacific Amphitheatre, The Hangar and Action Sports Arena during the course of the Fair.

    8,400 pounds of Ten Pound Buns were served up at this year’s OC Fair along with 2,758 Philly cheesesteak sandwiches.

    80,000 deep-fried Oreos, 10,000 bacon-wrapped pickles, 6,000 fried Twinkies and 50,000 pounds of fries were served up at the Chicken Charlie’s stands throughout the Fairgrounds.

    18,000 sheets of tissue paper were used to make approximately 2,250 flowers for the Chicano Heritage Month celebration.

    $254,437 was paid out to agriculture students through the Junior Livestock Auction and this year we saw the sale of 179 animals.

    800 pounds of pepperoni topped slices at Enzo’s Pizza along with 500 pounds of pickles for the new Hot Cheeto Cheese Pickle Pizza.

    223,778 Fairgoers visited the Art of Music Experience in the Huntington Beach building. The debut exhibit featured a pop-up vinyl shop and there were 3,100 albums sold.

    Concerts under the stars are continuing with these upcoming shows in Pacific Amphitheatre:

    Aug. 18 – Los Tucanes de Tijuana / La Original Banda El Limon
    Aug. 20 – Chicago
    Aug. 27 – Gabriel Iglesias
    Sept. 2 – Common Kings / Fiji / Sammy J and guests

    Tickets are for sale on Ticketmaster.

    UPDATE: The Chicago concert in Pacific Amphitheatre has been rescheduled to Sept. 5. The performance was originally slated for Aug. 20 and was postponed due to weather.

  • Sunday, July 30, 2023 (3:00 pm)

    What’s going on at the OC Fairgrounds in August

    2023 OC Fair – Happy Together, through – Aug. 13

    We are thrilled to welcome everyone back for the 2023 OC Fair, “Happy Together.” Get ready for 23 days of fun-filled live entertainment, exhibits, food, carnival rides, shopping and more!

    When: Through Aug. 13
    Schedule:
    Wednesday, Thursday, Sunday: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
    Friday & Saturday: 11 a.m. – midnight
    Where: OC Fair & Event Center
    How much:
    $13 general admission on Wednesday & Thursday
    $15 general admission on Friday, Saturday & Sunday
    $9 seniors 60+ and kids 6-12 every day
    Free for kids ages 5 and younger
    Parking is $12 for cars and motorcycles, $24 for buses and limos
    More information: Visit 2023 OC Fair

    *Advanced ticket purchase is required and no fees on admission tickets. Purchase your tickets at ocfair.com/tickets.

    OC Fair Fun Run 5K, Aug. 6
    Run, walk or skip through the OC Fair! Every runner gets an awesome medal, a T-shirt and free race photos. Huge thanks to our partner OC Marathon for making this event possible!

    When: Sunday, Aug. 6, 8 – 11 a.m.
    Schedule:
    Bib pickup: 6 – 7:40 a.m.
    Race begins: 8 a.m.
    Where: OC Fair & Event Center
    How much: $50 until July 31, $25 for youth 6-12, $10 for kids 5 and under.
    More info: Visit OC Fair Fun Run 5K

    Fight Club OC, Aug. 24
    Welcome to Fight Club OC, a hybrid boxing and MMA fight series that does six shows a year. With three high-definition cameras always on the action and an LED HD video board with instant replay, we’ll sell you the seat, but you need to bring the edge.

    When: Thursday, Aug. 24, 5:30 – 10 p.m.
    Schedule:
    Baja Bar & Grill happy hour 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
    The Hangar doors open at 6 p.m.
    First fight 7 p.m.
    Where: OC Fair & Event Center – The Hangar
    How much: General admission varies by seating selection ($40-$80). Parking is $12.
    More info: Visit Fight Club OC

    Gem Faire, Aug. 25-27
    The largest jewelry & bead show in SoCal. Shop fine jewelry, precious and semi-precious gemstones, millions of beads, crystals, gold and silver, pearls, minerals, fossils and much more at manufacturer’s prices. Jewelry repair and cleaning while you shop.

    When: Aug. 25 – 27, 2023
    Schedule:
    Friday: Noon – 6 p.m.
    Saturday: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
    Sunday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
    No admittance after 4 p.m. Sunday.
    Where: OC Fair & Event Center – Santa Ana Pavilion, Costa Mesa Building
    How much: General admission is $7. Parking is $12.
    More info: Visit Gem Faire

    626 Night Market, Aug. 25-27
    626 Night market is back at the OC Fair & Event Center. The iconic Californian festival features 200+ food, merchandise, crafts, arts, games, music and entertainment attractions in an epic event that appeals to all ages. Join us for warm summer days and bright nights.

