The 2018 OC Fair will again feature a large midway section with carnival games and rides. (Register file photo)
Winning a prize at the OC Fair is always a fun challenge. (Register file photo)
SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsA child holds on to an animal she won playing a water shooting game during the last day of the 2017 OC Fair. ( File photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)
A fair goer rides on The Endeavour, a new ride at the 2017 OC Fair in Costa Mesa. A flying elephant ride will be new this year. (Register file photo)
The La Grande XL Ferris Wheel towers above the 2017 OC Fair in Costa Mesa. The fair starts again on July 13. (Regiser file photo)
4-H Club members show their goats during the 2017 OC Fair in Costa Mesa. (Register file photo)
Riders go horizontal on the Remix II ride at the 2017 OC Fair in Costa Mesa. (Register file photo)
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The countdown to the 2018 OC Fair has reached less than two weeks.
More than 1 million people are expected to check out this year’s fair with its carnival games and rides, food creations to make the most out of any cheat day, shopping, entertainment and so many animals for trying to catch a selfie with.
Here is some stuff you need to know:
When and where is the 2018 OC Fair?
Themed “Free Your Inner Farmer” the OC Fair runs from July 13 to Aug. 12. It takes Mondays and Tuesdays off.
Hours are noon to midnight on Wednesdays through Fridays and 11 a.m. to midnight on weekends.
The OC Fair & Event Center is at 88 Fair Drive in Costa Mesa, right off the 55 Freeway.
How much is admission?
General admission on weekdays is $12 and on weekends those ages 13 to 59 pay $14.
Ages 60 and up pay $7 any day
Ages 6 to 12 pay $7 any day
Ages 5 and younger are free
Activie and retired military with valid ID are free and they can buy up to six general admission tickets for half off.
Super pass: $40 for general admission; $33 for kids and seniors; it offers daily admission, a carnival value book, up to 10 general admission tickets for $10 and other discounts.
When and how can I get in free?
Opening day until 3 p.m. offers free admission and parking.
Thursdays are free for children 12 and younger all day.
Thursdays from noon until 3 p.m. get in free by wearing overalls.
Daily: Active and retired military with valid ID are free.
Wednesdays offer free admission until 3 p.m., and a free carnival ride per person, with valid donations. Here is each week’s charitable theme:
July 18: Donate school supplies valued at $5 or more and show the receipt. Will benefit Share Our Selves.
July 25: Donate five cans of food. Will benefit Second Harvest Food Back and OC Food Bank.
Aug. 1: Donate three new or gently used children’s books. Will benefit THINK Together.
Aug. 8: Donate five new or gently used clothing items. Will benefit Goodwill of Orange County.
Did you go to the San Diego County Fair? And keep your ticket? It will get you free admission to the OC Fair.
From Aug. 8 to 12: Free admission for active-duty and professional staff of police, sheriff, fire and emergency services departments with an agency ID.
What kinds of discounts are available?
Seniors Day is Fridays when those 60 and older can get in for $5 and ride the Ferris wheel or merry-go-round ride once for free.
Weekends from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. is $7 general admission and carnival rides require half the usual number of tickets to ride … on Sundays a $35 unlimited ride wristband can be purchased by 1 p.m. and be used until 4 p.m.
Thursdays from noon to 4 p.m. you can sample select fair foods for $3 each.
Head to your city hall or local library and get OC City Coupons for $2 off general admission.
Ride the OC Fair Express and get a coupon for $4 admission. See ocfairexpress.com or below for more information.
Children can read two books and complete and online book report here for three free carnival rides.
$35 unlimited ride wristbands are sold Wednesdays and Thursdays until 5 p.m. and can be used until 8 p.m. On Sundays buy them by 1 p.m. and last rides are by 4 p.m.
$2 rides and $2 games sold until 4 p.m. on Fridays.
What are the parking options?
Parking $10 at the fairgrounds.
There is free weekend parking off-site in the Experian parking structure, 475 Anton Blvd. off Bristol Street from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
What are the options for getting to the fair?
You can catch the OC Fair Express on weekends. The bus ride will cost you $2 each way, $1.50 for seniors, and you get $4 admission to the fair with the ride coupon (same day).
The buses run 10 a.m. to midnight on Saturday and Sundays, check here for times from your location. Locations are:
Fullerton: Park-and-Ride, 3000 W. Orangethorpe Ave.
Anaheim: ARTIC station, 2626 E. Katella Ave.
Anaheim: Canyon station, 1039 N. Pacificcenter Drive
Huntington Beach: Goldenwest Transportation Center, 7301 Center Ave.
Irvine: Metrolink station, 15215 Barranca Parkway
Laguna Hills: Transportation Center, 24282 Calle de los Caballeros
Laguna Niguel: Metrolink station: 28200 Forbes Road
Orange: Village at Orange, 1500 E. Village Way
Santa Ana: Transportation Center, 1000 E. Santa Ana Blvd.
Taxi, Uber Or Lyft zone is at Merrimac and Fairview at the Orange County College parking lot across the street from Gate 4.
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What’s new this year?
The OC Fair changes things up a bit every year, whether it is new food to try or a new ride to thrill. Here are just a few of the new things this year:
My Fair Selfie: 11 Instagram-worthy backdrops are planned in this selfie space that will be open July 20 to Aug. 12
A new ride is the Flying Jumbos where visitors can take the controls and raise and lower their mammoth steed as they fly.
The breeding sheep are back in the livestock area after a two-year hiatus.
There is more wheeled entertainment: A full-sized truck demolition derby on Aug. 11; a stunt-action show is from July 18 to 22; and police and fire from Orange County will be in a demolition derby on Aug. 8.
The Bravemind exhibit in Heroes Hall will offer a virtual-reality experience for visitors. It was created by USC’s Institute for Creative Technologies as a therapeutic tool for treating post-traumatic stress. Visitors will be able to use specialty goggles to view a two-and-a-half minute, virtual-reality scene that is used to help veterans.
Who is performing?
Along with the roaming entertainers and free stages throughout the fairgrounds that host popular bands and acts such as comedy hypnotist Mark Yuzuik and the Peking Acrobats, there are two large venues for catching a concert.
The Pacific Amphitheatre is hosting a stretch of shows that start before the fair begins and end in September, well after the carnival rides have shut down.
Tickets to the concert – even those before and after the fair – include free admission to the OC Fair.
Some highlights from the roster include “The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah on July 14; Steve Martin and Martin Short on July 20; Rick Springfield on Aug. 2; and Willie Nelson & Family with Alison Krauss on Aug. 9.
Get the whole round-up of concerts here.
1,500 seasonal workers to be hired for annual OC Fair
The Hanger is where you go if you love Guns ‘N Roses, The Eagles or Michael Jackson, but won’t be getting to one of their big shows. It’s line up includes an array of cover acts, but also the likes of Ozomatli on July 29 and Mariachi Sol de Mexico de Jose Hernandez on Aug. 5. Tickets come with same-day admission to the fair.
Get the roster here.
Feeling a little competitive?
It’s not too late to enter one of the dozens of competitions hosted by the fair.
Got a cupcake or cake recipe you think can win? Your deadline is July 9. Have a green thumb with container plants, fruits, vegetables or flowers, there are multiple chances still to enter. Aug. 1 is the cutoff for raising your hand to challenge in the SPAM contest.
See all the deadlines and contests here.
Source: Oc Register