July 29, 2021 (9:57 am)

Rise and shine at the OC Fair – it’s open at 10 a.m. for two bonus hours of fun


The OC Fair opens this year at 10 a.m., two hours earlier than in the past, and there is so much to do.

Coffee drinks, java bars, cinnamon rolls, breakfast burritos, smoothies and fancy bowls are waiting for fairgoers who answer the rooster call to rise and shine for an early start to a great day at the OC Fair.

It starts with parking – with no crowds in the morning, parking is a breeze. Drive right up and get ready for fun!

Begin a morning adventure with a visit to Centennial Farm. It’s breakfast time for our resident animal educators, so visitors can watch the farm babies and their friends wake up and feed. Piglets, baby goats, lambs, bunnies and chickens are ready to welcome fairgoers and it’s a terrific time to get an uncrowded view of the antics. Pro tip: This is the best time to get a view of our new piglets – they are popular!

More animals are starting their day in residence during the Fair at the Great American Petting Farm and exotic critters like llamas, wallabies, pygmy pigs and goats are ready to greet fairgoers as are the sheep and goats on display in the livestock area.

Since morning dawns with no lines at entry gates, rides, games, food booths, shopping stalls and exhibits, it’s prime time to start your OC Fair excursion. Grab carnival tickets, hop on and off rides with no lines and play to win a giant stuffed prize in the uncrowded carnival midway and in the Kid Land carnival area for tots.

That also means you can get your morning coffee drink of choice without waiting. Maybe a mocha, iced latte, or concoction of your choosing with anything from whipped cream and chocolate drizzle to a cherry on top. Fairgoers can even grab a dragon fruit and granola bowl at Hawaiian Chicken Bowls stand. Right across the way is Terri’s Berries with fresh fruit, smoothies and more for a fresh and healthy start to the day.

The scent of cinnamon rolls baking is coming from at least two spots on the fairgrounds, Country Fair Cinnamon Rolls in Livestock Lane and JP’s Old West Cinnamon Rolls in the Carnival of Products. There are plenty of choices and fairgoers can bring their favorites home to make or bake with frozen rolls to pop in the oven from Country Fair Cinnamon Rolls or custom mixes from JP Old West Cinnamon Rolls. Pro tip: Pack an insulated bag to bring home fair treats.

If breakfast burritos are on your morning wish list, stop by Noel’s in the Main Mall and order up a savory meal, maybe to be enjoyed with some juicy augas frescas. If you prefer an early lunch, concessionaires are ready to serve up everything from giant turkey legs to mac-and-cheese burgers with no waiting.

Morning is also an excellent time for fairgoers to get their shopping fix with lots of room to roam and browse in Carnival of Products, Parade of Products, Festival of Products and Crafters Village, along with the shopping booths throughout the fairgrounds. Visitors look forward to finding their Fair favorites and custom-made products each year.

Guests can get up-close views of exhibits ranging from award-winning woodworking, sugar arts, table setting, quilting and produce and floral displays before others arrive. The arts exhibits are always popular with lots of fine art, photography and jewelry and there is unobstructed viewing early in the day.

Fairgoers can check the daily schedule on ocfair.com or on the 2021 OC Fair mobile app to plan ahead and make the most of their day at the Fair.