8 Fried and Fun Reasons You’ll Love the SD County Fair

Crazy Mouse, Anyone?

Written By: Emily Burke SD County Fair

Photos Provided By: San Diego County Fair

It’s officially fair season in Southern California, and nobody does it quite like the San Diego County Fair. You could spend days exploring the sprawling fairgrounds in Del Mar and still not see all the shows, rides, games and food they have to offer. Wondering what makes SD so special? We’ve compiled a list of our top eight reasons to see, sip and eat your way through San Diego’s unofficial start to summer.

SD County Fair

On With the Show

With headliners like Little Big Town, The Fray and Noah Cyrus scheduled to perform, this year’s summer lineup will have a concert for everyone to groove to. Plus, the outdoor stage set in the picture-perfect surf town of Del Mar is tough to beat when it comes to venues, no matter who you’re seeing. Grab your tickets early and get ready to dance the night away.


Let’s Tango

Explore Latin culture without stepping a foot off the fairgrounds at the popular Fiesta Village. The Latin-themed fun includes dancing, musical performances, crafts and more. Visitors can purchase unique gifts, taste regional foods and immerse themselves in the rich heritage of every artist they meet.


I Scream, You Scream

We know why you’re really going to the fair. Fan-favorites including Crazy Mouse, Zipper and Speed are back, along with newcomer Konga. The high-speed ride will lift you up over crowds in fast side-to-side movements…so we’ll probably just meet you in the Kid’s Zone.


Butterfly Away

Need a break from all those thrill rides? You can escape the chaos at the Butterfly Free Flight House. Visitors will have the chance to discover these colored beauties up close in the fair’s Farm area, along with a honeybee habitat, a petting zoo and a backyard chicken coop.


Swirl and Sip

Everyone knows that any event is only as good as the drinks they serve and at the County Fair, they’re serving them up strong all summer. Head to the Paul Ecke Jr. Garden Show and choose a taste (or several) from the extensive collection of local top-performing wines from The Toast of the Coast Wine Competition. Or take your pick from San Diego’s extensive craft beer collection. The fair will be serving up a diverse selection of different flavors from breweries all over Southern California, including a limited-edition flavor from Mike Hess brewed especially for the fair.  


Garden-Walk and Chill

If wild rides and fried creations aren’t your thing, you can still make the most of your day at the fair. Head to one of the many gardens where world-class green-thumbers will be showing off colorful displays of flowers, shrubbery and other plants. Every year, the fair puts participants’ greenery-skills to the test with competitions and awards. See who will take home the blue ribbon!


Hey Sweet Stuff

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Thanks to this year’s candy theme, the food selections are as sweet as it gets. Head over to Chicken Charlie’s, a fairground favorite, to try a Cotton Candy Ice Cream Sandwich that’s rolled in Fruity Pebbles cereal for an extra hit of color. There are also plenty of donuts, cookies and unicorn-themed cupcakes to be had from the folks at Sweet Cheeks Bakery, who are making their first appearance at the fair this summer.


Funky Town

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Did you really go to the fair if you didn’t try some funky food? Hit up popular Chicken Charlie’s for their fried filet mignon kebab and other crazy offerings. While Pignotti’s is a local classic, their spaghetti donuts are anything but. The bagel-shaped rings of pasta are topped with a “schmear” of family-recipe pesto, marinara and other sauces. Pair a couple with an order of Lasagna Nachos or venture into Greek cuisine for a Bacon-Wrapped Baklava from the Mediterranean booth.

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