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How to Live it up at the OC Fair

Written by:  Marie Spada

It’s coming…the event that allows us to forget how hard we’ve worked for our summer bodies (or thought about working) and eat things like Pork Chop on a Stick, Nutella Crepes, and Deep Fried Oreos. Here, you get to see a myriad of live musical performances, enter competitions, ride exhilarating rides, and even ice skate! What is this fantastic event, you ask? It’s The OC Fair, and it’s here July 17, 2015 through August 16, 2015. Oh, and it’s The Fair’s 125th birthday, so it’s going to be bigger and better than ever. Here is a guide to some of the must-see, must-do events at the OC Fair, all in one, convenient place.

What’s New in Food at the Fair

This year, The OC Fair is introducing two new features to their culinary offerings. On Fridays from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm, enjoy the Taste of Fair Food for $2. If the idea of not being able to sample something from virtually every booth at the fair sends you into a state of anxiety, then this option is for you. Eat your way through the fair by trying the special tasting item offered by the food vendor! They say eating small meals throughout the day is the healthiest thing to do, so I’m sure eating 35 plates from the fair in four hours is exactly what “they” had in mind. Eat away! The OC Fair will also be holding wine seminars in The Courtyard on the weekends. Attendees have the chance to sample several award-winning wines from eight, one-ounce tasting glasses and will receive a commemorative wine glass, hors d’oeuvres, and award books. Find a new favorite wine from the tasting? They are available by the glass for purchase daily at The Courtyard. To check out the list of offerings for the Taste of Fair Food or see the theme of the wine seminars, visit ocfair.com or check your OC Fair mobile app!

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Deals on Rides and Attractions

With over 60 rides and attractions between the Main Carnival and the Kiddie Carnival, the OC Fair surely has something for everyone! A complete list of rides and attractions is available on ocfair.com, and you will find classic favorites like the Tilt-A-Whirl and Cyclone, as well as newer options, such as Rave Wave and G-Force. During the fair hours, ticket packages are available for purchase by the 10, 40, 100, or 200, but you can save by buying tickets online. Every Wednesday and Thursday, $30 unlimited carnival ride wristbands are available, and every Friday, there are $2 rides and $2 games until 4:00 pm. For those who attend the concert in the Pacific Amphitheatre, pop over to the La Grande Wheel after the show ends to enjoy a free ride!

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Special Events at the OC Fair

Opening Weekend– Beer lovers rejoice! This year marks the 2nd Annual Brew Hee Haw Craft Beer Roundup presented by Uber. General admission is $50 for presale and $60 the day of the event, and VIP admission is $65 for presale and $75 the day of the event. General admission tickets include unlimited two-ounce tastings from over 80 craft beers from top breweries, a commemorative festival glass, free entrance into the OC Fair, music and dancing, games, contests, and prizes, education on craft beer, and no ticket fees. If you bump your ticket up to VIP, enjoy entry an hour early, a VIP only commemorative festival gas as well as rare/limited release beers available only during the VIP hour.

Wednesday-Friday, 12:30 pm through 11:30 pm; Saturday & Sunday, 11:00 am – 11:30 pm– Ever wanted to ice skate in the middle of summer? Well, your wish is the OC Fair’s command. Fairenheit 32 Degrees is located in Pacific Plaza, and fairgoers get to ice skate as well as watch live ice carving performances. When the sun goes down, the party starts on the ice with the After Dark Skate Party from 9:30 to 11:00 pm!

July 25– The annual Junior Livestock Option will feature competitors from the Orange County 4-H ad FFA members showcasing their livestock entries. The auctioning of the livestock entries is to help raise money for the competitors educational endeavors. Attendees of the event can purchase an animal, donate to the Centennial Farm Auction Fund, provide funds through the Add-On Program, or purchase through the Buy-Back Program.

August 8– Home, home on the range! Watch Costa Mesa go from beach town to farmland during the OC Fair Cattle Drive. This is your chance to see real cowgirls and cowboys riding horses to herd and move over one hundred cattle, navigating their way through Costa Mesa and ending up at the OC Fair! Yee-haw!

August 9– Grab your running shoes, get a good breakfast, grab your family and friends and run on down to the OC Fair 5K Fun Run. The run starts at 8:00 am, and runners will receive a commemorative finisher’s medal, t-shirt, and entry for one trip to the OC Fair.

Community Flag Salutes (dates and cities listed below)– Join attendees of the OC Fair in singing the National Anthem at 12:30 pm. The American Flag as well as Community Flags will be saluted during the Anthem. Additionally, if you’re looking for a little discount on your ticket to the fair, local city halls and libraries are offering coupons for $2 off of full-priced general admission tickets. Get a discount and come support your city and country! What a deal!

