Shortly after Orange County was incorporated in 1889, a organization was founded whose goal was to celebrate the newly formed County. In 1890 the Orange County Community Fair Corporation quickly organized a small fair, which consisted primarily of a horse race and several exhibits. Beginning in 1894 another organization took over and formalized the process for establishing a yearly fair.
Initially, the Orange County Fairs were focused on livestock exhibitions and horse races. With the addition of a special products exhibit, the fair remained much the same until the 1900’s. Though the fair was moved briefly, for a two year stint, to Huntington Beach, the fair returned to in Santa Ana.
In order to formalize what had become a large undertaking compared to early fairs, it was decided that a Fair Board for Orange County would be elected. The first elected Orange County Fair Board moved the fair to Anaheim and approved the addition of a rodeo and full carnival. Permanent fair grounds were obtained after World War II, which became part of Costa Mesa once the city became incorporated in 1953.
--2) Food at the Fair
--4) Live Music
7) Where to Shop
Since that time the fair has grown from a small local fair lasting 5 days to a festival lasting 23 days that local residents and visitors excitedly anticipate each year.
A Glimpse of the Past Decade
Over the last 10 years, the Orange County Fair has explored some exciting themes and continued to grow in attendance. Some of the favorite themes from this period include:
• “Home Sweet Home”
• “The Beat Goes On”
• "Cowabunga! - The Year of Herefords, Surfers & Sand"
• “Flower Power - Year of the Garden"
• "Leap Into the Fair - We're Making a Big Splash"
From 2002 to 2012 attendance rates rose from around 900,000 to over 1,400,000. There’s no doubt one of the main reasons for this growth in popularity is the continued increase in the number and variety of exhibits included over the 23 day celebration. Each year visitors can return to find something new and exciting. [Top]
There is a wide variety of food available at the fair that will satisfy all tastes.
Food Trucks – Many people are familiar with food trucks parked on sidewalks in major cities selling mostly hot dogs and sometimes hamburgers. The food trucks that service the fair are an updated, gourmet version of their lower scale sidewalk cousins. These trucks are brought into the park after dark every Wednesday and are stocked full of changing gourmet foods. Each includes an open bar. Some popular entrees from past fairs include:
• Dos Chinos
• Rancho A Go Go
• Chomp Chomp Nation
• Lobsta’ Dish
• Waffles de Liege
• The Burnt Truck
Restaurant Fare - Local Restaurants that will be supplying food and drinks for the fair include some of the most popular in the area.
• Baja Blues Restaurant – Made to order specials including soups, salads and Supreme Nachos; Several beers on tap
• California Grill – Healthy choices are offered such as deli sandwiches and freshly made salads, along with more traditions grilled items such as chicken sandwiches, links and hot dogs
• Black Angus – Over-sized hamburger, hot dogs and sausages with onions and peppers are available; Selection of draft beers
• Pitstop Grill – Famous for its Gilroy Garlic Fries and huge hot dogs and cheeseburgers
• Beers of the World – Choose from a selection of 30 different beers from various countries around the world
Other vendors with standard festival food and snacks will be scattered throughout the fairgrounds. [Top]
Contest for Everyone
There will be numerous competitions taking place throughout the days of the fair. These include a number for children. Some of the competitions with the largest number of entries for both youth and adults are listed below.
• Collections - Stamps, Baseball Cards, Toy Cars among many others
• Garden and Floral - Fruits and Vegetables, Indoor and Outdoor Plants
• Fiber Arts – Crochet, Knitting, Quilting
• Jewelry – All types of handmade jewelry
• Photography – Categories include black and white, color, non-traditional and computer enhanced
• Student Film Festival – Includes many types of filmed productions including public service announcements, documentaries, and music films among others
• Visual Arts
• Crafts and Hobbies
• Culinary Arts
• Homemade Beer
• Commercial Wine
• Wine Label Design [Top]
There will be plenty of opportunities to attend exciting action events and some of the best entertainment groups from across the country in the three main venues.
The Summer Concert Series – Some of the popular acts performing throughout the fair include:
• The Offspring
• Which One's Pink?
• Jeff Dunham
• Bad Religion / X
• Ziggy Marley The Expanders
• Happy Together Tour - Herman's Hermits starring Peter Noone
• 311 / Wheeland Brothers
• Deep Purple - Blue Oyster Cult
• Billy Currington - Lucy Hale
• Rebelution Iration / The Green
Action Sports Arena –If excitement is what you’re looking for don’t miss these acts:
• Monster Trucks
• Extreme Rodeo
• Ultimate Dodge Ball Championships
• Police Canine Show
• Motor Home Madness Demolition Derby [Top]
There are many other types of entertainment families can enjoy at the fair.
The Carnival –Traditional rides such as a giant Ferris Wheel, Bumper Cars, Tilt-a-Whirl and Carousel will thrill older riders while the midway carnival is a family friendly version with rides for younger children. Visitors can play a variety of carnival games for all ages to win fun prizes. Carnival foods such as cotton candy, snow cones and funnel cakes are available for purchase.
Petting Zoo – Children and adults alike will enjoy the chance to interact with animals such as llamas, donkeys, and potbelly pigs among others.
Fun Zone – This area of the Family Fare Way offers hands on activities for all ages.
There are multiple opportunities to buy unusual and one of a kind products at the fair.
Festival of Products – The largest shopping area at the fair, there is little you won’t find here. Browse the newest merchandise you’ll only see at fairs and festivals.
Crafters Village – This quaint shopping area offers handmade items. The artists and crafters offer demonstrations of their skills throughout the day.
Market Place Village – Vendors from the weekday Market Place display a wide variety of products in this unusual and fun swap meet. [Top]
July 11, 2014 – August 10, 2014, Open Wednesday – Sunday
Wednesday – Friday, Noon –Midnight; Saturday and Sunday, 10:00 AM to Midnight
Kids Day – Kids 12 and Under are free every Thursday
Seniors Day - $2 off Senior admission every Friday
Active Military and Veterans- Free admission Daily
See the Orange County Fair Website for further information. http://www.ocfair.com contact email@example.com