    When: Friday – Sunday, Aug. 25 – 27, 4-11 p.m.
    Where: OC Fair & Event Center – OC Promenade and Lot I/G
    How much: General admission for adults, seniors and children $5. Children 3 and under are free. Parking is $12.
    Most vendors accept cash only. ATMs will be available.
    More info: Visit 626 Night Market


    Entertainment during the 2023 OC Fair

    Pacific Amphitheatre

    Pacific Amphitheatre’s 40th anniversary continues to deliver the hottest entertainment with upcoming performances by comedians Gabriel Iglesias and Jeff Dunham, concerts by Beck, Ne-Yo, War, George Thorogood, Rebelution, Los Tucanes de Tijuana, -X-, Cheap Trick, Ziggy Marley, The Fab Four, Chicago, AJR, Common Kings and Sweet & Tender Hooligans.

    When: Through Sept. 2
    Where: OC Fair & Event Center – Pacific Amphitheatre
    How much: Varies by performer and seating selection
    More info: Visit Pacific Amphitheatre

    The Hangar
    In The Hangar, tribute bands have delivered some classic tunes that have kept Fairgoers rocking. Up next: Journey Unauthorized, Wild Child, Zeppelin Live, Elton: The Early Years, Yachty By Nature, Red Corvette, Which One’s Pink?, Start Making Sense, Damage Inc., Queen Nation join Mariachi Sol de Mexico de Jose Hernandez and Spencer Sutherland to close out the second half of the Fair.

    When: Through Aug. 13
    Where: OC Fair & Event Center – The Hangar
    How much: Varies by performer and seating selection
    More info: Visit OC Fair

    Action Sports Arena
    The adrenaline rush carries on in Action Sports Arena with demolition derbies, rodeos, charros and motosports keeping Fairgoers entertained.

    When: Through Aug. 12
    Where: OC Fair & Event Center – Action Sports Arena
    How much: Varies by performer and seating selection
    More info: Visit OC Fair

    * Entertainment tickets include same-day Fair admission for shows

    happening July 14 – Aug. 13.


    Things to do and see during the 2023 OC Fair

    ‘Armed Only With A Camera’
    The World War II Photography of Stanley Troutman is now on display at Heroes Hall. Troutman served his country by photographing the war in the South Pacific Theater including the devastated cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    When: Through Sept. 2023
    Where: Heroes Hall is next to Centennial Farm
    How much: Included with Fair admission
    More info: Visit Heroes Hall

    Bug Bizarre
    Explore this year’s Bug Bizarre exhibit where touchable displays and hands-on demonstrations will immerse you into the exotic world of bugs! Visitors will also have the chance to learn from an expert entomologist about these critters’ intricate ecosystems, ecological importance and how different cultures utilize insects in their daily lives.

    When: Through Aug. 13
    Where: OC Fair & Event Center – OC Promenade
    How much: Included with Fair admission
    More info: Visit Exhibits

    The Art of Music Experience
    An experiential exhibit that inspires people of all ages to discover, explore and appreciate the stories and creators behind album cover art.

    Embark on an immersive journey through a series of themed gallery and vendor environments, flip through bins of vinyl records at a pop-up independent record store, watch live painting of album cover art, rank your favorite album cover and more.

    When: July 14 – Aug. 13
    Where: OC Fair & Event Center – Huntington Beach Building
    How much: Included with Fair admission
    More info: Visit Exhibits

    The SAAAB Story
    The SAAAB (Santa Ana Army Air Base) Story exhibition celebrates the history of the flight training center, its contribution to the war effort, the servicemembers that served here and its role in the development of the growth of Orange County through film, photographs, maps, oral histories, works of art and ephemera. 

    When: Ongoing
    Where: Heroes Hall is next to Centennial Farm
    How much: Included with Fair admission
    More info: Visit Heroes Hall


    Ongoing at the OC Fair & Event Center

    Centennial Farm
    Centennial Farm reopens to the public Aug. 21! The Farm is home to fruit and vegetable gardens, livestock, and the Millennium Barn. Two youth educational tour programs are offered – Discovery Days and Junior Farmer Tours – as well as year-round daily hours so the public can visit the farm. 

    When: Re-opening Aug. 21
    Schedule: Monday – Friday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. through Sept. 22
    Where: OC Fair & Event Center – Centennial Farm
    How much: Free admission and parking.
    More info: Visit Centennial Farm

    Farmers Market every Thursday
    Shop local at this OC Farm Bureau-certified farmers market featuring produce, fresh flowers, fish, hummus, honey, hot sauce and more. Some vendors also sell hot food for lunch such as tamales and tacos/burritos. 

