OC Fair opens its gates

Story and photos by Emily Spain

OC Fair sign 1

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The iconic OC Fair sign greets Opening Day attendees 

Come one, come all! The OC Fair officially kicked off its annual summer season on Friday, July 12. In the spirit of Opening Day, attendees were treated to free Fair admission and parking. Many braved the long admission lines, but as fairgoer Micaela Hart said, “The crowds and lines are part of the opening day experience, nothing beats free admission to the fair.”

OC Fair Slide 2

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Fairgoers race down the Euro Slide

Once in the fairgrounds, fairgoers had a plethora of attractions and food stands to discover. Fair staples like Chicken Charlies were grilling traditional fair foods and serving up new concoctions like fried hummus, ice cream chicken sandwiches and buffalo chicken chimichangas. 

OC Fair Chicken Charlies 3

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Chicken Charlies signage highlights a few of the food stand’s 2019 menu items

Arguably one of the best parts of the OC Fair is getting to see and interact with the animals. Whether you are a devout animal lover or not, there is so much to explore in the livestock areas of the Fair. Make sure to catch one of the junior livestock auctions, which benefit agriculture education programs like 4-H and FFA, during your visit.

OC Fair sleeping pigs 4

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Even the pigs need a nap due to the excitement of Opening Day

Feeling lucky? Try your luck at the dozens of games the Fair has to offer. Fairgoer John Russell said the trick to winning one of the coveted, giant stuffed animals is to “pick a game you actually want to play not just the one that looks the easiest. It helps to be friendly with the game attendants, they might give you free tries if you’re close to winning.”

OC Fair game winners 5

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Two girls winning big at the bottle toss game

The OC Fair runs until August 11 and is open Wednesday through Friday, 12 p.m. to midnight, and Saturdays and Sundays, 11 a.m.- midnight. General admission is $12 on Wednesdays-Fridays, and $14 Saturday and Sunday.

For more information on the OC Fair events and offers, visit

Check out more photos from the OC Fair Opening Day below

a - OC Fair upside down ride.jpg b - OC Fair water games.jpg c - OC Fair stilt walker.jpg

d - OC Fair cow.jpg e - OC Fair giant corn inflatable.jpg h - OC Fair Ferris wheel.jpg

i - OC Fair 4-H livestock.jpg j - OC Fair stuffed animal prize.jpg