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It’s Time to Get Excited for the 129th Annual Orange County Fair

Written By: Isabella Cook
Photography Provided By: OC Fair Orange County Fair

The 129th annual OC Fair is right around the corner, which means it’s time to get excited! From crazy-delicious food to entertainment for days, the OC Fair has it all. Buy a ticket now to enjoy visual art exhibits, a petting zoo and browse shop vendors along the way.

1 | All’s Fair in Love and Food Orange County Fair

No county fair is complete without food, specifically fair food! And since Orange County is known as a culinary epicenter, it’s no surprise the OC Fair is home to some crazy eats. Try new and intriguing options like the Fruity Pebbles Shrimp Po’boy or something a little more classic like the fair fan-favorite funnel cakes. Terry Moore, the communications director for the OC Fair, suggests her personal favorite: bacon-wrapped Brussels sprouts. Yum! Vegetarian options are available as well for anyone looking for fair food that’s both delicious and meatless.

2 | Are You Not Entertained? Orange County Fair

What would a county fair be without awesome entertainment? Well, the OC Fair has everyone covered in their comprehensive entertainment lineup which includes music, a demolition derby (with a special RV demolition) and even local and celebrity chef demos. And if watching things isn’t entertaining enough, you can always hit up the fair rides! This includes the newest addition: a 17-story tall traveling booster ride called the Titan. It’s the largest of its kind in all of the US, so don’t miss out on the fun! The OC Fair ATV and lawn mower racing events might be even more entertaining from 17 stories up—why don’t you try it and find out for yourself?

Native Knowledge: When sunset comes at the OC Fair, make sure to get high in the sky on a ride for the ultimate social media moment.

3 | We (He)Art the Fair

For everyone out there looking to take a break from food and entertainment, the OC Fair offers a wide array of art exhibits. From traditional visual arts to more unusual artistic expressions like woodworking, you can see it all at this year’s festivities! For art with a side of competitive spirit, swing by the competitions for quilting, table setting, flower arrangements and, new this year, metalsmithing. There are talented artists of all kinds at the OC Fair so don’t forget to check them out.

Native Knowledge: A lesser known part of OC Fair culture is the wine tasting with the Orange County Wine Society. Enjoy some quality vino in a shaded courtyard to get away from the bustling fair heat!

4 | Watch Your Fingers! Orange County Fair

Sheep, goats and pigs—oh my! Get hands-on experience with friendly livestock at the beloved OC Fair petting zoo. The OC Fair aims to spread agricultural awareness and the petting zoo might just be the best way to learn about animals and have a blast while doing it! There are acres of fun at the OC Fair, but the petting zoo is truly something special. And, as Moore says, “A lot of people come back [to the OC Fair] because they want to make memories with their families.” What better way is there to make family memories than in a petting zoo?

Native Knowledge: For the first time in OC Fair history, a wedding giveaway is taking place. Couples will have from opening day on July 12-29 to enter the Love Is in the Fair contest to get married at Millennium Barn on Aug. 10. If you love the OC Fair and are interested in getting married surrounded by farm animals and clowns, this is the wedding for you!

5 | Retail Fair-apy

Before spending your entire paycheck on endless funnel cakes, swing past the shop vendors to support local businesses and buy some seriously cool OC Fair souvenirs. It’s great to have a reminder to take home with you until next year’s OC Fair comes around. “It really is a spectacular fair,” says Moore. “[The OC Fair] is beautifully designed—you’ll subtly learn a few things, too!” Whether you’re looking to buy things, eat good food or just enjoy the festive atmosphere, the OC Fair is the perfect place to do it! There are a ton of reasons to go to the OC Fair, so don’t pick just one.

The OC Fair lasts from July 12 to Aug. 11 and is open every day but Monday and Tuesday. Ticket prices vary by day but weekend admission is $14 per person or $7 for seniors and children.

OC Fair
88 Fair Dr
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Orange County Wine Society
88 Fair Dr
Costa Mesa, CA 92626