Category Archives: OC Fair

  • August 25, 2021 (11:23 am)

    OC Fair announces final attendance numbers for 2021 event

    The OC Fair has announced that 1,055,770 guests attended the 2021 event which ran from July 16 through Aug. 15, 2021.

    Advance tickets were required for the first time as the Fair moved forward with limited daily capacity and a slightly slimmed down array of booths and attractions.  Also for the first time, the OC Fair sold out 16 of its 23 days due to capacity limitations.

    “While we’re so pleased that more than a million people came out to support the return of the OC Fair this year, increased attendance is no longer a number by which we will measure the success of the Fair,” said OC Fair & Event Center CEO Michele Richards. “More important to us is the great guest experience we were able to create, our ability to responsibly manage our resources and achieve profitability, and our efforts to be good neighbors and support the community in times of need.”

    “Time for Fun,” was the theme of this year’s Fair and guests agreed. The 2021 guest survey showed that the Fair earned an overall enjoyment rating of 4.2 out of 5 and the advance ticketing process earned a 4.5 out of 5 rating from visitors.

    Some 16 percent who answered the survey said they attended the OC Fair for the first time and fairgoers said their favorite parts of the event were food, animals and exhibits.

    Visitors also enjoyed music at this year’s Fair with 20 sold-out concerts in The Hangar and so far nine sold-out shows in Pacific Amphitheatre.

    Concerts under the stars are continuing with five more shows in Pacific Amphitheatre:
    Aug. 25 – Goo Goo Dolls / Sister Hazel – Buy tickets
    Aug. 26 – Flaming Lips / Greer – Buy tickets
    Sept. 2 – Chase Rice / Breland – Buy tickets
    Sept. 11 – Pacific Symphony performing Tchaikovsky’s “1812” Overture – Buy tickets 
    Sept. 23 – Hank Williams Jr. / Jackson Dean – Buy tickets

    The 2020 OC Fair was canceled due to the pandemic and a virtual event was held online. Attendance at the 2019 OC Fair was 1,393,482.

  • August 16, 2021 (1:21 pm)

    Sun sets on the 2021 OC Fair – it’s a wrap!

    The 2021 OC Fair is a wrap and there were several firsts and a whole lot of summer memories for fairgoers who felt it was “Time for Fun,” the theme of this year’s Fair which ran from July 16 through Aug. 15.

    Advance tickets were required for the first time as the Fair moved forward with limited daily capacity and a slightly slimmed down array of booths and attractions.

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

    16 sold-out days – For the first time, the OC Fair had sold-out days and 16 of the 23 days maxed out. Fairgoers also got to enjoy two additional hours with gates opening at 10 a.m. instead of noon. The Fair Board voted to keep admission and parking prices the same as in 2019.

    Preliminary figures show that just over one million fairgoers agreed that it was Time for Fun and came out to enjoy summer’s most anticipated event. Also for the first time, there was a limit of approx. 45,000 tickets sold daily for Fair admission, The Hangar concerts and shows in Pacific Amphitheatre. There were some ticket types already in the market, such as promotional tickets and passes, that were taken into account.

    “While we’re so pleased that more than a million people came out to support the return of the OC Fair this year, increased attendance is no longer a number by which we will measure the success of the Fair,” said OC Fair & Event Center CEO Michele Richards.
    “More important to us is the great guest experience we were able to create, our ability to responsibly manage our resources and achieve profitability, and our efforts to be good neighbors and support the community in times of need.”

    3,091 entries competed for blue ribbons – There were1,588 adult cut flower entries, 134 youth cut flowers entries, 1,060 adult fruit & vegetable entries and 300 youth fruit and vegetable entries for a total of 331 exhibitors.

    2.5 million carnival rides were enjoyed by fairgoers and their favorites were Skyride, La Grande Wheel XL, Euroslide, Rave Wave and Titan. The top three games were Bottle Up, Big Water Race and Bank A Ball. More than 30,000 Fast Passes were sold in the carnival

    100 semi-trailer loads full of stuffed toys were received at OC Fair to be awarded to carnival game winners. The No. 1 most-requested prize for the past five years remained Pokemon characters. The two new favorite items on midway are the Squismallows and Bob Ross stuffed doll.

    72 pallets of merchandise were delivered to the OC Fair’s Lolo Boutiques booth.

