The Orange County Fair is a huge celebration the Orange County community and surrounding areas look forward to every summer. The fair takes place late summer every year at the OC Fair and Events Center in Costa Mesa.
In 2015 the Orange County Fair takes place July 17th through August 16th. Pick up your OC Fair tickets at the fair or ahead of time via the OCFair.com website.
Orange County Fair Attractions
It’s a good idea to get a game plan together before you pack your family and/or friends into the car and head to Costa Mesa.
There is so much to do at the fair that having a list of must-try treats and must-do activities will help you get the most out of the experience. Take a look at the following recommendations and get excited!
OC Fair Food
It’s not just about the funnel cake and churros anymore, though you will find the stuff sold in abundance throughout the fairgrounds. The OC Fair is well known for it’s delicious, often outrageous fair food.
The fair boasts an odd assortment of snacks from kebabs to fried oreos. Turkey legs, roasted corn, cotton candy and beer may be the go-to choices but the variety you will find at the Orange County Fair will surely encourage you to broaden your foodie horizons and try some new treats. All things fried can be found at the fair. Our advice, come prepared with some antacids and water just in case.
Some favorite fair options include:
- Chocolate-covered bacon from Bacon A-Fair
- Potato chips from Tasti Chips
- Deep fried pizza from Apple Fries
- Drunken doughnut from Texas Donuts
- Bacon-wrapped pork belly from Biggy’s
- Krispy Kreme burger from Chicken Charlie’s
- Deep fried White Castle burgers from Chicken Charlie’s
- Turkey leg from Juicy’s
- Deep fried cakes from Fried Sweets
- Naked shrimp, rice and pineapple-pineapple bowl from Pineapple Express
The fair isn’t just about discovering how much odd, calorie-rich food a healthy stomach can manage. Many people flock to the Orange County Fair for wine tasting and educational seminars.
During the fair, The Orange County Wine Society, Inc. hosts weekend seminars usually held in “The Courtyard”. Participants can enjoy tastings from an array of award-winning wines. If you’re not in the mood for a seminar and just want to get your grape on, you can enjoy a tasting or a glass of award-winning wines at The Courtyard any day during the fair.
OC Fair Rides and Games
If you’re looking for a different kind of thrill, try out some rides! The kids are sure to enjoy “La Grande (Ferris) Wheel”. More adventurous folks will get a kick out of rides like “G Force,” “Insanity,” “Speed,” “OMG,” and “Tango,” to name a few. Height restrictions do apply.
Midway rides and games are not free! You must buy tickets to get on. Tickets can be purchased in the fair at the midway.
To stay on budget be sure to get a good idea of which rides and games you want to partake in, find out the height restrictions, determine how many tickets each costs and plan to purchase the appropriate amount of midway tickets.
Here are videos of some of the rides – be forewarned that these may make you dizzy.
OC Fair Concerts
The Orange County Fair is well-known for its yearly concert series with past big names including Weird Al Yankovic, America, Mariachi Sol de Mexico and Fergie. Concerts do require purchase of a concert ticket but include admission to the OC Fair for the day.
Concerts are held at the massive Pacific Amphitheater, right next to the OC Fair & Event Center. You can view a schedule of concerts and ticket options at the Pacific Amphitheater Ticket Master page.
Visiting the animals at Centennial Farm or the Livestock area is an always free, fun activity for the whole family. Pigs, piglets, goats, kids, cows, exotic cows, turkeys, rabbits, chicks, chickens and more are on view. Visitors can enjoy piglet races and turkey stampedes at the Livestock area. One of the pigs at Centennial Farm is usually ready to give birth during the fair so be on the lookout for a new mama and her little piglets. Some of the animals are up for auction. Many of them have been raised by Orange County high school students.
Centennial Farm features an assortment of crops on display. Learn something new – like how to milk a cow – at one of the seminars held at the Millennium Barn.
Some of the more obscure, exotic animals may cost you extra to see in the Livestock area, such as alligators, giant horse and mini horse.
Be sure to stop by the Petting Zoo so you can feed and interact with the animals! The location changes by year so consult a map or ask for directions at the ticket booth.
Main Mall Exhibits
For a more relaxed but just as fun fair experience, include a visit to the Main Mall. You’ll enjoy live performances (at both The Hangar and OC Promenade), exciting culinary activities and demonstrations, amazing handcrafted wood work, fine art exhibits, art demonstrations, wine tasting (at the Courtyard), commercial exhibitors and more.
As if all the above wasn’t enough. There’s so much more we didn’t cover! Here’s a quick list of other activities to consider adding to your itinerary:
- Demo Derby and RV Demo Derby at Action Sports Arena
- Kids “Explorium” activities
- Animal-free circus acts by Russell Brothers Circus
- Evening dancing at Baja Blues Restaurant
- Comedy and other extraordinary entertainment at Plaza Pacifica
- Seek out the roaming entertainment (who knows what you will find!) throughout the fairgrounds.
OC Fair & Event Center
88 Fair Dr
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
-Long and Sarah, Vacation in Anaheim