    Hours: Thursdays, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
    Where on the fairgrounds: Outdoors in Lot D
    How much: Free admission and parking; let parking attendant know you are going to the Farmers Market.
    >More info: Visit OC Farm Bureau 

    Centennial Farm Pig Cam
    Want to keep tabs on our pigs during the Fair? Watch the Centennial farm pigs LIVE on our official Pig Cam and see what these adorable animals are up to!

    More info: Visit Centennial Farm Pig Cam

    Heroes Hall
    Heroes Hall reopens to the public Aug. 23! Heroes Hall is a free, permanent, year-round museum and education center with exhibitions, performances and educational programs that celebrate the legacy of Orange County veterans and others who have served our nation. The two-story exhibition space will rotate themes semi-annually with each focusing on an aspect of the personal stories and experiences of veterans.

    When: Re-opening Aug. 23
    Schedule: Wednesday – Sunday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
    Where: OC Fair & Event Center – Heroes Hall Museum
    How much: Free admission and parking.
    More info: Visit Heroes Hall


    Coming up in September

    Fight Club OC, Sept. 2
    DAZN Special Edition

    Welcome to Fight Club OC, a hybrid boxing and MMA fight series that does six shows a year. With three high definition cameras always on the action and an LED HD video board with instant replay, we’ll sell you the seat, but you need to bring the edge.

    When: Saturday, Sept. 2
    Schedule:
    Baja Bar & Grill happy hour 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
    Hangar doors open at 6 p.m.
    First fight 7 p.m.
    Where: OC Fair & Event Center – The Hangar
    How much: General admission varies by seating selection ($40-$80). Parking is $12. More Info: Visit Fight Club OC

    Cruisin’ For A Cure, Sept. 9
    Cruisin’ for a Cure is the world’s largest one-day charity car show with over 3,000 vehicles on display and over 150+ vendors and exhibitors. Be assured that your participation in the event and any donations go directly to prostate cancer research at the KSK Cancer Center of Irvine to help find a cure.

    When: Saturday, Sept. 9, 6 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
    Where: OC Fair & Event Center
    How much: General admission is $17, kids 11 and under are free. Parking is $12.
    More Info: Visit Cruisin’ For A Cure

    Costa Mesa Speedway, Sept. 9
    Harley Night Finals / Speedway / Sidecars

    See “mad men” on high-compression single-cylinders powering down short straights before throwing their bike on its ear and sliding at impossible lean angles around each end of the track. It’s a spectator’s dream! 

    When: Saturday, Sept. 9
    Schedule:
    Gates open at 6 p.m.
    Races start at 7:30 p.m.
    Where: OC Fair & Event Center – Action Sports Arena
    How much: General admission $30; juniors (13-17), military and seniors (65+) $20; children (3-12) $10; kids 2 and under are free.
    More Info: Visit Costa Mesa Speedway

    Sand Sports Super Show, Sept. 15-17
    The world’s biggest sand sports expo! Join us for three days of fun and get up close to the latest sand rails, ATVs, UTVs/side x sides, accessories, apparel and a whole lot more! Take part in the world’s largest sand sports expo.

    When: Friday – Sunday, Sept. 15-17
    Schedule:
    Sept. 15, 4 – 10 p.m.
    Sept. 16, 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
    Sept. 17, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
    Where: OC Fair & Event Center
    How much: General admission $16, kids (6-12) $6, kids 5 and under are free. Parking is $12.
    More Info: Visit Sand Sports Super Show

    Costa Mesa Speedway, Sept. 23
    53rd U.S. National Speedway Championship

    See “mad men” on high-compression single-cylinders powering down short straights before throwing their bike on its ear and sliding at impossible lean angles around each end of the track. It’s a spectator’s dream. 

    When: Sunday, Sept. 23
    Schedule:
    Gates open at 6 p.m.
    Races start at 7:30 p.m.
    Where: OC Fair & Event Center – Action Sports Arena
    How much: General admission $30; juniors (13-17), military and seniors (65+) $20; children (3-12) $10; kids 2 and under are free.
    More Info: Visit Costa Mesa Speedway

    SoCal VegFest, Sept. 23-24
    A vegan festival that offers a range of activities for attendees to enjoy, including free food samples, food and drink for purchase, a cruelty-free marketplace, inspirational speakers, food demonstrations, appearances by celebrity chefs and social media influencers, live music from famous musicians and DJs, comedy performances, yoga sessions, games, a kids area and much more!

    When: Saturday – Sunday, Sept. 23-24, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
    Where: OC Fair & Event Center
    How much: General admission is $10, kids 11 and under, seniors 65+, veterans and active military are free. Parking is $12.
    More Info: Visit SoCal VegFest

    Costa Mesa Speedway, Sept. 30
    Fall Classic / Speedway / Sidecars / Juniors

    See “mad men” on high-compression single-cylinders powering down short straights before throwing their bike on its ear and sliding at impossible lean angles around each end of the track. It’s a spectator’s dream! 