    75,900 fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies were baked from scratch at Mom’s Bakeshoppe using one ton of flour, two tons of brown sugar, more than 100 pounds of margarine, 4,600 eggs and a whopping 1,062,600 mini chocolate chips.

    10 pallets of Oreos were deep-fried at RCS food stands along with two swimming pools full of Flaming Hot Cheetos added to Biggy’s food items. They reported that their top-three food items were corn dogs, deep-fried Oreos and pizza slices.

    10,000 avocados, 10,000 waffle cones, 10,000 pounds of flour and more than 10,000 Oreo cookies were served up at the Chicken Charlie’s stands throughout the fairgrounds.

    9,404 kids took advantage of the Read & Ride program and received 28,212 free carnival rides for reading books and writing or drawing reports.

    7,700 pounds of Ten Pound Buns were served up at this year’s OC Fair.

    “There really is something for everyone at the OC Fair,” said OC Fair Board Chair Natalie Rubalcava-Garcia. “We are so proud of the economic impact OC Fair has on Orange County, generating $300 million in economic impact and creating over 3,000 jobs. Although the 23 days of the fair have to come to an end, we are so grateful for the success of the fair and the support from our community and look forward to the 2022 Fair. On behalf of the Board, I’d like to thank staff, partners and guests for making this OC Fair such a wonderful event.”

    300 volunteer hours and 1,200 jars of canned fresh produce were the results of work from UCCE Master Food Preservers over the course of the Fair.

    One new OC Fair Foodie costumed character was introduced this year and Strawberry Jan made her debut, posing for photos daily and parading through the fairgrounds.

    237,591 cars were parked during the Fair and the organization awarded $2,500 in scholarship money for the annual employee essay contest.

    73,970 pounds of recycling were diverted from landfills during the Fair and 6,000 gallons of cooking oil were also recycled.

    $131,898 was paid out to agriculture students through the Junior Livestock Auction and this year we saw the sale of 103 animals.

    20 concerts were sold out in The Hangar and, so far, there have been nine sold-out shows in Pacific Amphitheatre.

    Concerts under the stars are continuing with these upcoming shows in Pacific Amphitheatre:
    Aug. 20 – Colbie Caillat / Natasha Bedingfield / Diana DeMuth
    Aug. 21- “Toy Story” with the Pacific Symphony (the animated movie will be shown during the concert)
    Aug. 22 – Ramon Ayala / Enigma Norteno
    Aug. 25 – Goo Goo Dolls / Sister Hazel
    Aug. 26 – Flaming Lips / Greer
    Sept. 2 – Chase Rice / Breland
    Tickets are for sale on Ticketmaster.

    Sept. 11, Pacific Symphony will perform Tchaikovsky’s “1812” Overture, complete with pyrotechnics, in Pacific Amphitheatre. Tickets are available via pacificsymphony.org.

    Sept. 23, country artist Hank Williams Jr. will close out the season at Pacific Amphitheatre when he performs with special guest Jackson Dean. Tickets are for sale on Ticketmaster.

    The 2020 OC Fair was canceled due to the pandemic and a virtual event was held online. Attendance at the 2019 OC Fair was 1,393,482.

  • August 13, 2021 (6:29 am)

    Final weekend of 2021 OC Fair sold out

    2021 OC Fair admission is sold out for the final weekend of Aug. 13-15. Advance ticket purchase is required as there is limited daily capacity. No tickets will be sold at entry gates.

    On days when OC Fair admission is sold out, there may still be concert tickets available for Pacific Amphitheatre or The Hangar which include same-day Fair entry. There is a limited supply of show tickets and they are sold on a first come, first served basis.

  • August 11, 2021 (4:45 pm)

    Hank Williams Jr. and Pacific Symphony’s Tchaikovsky Spectacular shows added to Pacific Amphitheatre

    Country artist Hank Williams Jr. will appear in concert at Pacific Amphitheatre on Sept. 23. Special guest Jackson Dean will perform with Williams at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 23, and tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. on Aug. 13 on Ticketmaster.

    On Sept. 11, Pacific Symphony will perform Tchaikovsky’s thrilling “1812” Overture, complete with pyrotechnics, in Pacific Amphitheatre. Plus, critically acclaimed pianist and International Tchaikovsky Competition Silver Medalist George Li will join the orchestra to perform Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini. The concert is Saturday, Sept. 11, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25-$99 and are available via pacificsymphony.org.

