Category Archives: Year-Round Events

  • Thursday, April 7, 2022 (3:05 pm)

    Imaginology is this weekend!

    Imaginology returns in person this Saturday and Sunday, April 9-10! We’ve got a packed schedule of take-home crafts, science experiments, live performances by local entertainers, youth competitions and more.

    The free two-day event gives students the chance to explore careers in the S.T.E.A.M. fields –that’s science, technology, engineering, arts and math – as well as agriculture education.

    After being canceled in 2020 and going virtual in 2021, this year the family fest returns IN PERSON with activities and entertainment for kids of all ages.

    Programming includes:

    Science exploration

    Local exhibitors like Compass Charter Schools, YMCA of Orange County and Gemology will provide hands-on experimenting. Plus, try a little physical science with activities like hula hoops, Recess Revolution’s free-play area, or Heroes Hall Museum’s Fort Blisters Boot Camp.

    Tech lessons

    The Coder School and National College Resources Foundation will be on hand to talk about the future and the history of computers. Plus, OC Fair has a fun augmented reality activity in which kids can make their own coloring page come alive!

    Engineering playtime

    From woodcarving and scroll saws to Rigamajigs and module trains, there will be plenty to put together at Imaginology. Harbor Soaring Society will host aerospace adventures, Brain Builders will show off robots and LEGOs and Imaginology’s cardboard engineering competition will be on display.

    Arts in crafts, displays and more

    Local entertainers such as dance groups, DJs and music groups will provide live entertainment at the Main Stage. There is also a plethora of hands-on crafting – many of which come with a take-home project! Plus, Imaginology’s mural competition will be on display.

    Math by way of strategy

    We can find math in just about everything (like having students count out the cash for a burger and brat!). But logic and mathematical reasoning is the way to win at chess, and the local Academic Chess chapter will host their annual Tournament of Champions on Saturday from 12:30 to 4 p.m. Registration is $30 at

    Agricultural education

    Livestock competitions and exhibits will be on display throughout Imaginology. Plus, OC Fair & Event Center’s year-round Centennial Farm will feature activities such as radish seed planting, a terrarium makeshop, oxen demos and more – and don’t miss a peek at the piglets born March 16. There will also be blacksmithing demonstrations at the Farm.

    When: Saturday and Sunday, April 9-10, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
    How much: Admission is free and most activities are included. Parking is $10. Food will be available for purchase.

    For more information including a full list of exhibitors and food that will be available, visit

  • Thursday, September 30, 2021 (1:57 pm)

    October events at OC Fair & Event Center

    OC Fair & Event Center will host several large events in October and November, including three weekends of the food fest 626 Night Market OC.

    ♦ 626 Night Market OC – 3 weekends! Oct. 1-3, Oct. 8-10 and Oct. 22-24
    The iconic California festival features 200+ food, merchandise, crafts, arts, games, music and entertainment attractions in an epic event that appeals to all ages. Come happier and hungrier together with friends and family! Hours: Friday & Saturday, 4-11 p.m.; Sunday, 4-10 p.m. (Oct. 1-3 and Oct. 8-10); Friday, Oct. 22, 4-10 p.m.; Saturday & Sunday, Oct. 23-24, noon-10 p.m.
    Where on the fairgrounds: OC Promenade, Lot G and Lot I
    How much: $5 admission plus fees. Parking is $10. Most vendors accept cash only; ATMs are available. Get more info at

     Gem Faire, Oct. 8-10
    Fine jewelry, precious & semi-precious gemstones, millions of beads, crystals, gold & silver, minerals & much more at manufacturer’s prices. Nearly 200 exhibitors from around the world. Jewelry repair, cleaning & ring sizing while you shop.  Hours: Friday, Oct. 8, noon-6 p.m. (wholesale preview 10 a.m.-noon); Saturday, Oct. 9, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; and Sunday, Oct. 10, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
    Where on the fairgrounds: Costa Mesa Building and Santa Ana Pavilion
    How much: $7 general admission. Parking is $10. Get more info at