    When: Saturday, Sept. 30
    Schedule:
    Gates open at 6 p.m.
    Races start at 7:30 p.m.
    Where: OC Fair & Event Center – Action Sports Arena
    How much: General admission $30; juniors (13-17), military and seniors (65+) $20; children (3-12) $10; kids 2 and under are free.
    More Info: Visit Costa Mesa Speedway

  • Friday, June 30, 2023 (9:36 am)

    New food is on the way to the 2023 OC Fair – plus all the crazy treats that guests crave

    COSTA MESA (June 30, 2023) – Concessionaires have been working hard to create even more unusual and tasty food to serve to adventurous and hungry guests at the 2023 OC Fair.

    The theme this year is “Happy Together” and the dates are July 14 to Aug. 13, Wednesday through Sunday.

    Here is what these fairway gourmets have been cooking up:

    OC Fair exclusives
    • Candied Bacon-Wrapped Pork Belly Bites – Bacon-A-Fair
    • Campfire Breakfast on a Bun – Ten Pound Buns
    • Mediterranean Bowl – Chicken Charlie’s
    • Fruit Pizza – Bangin’ Berries
    • Pineapple Whip Dumplings with Fruit Rollups – Swirl
    • Eggroll Turkey Dog – Pink’s
    • Ice Cream Sundae Flight – Sweets by Cardinali
    • New vegan and vegetarian options – California Grill
    • Double Trouble dual ice cream cone – Swirl
    • Hot Cheetos Cheese Chicken on a Stick – Biggy’s
    • Maple Bacon Smoothie – Bacon-A-Fair
    • Frozen Grapes with Tajin and Fruit Rollup on a Stick – Swirl
    • Mini Pies: Strawberry, apple and peach – Bangin’ Berries
    New at OC Fair
    • Bucket of Cookie Dough to Go – Cathy’s Cookies
    • Nacho Average Cheeseburger Fries – Tasti Burger
    • Mazapan Funnel Cake – Dutchmen’s Funnel Cake
    • Hot Cheetos Pickle Pizza – Biggy’s
    • Maui Chicken Sliders – Chicken Charlie’s
    • Cap’n Crunch Churros – Swirl
    • Tasti Papas Locas – Tasti Chips
    • Deep-Fried S’mores – Chicken Charlie’s
    • Pina Colada Shake – Sweets by Cardinali
    • Oreo Churros – Dutchmen’s Funnel Cake
    • New flavor ICEE Cherry ‘n’ Blue Razz Ice – dippin’ dots
    • NEW STAND – Fair Pretzels, Country Lane
    • NEW STAND – Western Saloon, Livestock Lane
    Returning Fair favorites
    • Australian Battered Potatoes
    • Bangin’ Berries (new stand name)
    • Papi’s Puffy Tacos
    • Fabe’s Churros and Gelato
    • Pepe’s Mariscos Fresh Mexican Seafood
    • Northgate Market Guacamole Stand
    • MoonGoat Coffee
    • Turkey legs – various locations
    • Michelaugas and aguas frescas – various locations
    • Cotton candy, candied apples, kettle corn, popcorn – various locations
    • Ice cream, milkshakes, smoothies, floats – various locations
    • Deep-fried treats on a stick – various locations
    • Hotdogs, corndogs, hamburgers, fries, pizza – various locations
    • Funnel cakes, donuts, cinnamon rolls – various locations
    • Nachos, chicken bowls, roasted corn, baked potatoes – various locations

    … and more!

    Many of these treats will be available to sample during $4 Taste of Fair happening each Thursday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. View the menus here.

    The basics – what to know before you go
     

    OC Fair runs July 14-Aug. 13

    Advance ticket purchase will again be required for admission to summer’s best event, which will be open Wednesday through Sunday with limited daily capacity. Hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday, and 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday. Guests are encouraged to buy tickets for the specific days they want to attend as soon as possible – days will sell out. Visit ocfair.com/tickets – there are no fees on admission tickets.

    OC Fair ticket prices are $13 general admission Wednesday and Thursday and $15 Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Tickets for seniors 60+ and kids 6-12 are $9 all days; children 5 and under are free. Parking is $12 for cars and motorcycles and $24 for buses and limos.

    New this year, the Every Day Passport gives Fairgoers access any day – or every day – to all 23 days of the OC Fair for $60 with no restrictions or blackout days. Supplies are limited. Learn more at ocfair.com/everydaypass/.

    The 2023 OC Fair app is on its way – download for tickets, events, food, shopping, maps and more! Go to ocfair.com/fair or your app store.

    For more information, visit ocfair.com.

    Photos and video for media use are available here.

