The Orange County Fair is one of Orange County’s biggest annual events, drawing thousands of people to the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa for food, fun, and music, and games.
Here’s everything you need too know about this year’s OC Fair from concerts and special events you won’t want to miss to fabulous fair food to feast on to all the ways you can save money with weekly discounts, and more.
Acres of Fun at the Orange County Fair
July 16 – August 15, 2021
88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Wednesday – Sunday: Hours Vary
Ticket sales begin May 1, 2021
Kids 5 and under are free
Youth 6-12 and seniors 60+ are $7 everyday
General (ages 13 – 59) $12 Wednesday – Thursday; $14 Friday – Sunday
Super Pass (Not offered for 2021, but 2020 Super Passes will be honored)
Parking is $10 for passengers vehicles, $20 for buses and limos
What To See
Every year, the Orange County Fair features a variety of exciting and diverse exhibits and displays throughout the halls and exhibition buildings. Areas of focus for this years exhibitions include:
- Culinary Arts: Chef and food demonstrations, workshops, tastings, and hands on activities.
- Agriculture: Junior livestock auction and livestock shows, Farm Lounges with educational and interactive displays, and breeding shows and contests.
- Animals: Live animals at Centennial Farm, pig races, and camel dairy shows.
- Garden & Floral: Hands-on farming demonstrations, fruit and veggie competitions, flower arranging and plant competitions, and pop-up shops.
- Explorium: Rainforest Experience, magic show, creativity forner for kids, Pet Vet, kids cooking area, play area for toddlers, and eating contests.
- Crafts & Hobbies: Jewelry, fiber art, woodworking, craft workshops, toy train exhibits, quilting, spinning, painting, beading, gemology, and more.
- Visual Arts: Ceramics, woodcarvers, Japanese Floral arranging, scroll saw art,photo shoot-out, and plein air contest.
- Heroes Hall: Victory Fro Within exhibit, The SAAAB Story, Postcards for troops.
Shop from a collection of vendors throughout the fair grounds and inside the Carnival of Products, Parade of Products, and Festival Of Products. Sopping areas close at 11:00 p.m. Shoppers can browse and buy a variety of unique goods from kitchen gadgets to hot tubs. View the OC Fair website for a full list of vendors.
What To Do
The OC Fair features food like you’ve never seen or tasted. You could spend the whole day just wandering the fair searching for new treats to try.
A few to try:
- Truffle Parmesan Tots from Tater Twister
- Chili Cheese Fry-Topped Blooming Onion from Fresh Frys
- Brisket Mac & Cheese Sandwich from Chuckwagon
- Cinnamon Maple Bacon Bombs from D&D Country Cinnamon Rolls
- Fried Humus from Chicken Charlies
- Banana Cream Pie Funnel Cake
Play & Ride
The OC Fair Carnival area has two sections: Kidland and Main Carnival. There are over 50 rides and attractions, and many games to try your hand at. Riders will enjoy old classics like the Super Slide and the Tilt-A-Whirl, plus this year the OC Fair has added new rides like the Tea Cups, Titan, Ice Jet, and the Circus Train.
The fair hosts several special events during the 23-day fair season. Past years’ special events included:
- OC Brew Hee Haw
- Junior Livestock Auction
- Out At The Fair
- 11th Annual OC Fair Fun Run 5K
- City Day Celebrations
- The Courtyard Wine Seminars
- OC Fair Barn Wedding
Stay tuned for updates on 2021 events!
Hours of entertainment awaits at the OC Fair. From concerts with major headliners at the Pacific Amphitheatre to free entertainment on one of five stages to live action in the Action Sports Arena, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Below are examples of past entertainment. Stay tuned for updates for 2021!
- Pacific Amphitheatre – Live Concerts, tickets purchased for shows includes fair admission on the day of the event.
- Action Sports Arena – Moto-X, Monster Trucks, rodeos, derbys, and more! Must buy tickets for these events, ticket purchase includes fair admission on day of the event.
- The Hangar – The Hangar features local bands during the day and ticketed events in the evening. Tickets for night time events include admission to the fair on the day of the event.
- Explorium Stage – A place for kids, this stage includes a magic show, Rainforest Experience, Pet Vet, Creative Corner, and more.
- Heritage Stage – A rotation of community entertainers and performers.
- Meadows Stage – A rotation of Americana and country entertainers and musicians.
- Promenade Stage – Culinary demonstrations during the day and community bands perform at night.
- Plaza Stage – Daily entertainment and karaoke every night.
- Baja Blues – Live Music nights and weekends.
OC Fair Discounts & Freebies
FREE fair admission is included with all tickets purchased for events in The Pacific Amphitheater, The Hangar, and the Action Sports Arena. Enjoy the fair before and after your event.
Enjoy free admission and free parking from Noon to 3:00 p.m. on Opening Day.
Active Military & Veterans
Military members and veterans receive free admission every day and may purchase an additional six general admission tickets at half price. A valid military ID is required at the time of purchase.
First Responders & Law Enforcement
During the week of August 7 – 11, first responders and law enforcement personnel will receive free admission with the option to purchase up to four general admission tickets at half off. A valid agency ID is required to receive the discounted admission.
We Care Wednesdays
Pitch in and bring a requested donation to public entrances at the Blue, Yellow, or Green Gates on We Care Wednesdays and receive free general admission and one free carnival ride. This offer is only valid from Noon to 3:00 p.m and tickets must be used on the day of the donation. See the list of requested donations at the OC Fair website.
Bring your ticket stub from San Diego County Fair, Riverside County Fair, San Bernardino County Fair, or Ventura County Fairand receive on free admission to the OC Fair. Save your OC Fair stub to receive free admission to the 2020 Riverside County Fair in February.
Kids ages 5 – 11 can earn three free carnival rides by reading two books and completing book report forms. Turn the completed forms in to the Kidland Information Booth during fair hours to redeem your tickets.
Kids Day Thursdays
Free fair admission for all kids 12 and under all day on Thursdays.
Taste Of Fair Food
From Noon to 4:00 on Thursdays enjoy samples of select fair foods for only $3.
Seniors 60 and over receive $5 fair admission and free rides on the ferris wheel and merry go round all day Friday.
On Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. enjoy half price general admission. On Sundays, purchase a $35 ride wristband to to get one ride on Titan and Unlimited rides on all other rides until 4:00 p.m. Wristbands sold until 1:00.
OC Fair Tips
- Enter competitions and get free admission.
- Work at the OC Fair & Event Center and get free fair admission plus friends and family passes at a deep discount.
- Buy an OC Fair Super Pass early and get admission to the OC Fair for every day plus get discount show tickets, express entry and much more.
- Food can be expensive, eat before you go.
- Bring sunglasses, sunscreen, and snacks.
- Water bottles are allowed if factory sealed.
- The Centennial Farm, the Explorium (Kid Zone), acrobatic & hypnotists shows, arts exhibits, Culinary Exhibits, Reptile House, Pet Center, 4H exhibits, water area, garden and farm area are all free!
- Avoid the crowds and try to go during non-peak times.