    ♦ Seasonal Adventures Pumpkin Patch, Oct. 8-31
    Pumpkin patch featuring kiddy rides, petting zoo and inflatable slides, bounce house and obstacle course. Hours: Monday-Thursday, 3-9 p.m.; Friday, 3-10 p.m.; Saturday & Sunday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
    Where on the fairgrounds: Lot C
    How much: Entrance is free; prices for activities and pumpkins vary. Parking fee varies. Get more info at

     Fight Club OC, Oct. 14
    Pro Boxing & MMA live inside The Hangar. The most fun you can have on a Thursday night in the OC! Hours: Thursday, Oct. 14 & Nov. 11, 7 p.m. (happy hour begins at 5:30 p.m.)
    Where on the fairgrounds: Outdoors in Main Mall
    How much: $60 general admission tickets available via Fight Club OC. Parking is $10; enter at Gate 1 off Fair Drive.
    More info: Visit

    ♦ OC Japan Fair, Oct. 15-17
    The 11th annual OC Japan Fair will give everyone the opportunity to experience and learn about Japan, from observing Japanese traditions to learning (and tasting!) the Japanese culinary culture that’s been designated an Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO. Hours: Friday, Oct. 15, 5-11 p.m.; Saturday, Oct. 16, noon-10 p.m.; and Sunday, Oct. 17, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
    Where on the fairgrounds: Los Alamitos Building and Lot I
    How much: $10 general admission. Parking is $10. Get more info at 

    ♦ OC Fair Board of Directors meeting, Oct. 28
    OC Fair’s Board of Directors typically meets monthly via Zoom and in person at OC Fair & Event Center. The agenda and location for this meeting will be available later in the month at The public is invited to watch or participate in Board meetings via Zoom or in person. The meetings, which begin at 9 a.m., will also be recorded and posted on our website afterward.

    ♦ OC Boo Ha Ha – A Haunted Oktoberfest, Oct. 29 & 30
    In partnership with the amazing Brew Ha Ha Craft Beer Festivals, this event will feature unlimited beer tasting, live music, costume contests and ghoulish decor. Live music includes Lit with special guests MEST and Handsome Devil on Oct. 29 and A Flock of Seagulls with special guest The M80’s on Oct. 30. Hours: Friday & Saturday, Oct. 29-30, 6 p.m.-midnight
    Where on the fairgrounds: Plaza Pacifica
    How much: Friday, Oct. 29, general admission is $47.50-$55 and VIP is $57.50-$99; Saturday, Oct. 30, general admission is $47.50-$67.50 and VIP is $57.50-$99.50. Parking is $10. Get more info at

     The Original OC Swap Meet, Oct. 30
    This event was created to provide a space for local small businesses and the community to come together in an outdoor setting. The swap meet showcases products and goods for all to buy and enjoy.                                            Hours: Saturday, Oct. 30, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
    Where on the fairgrounds: Enter at Gate 10
    How much: Free admission, $10 parking (credit card only). 
    More info: Check, email or call (949) 302-0355

     Ongoing events at 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
    More info: Visit 

     Heroes Hall – Now open for self tours Wednesdays-Sundays
     Visit our museum to view the latest exhibits and learn about local veterans.
     Hours: Wednesdays-Sundays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
    Where on the fairgrounds: Heroes Hall is next to Centennial Farm; enter at Gate 1
    More info: Visit

     Centennial Farm – Now open daily
    Visit our three-acre working farm, which features seasonal crops, farm animals and knowledgeable staff.
     Hours: Daily, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. (except holidays and all-grounds events)
    Where on the fairgrounds: Centennial Farm is on the south side of our property; enter at Gate 1
    More info: Visit

    At a Glance: November Highlights
     The SDCCU OC Running Festival, Nov. 5-7
    Fight Club, Nov. 11
    Sugar Plum Arts & Crafts Festival, Nov. 11-13
    Repticon, Nov. 13-14
    IMS Outdoors Southern California, Nov. 19-21
    Seasonal Adventures Tree Lot, Nov. 22-Dec. 19
    Night of Lights OC, Nov. 26-Jan. 2

  • 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


  • 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