Photo Credit: OC Fair
A summertime throwback celebrating its 127th iteration in 2017, the OC Fair continues to surprise and delight locals and visitors year after year. This July and August, under the theme of “Farm Fresh Fun,” the fair pays homage to Orange County’s history of agriculture with new attractions, entertainment and, of course, food. Here, discover the latest additions to this favorite local tradition that runs Wednesday through Sunday from July 14 - Aug. 13.
Farm to Fork Food Frenzy
For many, the OC Fair is a deep-fried free-for-all featuring sweet and savory indulgences like beer-battered bacon from Bacon-A-Fair or Twinkie and Klondike bar creations from Chicken Charlies. The feeding frenzy continues this year with old classics returning alongside innovative mash-ups like Flamin’ Hot cheetos pizza, bacon-wrapped Brussels sprouts, pizza burgers and gelato doughnut sandwiches.
Gourmet goodies also abound in new interactive seminars and demonstrations. Stéphane Tréand, master chocolatier and proprietor of The Pastry School in Costa Mesa’s SoCo Collection, will reveal the secret to crafting his mouthwatering pastries, desserts, breads and chocolate. On the healthier end of the foodie spectrum, the Fermentation Farm will supply free samples of kombucha and educate visitors about fermented foods and drinks. Meanwhile, the OC Fair’s first California Grown olive oil competition provides a blue-ribbon experience, one-upping the typical baked good contests with an olive oil tasting bar where visitors can sample winning entries.
Entertainment for Every Interest
Whether you want to cheer on your favorite monster truck or sing until your voice gives out as an ’80s tribute band tears up the Hangar stage, the OC Fair has you covered. New this year in the Action Sports Arena is the Minivan Mashup Demolition Derby, which brings certain destruction to the dreaded mom-van. Visitors can also take a trip back to medieval times with full-contact jousting with The Knights of Valour.
Musical offerings this year include the newly relocated Pacific Symphony SummerFest, a five-concert series in the Pacific Amphitheatre with headliners like Kenny Loggins performing alongside the local instrumental group. The amphitheater also has a star-studded lineup of performers from all genres, including Lynyrd Skynyrd (July 15), Pepe Aguilar (July 23), Gavin DeGraw (July 26) and more. A full lineup of 2017 bands can be viewed on the Pacific Amphitheatre website.
Carnival rides bring excitement to the OC Fair each year with heart-pounding attractions like the Zipper and G-Force. Joining the thrill ride lineup this year is the Endeavor, which suspends passengers up to 70 feet in the air at 25 miles per hour with a 3.0G acceleration. Also making a grand entrance in 2017 is Le Grande Wheel XL, an approximate 15-story Ferris wheel featuring air-conditioned cabins that offer respite from the summer heat along with an incredible view of the fairgrounds.
Those who wish to keep two feet firmly on solid ground can enjoy free admission to the new Heroes Hall museum, which opened earlier this year to showcase the legacy of Orange County’s veterans through exhibitions of art, found objects and personal stories. Also on the fairgrounds, the Visual Arts Building features the perfect way to wind down a busy day with an interactive workshop where visitors can create pieces from cardboard and paper to add to an urban community garden.