  • Wednesday, June 28, 2023 (4:06 pm)

    What’s going on at the OC Fairgrounds in July

    I think we can all agree the hottest ticket in town is the 2023 OC Fair! The Fair promises to bring everything from cute, cuddly animals to thrilling shows, exhibits and entertainment. There’s something for everyone in the lineup that will surely keep you and the family coming back for more. But don’t forget to join us for the City of Costa Mesa’s Independence Day Community Celebration happening pre-Fair. And, of course, we’re working to keep the party going post-Fair with some exciting events and exhibits in the fall. Whether pre-, during or post-Fair we can’t wait to host your good time.

    See you on the Fairgrounds!

     

    2023 OC Fair Tickets

    Tickets are on sale now at ocfair.com/tickets. Advance admission purchase is required, please choose dates carefully as there are no refunds or exchanges. Buy now – days will sell out. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster. Our on-site box office will sell admission tickets only until July 13. Tickets will not be available at entry gates during the Fair. There are no transaction fees for admission tickets. Do not purchase tickets elsewhere as they may not be valid. 

     

    EVERY DAY PASSPORT

    New for 2023 is the Every Day Passport. Now, you can enjoy the Fair any day or every day – no restrictions or blackout dates!

    The Every Day Passport is available for $60. Availability is limited and the offer is valid only while supplies last. To purchase, visit ocfair.com/everydaypass/.

     

    TNT Fireworks Stand, June 30 – July 4

    Costa Mesa High School Baseball is selling safe and sane TNT fireworks.
    When:  June 30 – July 4, hours vary by day.
    Schedule:
    June 30, Noon – 10 p.m.
    July 1 – 3, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
    July 4, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
    Where: OC Fair & Event Center – Lot E
    How much: Free admission and parking. Firework prices vary. 
    More info: Visit Costa Mesa High School Baseball

    Independence Day Community Celebration, July 3

    What better way to commemorate America’s 247th birthday than with an Independence Day Community Celebration! The festivities include free entry, activities and a firework show. Bring your picnic, lawn chairs and blanket and create a memorable evening as we celebrate our nation’s independence.

    Food and drinks will be available. Glass containers and bottles are prohibited. No hard-sided coolers or outside alcohol permitted.

    When: Monday, July 3, 5 – 11 p.m.
    Firework show starts at 9:30 p.m.
    Where: OC Fair & Event Center – Lot A
    How much: Free admission and parking.
    More info: Visit City of Costa Mesa 

     

    2023 OC Fair – Happy Together, July 14 – Aug. 13

    We are thrilled to welcome everyone back for the 2023 OC Fair, “Happy Together.” Get ready for 23 days of fun-filled live entertainment, exhibits, food, carnival rides, shopping and more!

    When: July 14 – Aug. 13
    Schedule:
    Wednesday, Thursday, Sunday: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
    Friday & Saturday: 11 a.m. – midnight
    Where: OC Fair & Event Center
    How much:
    $13 general admission on Wednesday & Thursday
    $15 general admission on Friday, Saturday & Sunday
    $9 seniors 60+ and kids 6-12 every day
    Free for kids ages 5 and younger
    Parking is $12 for cars and motorcycles, $24 for buses and limos
    More information: Visit 2023 OC Fair

    Entertainment during the 2023 OC Fair

    Pacific Amphitheatre

    Pacific Amphitheatre is celebrating its 40th anniversary and delivering entertainment you don’t want to miss. Performances include comedians Gabriel Iglesias and Jeff Dunham, concerts by Beck, Ne-Yo, War, George Thorogood, Rebelution, Los Tucanes de Tijuana, -X-, Stephen Marley, Cheap Trick, Bee Gees Gold, The Green, Dwight Yoakam, 3 Doors Down, Yung Gravy, Ziggy Marley, The Fab Four, Styx, Chicago, Gerardo Ortiz, Smokey Robinson, Midland, Ramon Ayala, AJR, Common Kings and Sweet & Tender Hooligans.

    When: July 1 – Sept. 2
    Where: OC Fair & Event Center – Pacific Amphitheatre
    How much: Varies by performer and seating selection
    More info: Visit Pacific Amphitheatre

     

    The Hangar

    In The Hangar, tribute bands Dead Man’s Party, Twisted Gypsy, Devotional, Journey Unauthorized, Wild Child, Don’t Look Back, Sweet Home Alabama, Zeppelin Live, Elton: The Early Years, Yachty By Nature, Ticket to the Moon, 24K Magic!, Red Corvette, Which One’s Pink?, Start Making Sense, Damage Inc., Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers, The Beatles vs The Stones and Queen Nation join Mariachi Sol de Mexico de Jose Hernandez and Spencer Sutherland over the course of the Fair.

