The Orange County Fair
The Orange County Fair, also known at The OC Fair, runs for 23 days in the months of July and August. The OC Fair is packed with good times. It's where you'll find unique foods, such as deep fried Twinkies and chocolate covered bacon, exciting rides, fun games, arts and crafts, contests, livestock, concerts, live entertainment, and action packed shows, such as bull riding, go kart racing and demolition derbies. Here you will find Orange County Fair information and photos, and a review of my visit to the fair.
The Orange County Fair, also known as "The OC Fair", is located in Costa Mesa, Orange County, California. The fair runs for 23 days in the months of July and August. It is open Wednesday-Friday from noon-midnight and on Saturday and Sunday from 10 am-midnight. The fair is closed on Monday and Tuesday.
Orange County Fair Admission Prices:
- General (13-59) $11
- Youth (6-12) $6
- Senior (60+) $8
- Fair admission is free for all active and veteran military personal with ID
You can purchase a fair "Superpass" for $35 (adults) and $25 (kids 6-12 years old), which will allow you admission to all 23 days of the fair, 2-for-1 terrace seats to all Pacific Amphitheatre concerts, 20% discount to The Hangar and Action Sports Arena events, and express entry at all gates. It also includes a carnival coupon book.
If you purchase an event ticket, such as a concert or sporting event show, your admission to the fair is free.
We Care Wednesdays is from noon-4pm every Wednesday. Each Wednesday offers a different promotion. If you participate, you get free admission to the fair.
- Food Drive - Bring 5 cans of foods
- Children's Book Drive - Bring 1 new book or 3 gently used children's books
- Clothing Drive - Bring 5 gently used clothing items
- School Supply Drive - Bring 1 new school supply item values at $5 or more
Rise and Shine promotion offers $2 general admission every Saturday and Sunday from 10-11 am.
Kids Day offers free admission every Thursday for kids 12 and under.
Friday is Senior Day. Seniors can get $2 off admission plus free Ferris wheel and merry-go-round rides all day.
Cars: $10 per car.
Buses and Limos: $20
VIP Parking: $30
They only accept cash and there are no in and out parking privileges.
You can park off site and use the free shuttle. The shuttle only runs on Saturday and Sunday.
Unless you plan to spend a lot of money on food I suggest you eat before you go to the fair. We paid $33 for 2 chicken Kabobs, 1 order of zucchini curls and 1 soda. The kabobs were huge and we probably could have split one, which we will do next time. The plate of zucchini curls was big enough to serve 2 people, maybe even 3 people. It was delicious but a little pricey. The fair offers so many delicious and unique foods, ranging from chocolate covered bacon to the biggest turkey legs and corn dogs I've ever seen in my life.
You CAN bring your own snacks and drinks into the fair. You CAN'T bring in coolers, alcoholic beverages or cans and glass bottles.
For dessert we paid $8 for a funnel cake without toppings, $11.50 for a funnel cake with whipped cream and strawberries, and $7 for 4 pieces of chocolate covered bacon. I can't remember how much we paid for a deep fried Twinkie and deep fried Oreos...but they were delicious and worth the price. The desserts at the fair range from cotton candy to deep fried Kool Aid.
Before you can purchase beer you have to go to the ID check stand and present a valid picture ID. Once they confirm that you are of legal age to drink alcohol they will issue you a wristband. That way you can purchase alcohol any where at the fair and just show your wristband instead of having to present your ID every time. The beer prices weren't too outrageous. At the beer stands you'll pay $7 for a small beer and $9 for a large.
If domestic beer isn't your thing, head on over to the "Beers from Around the World", margarita stands or to the wine section where you can purchase wine by the glass or samples of wines for 2 for $3.
The ride and game prices are expensive. However, there are several fair promotions that you can take advantage of. On Fridays they offer $2 ride and games until 4 pm. You can purchase an unlimited ride wristband for $30 on Wednesdays and Thursdays until 8 pm. The price includes 2 free games too.
Well, I guess I can mark off watching a pig race from my bucket list...lol. The Orange County Fair pig race is a squeal of a good time. The show is free and there is plenty of shaded seating on the bleachers. The pig races run daily, starting at 1:00 pm with a new shows starting every two hours. This is a fun show for kids, and for adults who want a good laugh...or just want to make off watching pigs race from their bucket list. However, I think it's kind of strange that you can buy chocolate covered bacon at the same place pigs are racing.
For some action packed fun check out the Action Sports Arena shows. We watched the Kart Racing Challenge and the Extreme Rodeo shows. Other shows included X-Treme Freestyle Moto-X, Bull Riding, Motorhome Demolition Derby and the Ultimate Dodgeball Championships.
The shows are free. However, the seating is limited and is on a first come first serve basis. Reserved seats can be purchased. We purchase reserved seating for $17 per ticket, which included admission to the fair.
The Orange County Fair has 2 places where they hold concerts, The Hangar and the Pacific Amphitheatre.
The Hangar (pictured at right) is inside the fair. You can purchase reserved seating for under $20, which also includes free admission to the fair, or you can enjoy the show from outside The Hanger for free. There is no seating outside The Hanger (standing only), and you will have to purchase a fair ticket. The concerts at The Hangar are mostly cover bands. We attended the TNT AC/DC tribute concert. They rocked!
The Pacific Ampitheatre:
The Pacific Ampitheatre is located right outside of the fair on Fair Drive. These tickets are more expensive than The Hangar concerts because they are mainly headliner bands/singers. Weezer and Emblem 3 are on the The Pacific Ampitheatre concert lineup for 2013. Concert tickets can be purchased at the gate or online at Ticketmaster.com.
There are a few livestock barns that you can walk through and get up close and personal with the animals. We seen goats, cows, birds, pigs, horses and sheep. If you have kids with you you'll want to stop by the petting zoo, pony rides and kids camp.
Showcase your cooking talents at one of the Orange County Fair culinary contests. The contests are open to amateur cooks, and range from cookies and cupcake contests to chili and salsa contests.
If you're a craft fanatic you'll want to stop by Crafters Village where they have craft demos, crafts for sale and crafts on display. There are also a number of contests you can enter in the categories of crafts, art, photography, and woodworking.
The summer months are sunny and very hot in California. I suggest you wear a hat and sunglasses. You should also wear plenty of sunscreen, and closed toed shoes for safety reasons. You may want to bring your own bottled water, unless you want to pay over $3 for bottled water at the fair. You can bring food and drinks into the fair but you are not allowed to bring in cans or glass bottles.
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The photos on this page are the personal photos of the writer and should not be used in any manner without the permission of the writer.