  • (12:35 pm)

    OC Fair admission sold out Aug. 11, 13, 14 and 15

    OC Fair admission is sold out for Aug. 11 and the final weekend of the Fair, Aug. 13, 14 and 15. Advance ticket purchase is required as there is limited daily capacity. No tickets will be sold at entry gates.

    On days when OC Fair admission is sold out, there may still be concert tickets available for Pacific Amphitheatre or The Hangar which include same-day Fair entry. There is a limited supply of show tickets and they are sold on a first come, first served basis.

    Buy concert tickets or purchase Fair admission for a future date.

  • (12:33 pm)

    Enjoy a $3 Taste of the OC Fair deal and take home more fantastic food for later

    COSTA MESA (Aug. 9, 2021) – It’s the final week of the 2021 OC Fair and it’s a great time to take advantage of the last $3 Taste of the Fair deal this Thursday, Aug. 12.
     
    Then, when fairgoers have had their fill of fun and sample-size treats, they can visit some vendors who have put together take-home packages of Fair favorites to enjoy later.
     
    The $3 Taste deal on Thursday features a special menu of tasting-sized portions from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. throughout the fairgrounds. Many items are specially made for the $3 Taste and give fairgoers a change to try new or off-the-menu items.
     
    This week’s $3 Taste menu includes mini versions of Fair favorites such as mini corndogs, pork chop sample, tri-tip slider, battered potatoes with sweet chili, grilled jalepenos with cream cheese, mini hot dogs and chili cheese fries.
     
    On the sweet side, fairgoers can choose from fried Twinkies, Fruity Pebbles Dole Whip, churros, luau bowls, chocolate funnel cake or 1/2 slice of cheesecake with chocolate drizzle.
     
    The $3 Taste is perfect for families, kids and those who want to try a bunch of different OC Fair food without over-stuffing. See Thursday’s menu.
     
    Fairgoers can also take home goodies by the bucketful. There are buckets of chocolate chip cookies (Totally Baked Cookie Joint, Cathy’s Cookies and Mom’s Bakeshoppe), cotton candy and Australian Battered Potatoes where there are also gallons of lemonade to go.
     
    Whole pizzas are available at Gino’s and Enzo’s and guests can grab bags of kettle corn of all flavors from many stands to munch on later.
     
    For those want to cook up some Fair food at home, there are frozen cinnamon rolls at Country Fair Cinnamon Rolls and custom cinnamon roll mixes at JP’s Old West Cinnamon Rolls. At Ten Pound Buns, take-and-bake kits are available to create your own version of this OC Fair favorite.
     
    Pro tips: Bring an insulated bag or soft-sided cooler to take treats home. Also, some visitors bring plastic bags and sheets of foil to transport Fair goodies. Vendors will also wrap food to go so it’s OK to pick up a giant turkey leg on the way out to finish at home.
  • August 6, 2021 (10:54 am)

    OC Fair admission sold out Aug. 6-8

    OC Fair admission sold out for Friday, Aug. 6, Saturday, Aug. 7, and Sunday, Aug. 8. Advance ticket purchase is required as there is limited daily capacity. No tickets will be sold at entry gates.

    On days when OC Fair admission is sold out, there may still be concert tickets available for Pacific Amphitheatre or The Hangar which include same-day Fair entry. There is a limited supply of show tickets and they are sold on a first come, first served basis.

    Buy concert tickets or purchase Fair admission for a future date.

  • August 5, 2021 (9:17 am)

    There is lots for kids of all ages to do at the 2021 OC Fair where it’s Time for Fun!

    COSTA MESA (Aug. 5, 2021) – The OC Fair always brings the fun and we know that families count on making summer memories when they visit. Here are some tips for a great trip to the fair:
     
    Explorium adventure: Located this year in OC Promenade, the Explorium area for kids has been transformed into a fun and informative national parks-themed adventure. Fairgoers can walk the reimagined trails and forest of California’s National Parks.
     
    Kids of every age can play, learn and immerse themselves in camping and forestry life. There are fun ways that teach about camping and hiking safety and all the wonderful species that live in the California National Parks. Daily crafts, contests and games are at the Rangers Station Theatre. Tip: There is even more fun for kids in the nearby California Fresh exhibit.
     
    Read & Ride: Of course the kids will want to go on rides, and what better way to motivate them beforehand than with the Read & Ride program. Kids ages 5-11 can earn three free carnival rides by reading two books and writing (or drawing) a short summary. Use the form at ocfair.com/readandride and turn it in to the RCS guest services booth in the main carnival area. And families can snap photos of the kids with those giant stuffed animals!
     