July 22- Laguna Niguel, Huntington Beach, Westminster
July 23- Costa Mesa
July 24- La Habra, Newport Beach, Seal Beach
July 29- La Palma, Lake Forest, Orange
July 30- Anaheim, Fullerton, San Clemente
July 31- Los Alamitos, Placentia, Rancho Santa Margarita
August 5- Aliso Viejo, Cypress, Laguna Beach, Yorba Linda
August 6- Laguna Woods, Tustin
August 7- Garden Grove, Santa Ana, Villa Park
August 12- Dana Point, Laguna Hills, Stanton
August 13- Brea, Irvine, San Juan Capistrano
August 14- Buena Park, Fountain Valley, Mission Viejo

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Concerts at the Pacific Amphitheatre

Looking to go to an awesome concert at the fair? No problem! The OC Fair has you covered as usual, and promises not to disappoint with this year’s lineup. All of the following concerts are held at the Pacific Amphitheatre, and tickets are available online at pacamp.com:

July 16- America/Pacific Symphony
July 17- Gabriel Iglesias
July 18- Iration/Common Kings
July 19- Willie Nelson & Family/Allison Krauss
July 22- Charlie XCX/Bleachers
July 23- The Band Perry/Annie McQueen
July 24- Steve Miller Band
July 25- Capital Cities/Big Data
July 26- Happy Together Tour
July 29- Spandau Ballet/DJ Richard Blade
July 30- The Offspring/The Interrupters
July 31- Three Dog Night/Jefferson Starship
August 1- Fab Four/Wings Band
August 2- Huey Lewis & The News
August 5- Juanes
August 6- Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo /Dennis DeYoung: The Music of Styx
August 7- Echo & The Bunnymen/Berlin
August 8- Fifth Harmony/Debby Ryan & The Never Ending
August 9- Dirty Heads/Magic!
August 12- Deep Purple/Foghat
August 13- Chris Young/Danielle Bradbery
August 14- The B-52’s/English Beat
August 15- Street Pulse/The Wailers
August 16- Austin Mahone/Kalin and Myles

Concerts at The Hangar

This fun venue features a 50-foot arched ceiling and is designed as an airplane hangar. Tickets to these concerts also include free admission to the OC Fair, and throughout the fair, free entertainment will be provided at The Hangar. Concerts with free admission to the fair include:

July 17- Rumours, Tribute to Fleetwood Mac
July 18- Dead Man’s Party, The Oingo Boingo Tribute
July 19- Seedless/Common Sense
July 22- Strangelove, Tribute to Depeche Mode
July 23- Billy Joel 2 Elton John, A Tribute to Two Great Piano Men
July 24- Black Eyed Tease, Ultimate Black Eyed Peas Tribute
July 25- Damage Inc, SoCal’s Tribute to Metallica
July 26- Aer
July 29- Queen Nation, A Tribute to the Music of Queen
July 30- Easy Star All-Stars, Dub Side of the Moon
July 31- Neon Circus- A Brooks & Dunn Tribute
August 1- Which One’s Pink? A Tribute to Pink Floyd
August 2- Under the Streetlamp, Retro Never Sounded So Now
August 5- Hotel California, A Salute to The Eagles
August 6- The Highwaymen Live, A Musical Tribute to Willie, Waylon & Johnny
August 7- Iron Maidens/Heavy Mellow, All Female Tribute to Iron Maiden
August 8- Kalimba, Spirit of Earth, Wind & Fire
August 9- Mariachi Sol de Mexico de Jose Hernandez
August 12- Wild Child, A Jim Morrison Celebration
August 13- No Duh; Red Not Chili Peppers
August 14- Journey Unauthorized, A Tribute to Journey
August 15- Zeppelin Live, Live Rock Tribute to Led Zeppelin
August 16- Metalachi; Heavy Mellow

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Get Wild at the Action Sports Arena

Are you more of an adrenaline junkie? Are you hoping to see some extreme sports? Maybe a little bull riding? Then the Action Sports Arena is where you need to be at the OC Fair. You can either purchase a reserved seat ticket, which grants you free access to the OC Fair, or you can go to the general admission seats, which are free with your OC Fair ticket, but space is limited and based on a first come, first served basis. Take note of the following dates and events:

July 17- X-treme Freestyle Moto-X
July 18- Speedway Fair Derby
July 18-19- 2nd Annual Brew Hee Haw Craft Beer Roundup
July 19- Summerfist VIII
July 22-26- Cavallo Equestrian Arts Ma’Ceo
July 29-August 2- Monster X Tour
August 5 & 7- Extreme Rodeo
August 6 & 8- Broncs & Bulls
August 9- Fiesta del Charro
August 12 & 15- Orange Crush Demolition Derby
August 13 & 16- Motor Home Madness Demolition Derby
August 14- Damsels of Destruction Demolition Derby

The OC Fair
100 Fair Dr
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
714.708.1500 | ocfair.com