    When: July 14 – Aug. 13

    Where: OC Fair & Event Center – The Hangar

    How much: Varies by performer and seating selection

    More info: Visit OC Fair

     

    Action Sports Arena

    Non-stop adrenaline is scheduled in Action Sports Arena with Monster Truck Nitro, demolition derbies, rodeos, charros and more taking over. There’s sure to be something to keep everyone entertained.

    When: July 14 – Aug. 12

    Where: OC Fair & Event Center – Action Sports Arena

    How much: Varies by performer and seating selection

    More info: Visit OC Fair

    * Entertainment tickets include same-day Fair admission for shows

    happening July 14 – Aug. 13.

     

    Exhibits during the 2023 OC Fair

    ‘Armed Only With A Camera’

    The World War II Photography of Stanley Troutman is now on display at Heroes Hall. Troutman served his country by photographing the war in the South Pacific Theater including the devastated cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    When: Through Sept. 2023

    Where: Heroes Hall is next to Centennial Farm

    How much: Included with Fair admission

    More info: Visit Heroes Hall

     

    Junior Livestock Auction

    For a classic fair experience visit OC Fair’s Livestock Show Ring and view the Junior Livestock Auction! OC Fair’s annual Junior Livestock Auction supports 4-H and FFA agriculture education programs throughout Orange County. Bidding at the OC Fair will be in person with add-on contributions online only. Market shows will be held in person and viewing will be available during OC Fair public hours.

    When: Saturday, July 22, auction begins at 10 a.m.

    Where: OC Fair & Event Center – Livestock Showring

    How much: Included with Fair admission

    More info: Visit Junior Livestock Auction

     

    The Art of Music Experience

    An experiential exhibit that inspires people of all ages to discover, explore and appreciate the stories and creators behind album cover art.

    Embark on an immersive journey through a series of themed gallery and vendor environments, flip through bins of vinyl records at a pop-up independent record store, watch live painting of album cover art, rank your favorite album cover and more.

    When: July 14 – Aug. 13

    Where: OC Fair & Event Center – Huntington Beach Building

    How much: Included with Fair admission

    More info: Visit Exhibits

     

    The SAAAB Story

    The SAAAB (Santa Ana Army Air Base) Story exhibition celebrates the history of the flight training center, its contribution to the war effort, the servicemembers that served here and its role in the development of the growth of Orange County through film, photographs, maps, oral histories, works of art and ephemera. 

    When: Ongoing

    Where: Heroes Hall is next to Centennial Farm

    How much: Included with Fair admission

    More info: Visit Heroes Hall

     

    Ongoing at the OC Fair & Event Center

    Farmers Market every Thursday

    Shop local at this OC Farm Bureau-certified farmers market featuring produce, fresh flowers, fish, hummus, honey, hot sauce and more. Some vendors also sell hot food for lunch such as tamales and tacos/burritos. 

    Hours: Thursdays, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

    Where on the fairgrounds: Outdoors in Lot D

    How much: Free admission and parking; let parking attendant know you are going to the Farmers Market.

    More info: Visit OC Farm Bureau 

     

    Centennial Farm Pig Cam

    Want to keep tabs on our pigs during the Fair? Watch the Centennial farm pigs LIVE on our official Pig Cam and see what these adorable animals are up to!

    More info: Visit Centennial Farm Pig Cam

     

    Coming up in August

    OC Fair Fun Run 5K, Aug. 6

    Run, walk or skip through the OC Fair!

    When: Sunday, Aug. 6, 8 – 11 a.m.

    Schedule:

    Bib pickup: 6 – 7:40 a.m.

    Race begins: 8 a.m.

    Where: OC Fair & Event Center

    How much: $45 until July 13, $25 for youth 6-12, $10 for kids 5 and under.

    More info: Visit OC Fair Fun Run 5K

     

    Fight Club OC, Aug. 24

    Welcome to Fight Club OC, a hybrid boxing and MMA fight series that does six shows a year. With three high definition cameras always on the action and an LED HD video board with instant replay, we’ll sell you the seat, but you need to bring the edge.

    When: Thursday, Aug. 24, 5:30 – 10 p.m.

    Schedule:

    Baja Bar & Grill happy hour 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.

    Hangar doors open at 6 p.m.

    First fight 7 p.m.

    Where: OC Fair & Event Center – The Hangar

    How much: General admission is $65. Parking is $12. 

    More info: Visit Fight Club OC

     

    Gem Faire, Aug. 25-27

    The largest jewelry & bead show in SoCal. Shop fine jewelry, precious and semi-precious gemstones, millions of beads, crystals, gold and silver, pearls, minerals, fossils and much more at manufacturer’s prices. Jewelry repair and cleaning while you shop.

    When: Aug. 25 – 27, 2023

    Schedule:

    Friday: Noon – 6 p.m.

    Saturday: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

    Sunday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. 

    No admittance after 4 p.m. Sunday.