    Painted faces: There are two face painting booths where fairgoers can be transformed into superheroes, favorite animals or flower-festooned fairies. Also look for henna and festival glitter booths for more temporary body art.
     
    Animals you can touch or watch: The Great American Petting Farm is the place to be if the kids are obsessed with animals. Located next to Green Gate, this petting zoo is full of animals that are far from shy – in fact, they’ll follow you around all day if you let them! Don’t forget to stop by Centennial Farm as well, OC Fair’s year-round working farm that features goats, cows, bunnies and brand-new piglets that were recently born!
     
    Animals you can cheer on: One of the Fair’s most popular attractions is the All-Alaskan Pig Races, located this year in the Plaza Pacifica area. The races are a hoot for all ages, and take place daily. Plus, the Oasis Camel Dairy exhibit will be in the livestock area for the final two weeks of the fair and families can watch the babies and learn all about these exotic creatures.
     
    Entertainment: Magician Frank Thurston puts on kid-friendly shows daily in OC Promenade and there are local performers of all ages on community stages during the day. Roving entertainers include the Dragon Knights Stilt Show, The Clown Patrol and Red Light Brass Band, delighting guests as they move throughout the fair. The OC Fair’s own costumed characters, The Foodies Oliva Orange and Strawberry Jan (she’s new) are at the giant OC Fair letters daily for picture opportunities.
     
    Food and treats: $3 Taste of the Fair Food is offered on Thursdays until 4 p.m., giving fairgoers a chance to try select samples of food from every vendor for just $3 each – and these are the perfect size for the kids as well! It’s a great way to try the foods without filling up on too much sugar. To just look at sugar, check out the sugar arts winners on display in the OC Promenade – the cakes are amazing.
     
    Arts & crafts: Stop by the tent in front of Heroes Hall so the kids can color postcards for veterans and troops while they learn all about the sacrifice our servicemen and servicewomen make every day. In the Visual Arts Building kids and adults can see all the blue ribbon-winning competition entries that include youth project divisions. It’s always fun to look at the woodworking, quilts and more in the home arts area. And this is the perfect spot to cool off during the day.
     
    Shop for fun: The Carnival of Products and Parade of Products have some toy booths and clay fun, plus plenty of family items for purchase. There are also great shopping options in Crafters Village where artisan and other shops sell everything from fossils to sun hats.
     
    Bonus! Here are 5 tips for parents and families:
     
    Photo ops: There are classic photo booths as well as several cutouts throughout the fairgrounds. There is a great concentration of these in the OC Promenade. Also check food vendors like Eddie’s Asian Inspired Cuisine and Australian Battered Potatoes for more cutouts.
     
    Baby changing station: Located to the left of The Hangar building and behind the west end of the Sky Ride.
     
    No lines in the mornings: This year the OC Fair is opening at 10 a.m. for two bonus hours of fun. Parking is a breeze, no lines for rides and games and there is plenty of elbow room.
     
    What to bring: Bring along your wagon, snacks, extra baggies for leftover Fair food and a soft-sided cooler to keep it all fresh. Factory-sealed water bottles are OK.
     
    Safety: Find a landmark and designate it as a meeting place if you plan on separating. Be aware that the Guest Services and Lost & Found offices are located to the right of The Hangar building.
  • August 4, 2021 (1:17 pm)

    OC Fair admission sold out for Wednesday, Aug. 4, and Saturday, Aug. 7

    OC Fair admission tickets for Wednesday, Aug. 4, and Saturday, Aug. 7, are SOLD OUT. There are still a few tickets left to see In The End, The Premiere Linkin Park Experience, in The Hangar on Saturday. These tickets get you into the OC Fair AND a reserved seat at a great show.
    Limited supply and first come, first served. Buy concert tickets or purchase Fair admission for a future date.

     

     

  • July 31, 2021 (3:53 pm)

    OC Fair admission sold out for Saturday, July 31 and Sunday, Aug. 1

    OC Fair admission tickets for Saturday, July 31, and Sunday, Aug. 1  are SOLD OUT. But there are still a few tickets left to see Flashback Heart Attack in The Hangar on Sunday. These tickets get you into the OC Fair AND a reserved seat at a great show.
    Limited supply and first come, first served. Buy concert tickets or purchase Fair admission for a future date.