    Where: OC Fair & Event Center – Santa Ana Pavilion, Costa Mesa Building

    How much: General admission is $11. Parking is $12.

    More info: Visit Gem Faire

  • Monday, June 19, 2023 (8:05 am)

    Get OC Fair admission and carnival tickets now - don’t miss summer fun!

    COSTA MESA (June 19, 2023) – The first day of summer is just days away and the OC Fair is making big plans and inviting everyone to be “Happy Together” from July 14 to Aug. 13.
     
    Here is what you need to know to make sure you don’t miss out on summer’s best party:
     
    The basics
    Tickets are available now for admission, carnival rides, games and entertainment. The OC Fair will again have limited daily capacity – days will sell out. Carnival wristbands and ride tickets are also currently on sale at discounted prices prior to the Fair.
     
    Advance ticket purchase will again be required for admission to summer’s best event, which will be open Wednesday through Sunday. Hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday, and 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday. Guests are encouraged to buy tickets for the specific days they want to attend as soon as possible. Visit ocfair.com/tickets – there are no fees on admission tickets.
     
    OC Fair ticket prices are $13 general admission Wednesday and Thursday and $15 Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Tickets for seniors 60+ and kids 6-12 are $9 all days; children 5 and under are free. Parking is $12 for cars and motorcycles and $24 for buses and limos.
     
    Every Day Passport
    New this year, the Every Day Passport gives Fairgoers access any day – or every day – to all 23 days of the OC Fair for $60 with no restrictions or blackout days. Otherwise, tickets must be purchased in advance for a specific day. Supplies are limited.
     
    Carnival deals
    The popular carnival ride wristbands are back this year for $44 presale online through July 14 and $49 during the Fair. The one-day wristbands can be used Wednesday and Thursday, and include unlimited rides and two free games. Guests can ride and play from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. 
     
    Carnival FunPasses of 50 and 100 tickets can also be bought online prior to the Fair opening at a 20% discount. Tickets required for each ride and game vary. For more information on this year’s rides and games, visit our website.
     
    New rides this year include Sling Shot, Raptor and Joker 360. Sling Shot, classified as an extreme thrill ride, catapults riders 200 feet into the air in 1.2 seconds. This ride requires a separate ticket.
     
    Ray Cammack Shows (RCS) and the OC Fair are rewarding kids for reading during the summer with two free ride passes. Just fill out the online form, print out the email verification and bring it to a RCS carnival information booth in the Kidland area to claim passes for two carnival rides.
     
    Grab our apps
    The 2023 OC Fair app is on its way – download for tickets, events, food, shopping, maps and more! Go to ocfair.com/fair or your app store.
     
    The RCS FunPass carnival app enables Fairgoers to purchase tickets, check and recharge passes. Bonus: FunPasses can be shared between family and friends. For more information, visit ocfair.com/oc-fair/buy-tickets/carnival/.
     
    OC Fair 5K Fun Run
    Registration is open for the OC Fair 5K Fun Run which will take place Aug. 6; pricing is $40 until June 23. Registration for kids 5 and under is $10 and youth 6-12 can register for $20. For more information and to register, visit ocfair5k.com.
     
    Live entertainment
    Tickets are also on sale for OC Fair shows in Pacific Amphitheatre, The Hangar and Action Sports Arena at Tickemaster.com and ocfair.com. Performance tickets for shows held during the run of the Fair also include same-day Fair admission.
     
    Shows in Pacific Amphitheatre include Beck, Dwight Yoakam, Ramon Ayala, Ne-Yo/RobinThicke, Jeff Dunham and Chicago. In The Hangar, Fairgoers can see Twisted Gypsy, Queen Nation, Elton The Early Years, Mariachi Sol de Mexico de Jose Hernandez and Spencer Sutherland. In Action Sports Arena, Monster Truck Nitro Tour, demolition derbies and Costa Mesa Speedway will thrill guests.
     
    Returning OC Fair favorites
    Don’t miss magician Frank Thurston, blue ribbon-winning competition entries, hypnotist Mark Yuzuik, Great American Petting Farm, All-Alaskan Racing Pigs and, of course, crazy fair food. The Taste of the Fair is also back with sample-size food options for $4 on Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
     
    Stats and info
    OC Fair attendance in 2022 was 1,055,173. The Fair returned to an in-person event in 2021 with attendance at 1,055,770 after a virtual Fair was held online in 2020.
     
    For more information, visit ocfair.com.
     
  • Wednesday, June 7, 2023 (8:35 am)

    OC Fair’s entertainment lineup is ready, with 71 shows across three venues this summer

    COSTA MESA (June 7, 2023) – The OC Fair has announced its entertainment lineup for the summer, featuring 71 performances across three venues, Pacific Amphitheatre, The Hangar and Action Sports Arena.

    Entertainment tickets are on sale now at ticketmaster.com.

    Pacific Amphitheatre is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year and will kick off its summer season with two pre-Fair concerts: Stephen Marley on July 1, and The Green/Hirie/Mike Love/Jesse Royal/Common Sense on July 8.

    Then, the Toyota Summer Concert Series marks the opening weekend of the 2023 OC Fair with Bee Gees Gold/ABBA LA on July 14, 3 Doors Down/Candlebox on July 15, and The Happy Together Tour on July 16.

    Pacific Amphitheatre shows also include Dwight Yoakam/Asleep at the Wheel on July 20, Gerardo Ortiz/Los Farmerz on July 23, X/The English Beat/Save Ferris on July 30, Beck/Phoenix on Aug. 9, Jeff Dunham on Aug. 10, and Ne-Yo/Robin Thicke/Mario on Aug. 4.

    But the fun doesn’t stop there. Pacific Amphitheatre’s summer season includes four post-Fair shows this year: Los Tucanes de Tijuana/La Original Banda El Limon on Aug. 18, Chicago on Aug. 20, Gabriel Iglesias on Aug. 27 and Common Kings/Fiji and guests on Sept. 2. Visit pacamp.com for the full venue lineup.

    This year’s entertainment in The Hangar includes Devotional (Depeche Mode tribute), Dead Man’s Party (Oingo Boingo tribute), Spencer Sutherland/DOUBLECAMP, Twisted Gypsy (Fleetwood Mac tribute), Queen Nation (Queen tribute), and Mariachi Sol de Mexico de Jose Hernandez. See ocfair.com for the complete venue lineup.

    Action Sports Arena will launch the Fair season with OC Brew Hee Haw, a craft beer roundup with live music, on July 14 and 15. The Monster Truck Nitro Tour, demolition derbies, rodeos, X-Treme Freestyle Moto-X and the Speedway Fair Derby on Aug. 1 will round out the entertainment. Check out ocfair.com for the detailed venue lineup.

    Fair-time entertainment tickets include free same-day admission to the OC Fair, July 14-Aug. 13. Shows are selling out so guests are encouraged to purchase tickets now at ticketmaster.com.

  • Tuesday, May 2, 2023 (9:59 am)

    OC Fair competition deadlines are near – how to bring home a blue ribbon this year

    COSTA MESA – Calling all artists, growers and creators! OC Fair’s competition entry deadlines are quickly approaching.

    For the 2023 OC Fair, everyone is invited to showcase their talents by participating in more than 20 competitions in the visual arts, culinary, home arts and hobbies, wine, horticulture and livestock categories.

    Competitions this year include:

    Visual Arts
    Fine Arts
    Photography
    Woodworking

    Home Arts & Hobbies
    Collections
    Fiber Arts
    Hand Crafts
    Jewelry Arts
    Table Setting

    Horticulture
    Container Plants
    Cut Flowers
    Floral Arrangements
    Fruits & Vegetables
    Pressed Botanicals

    Culinary
    Bars & Brownies
    Cookies
    Honey
    Pies & Cheesecakes
    Preserved Food & Liqueur
    Sugar Arts & Confections
    Yeast & Quick Breads

    Wine
    Commercial Wine
    Home Wine

    Livestock
    Breeding Livestock Shows
    Market 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. The guides detail rules, regulations, important dates and more. Some competitions are free to enter.

    The first 2023 deadline for commercial wines, is slated to close May 19. Table settings, a fan favorite, has exceeded entries and is now closed.

    Results for the 2022 OC Fair Competitions are available at ocfair.com/oc-fair/competitions-contests/results/.

    ABOUT THE 2023 OC FAIR

    “Happy Together” is the theme of this year’s OC Fair, which takes place July 14-Aug. 13. Hours: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday; 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday.

    New this year, the OC Fair is offering an Every Day Passport which allows guests to enjoy the Fair any day or every day of the 2023 season – no reservations or restrictions. The Every Day Passport is on sale now for $60, while supplies last.

    There is limited daily capacity at the OC Fair and advance admission ticket purchase is required – tickets are on sale now. Prices are $13 general admission on weekdays (Wednesday, Thursday) and $15 general admission on weekends (Friday, Saturday and Sunday). Tickets for seniors 60+ and kids 6-12 are $9 all days. The OC Fair will absorb transaction fees. Parking is $12; $24 for buses and limos.

    Tickets are on sale for performances in Pacific Amphitheatre, Action Sports Arena and The Hangar. Carnival tickets are also on sale with a $44 discounted ride wristband available for purchase until July 14. Guests can access unlimited rides and two free games from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wristbands must be redeemed by 5 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

    For more information, visit ocfair.com. Photos and video for media are available here.