DELIGHTS IN THE DISTANCE: How far away are you when you first sense the Ferris-wheel-y, pig-squeal-y spectacle that is the annual Orange County Fair? Do you hear the music and sounds when pulling into the parking lot? Can you see the taller rides of the midway from a block or two away? Do you feel its very vibes the moment you pull off the freeway? For every fan there is a different answer. But serious lovers of county-fairdom tend to start feeling the ripples of the Costa Mesa-based summertime spectacle months ahead of its July opening date, what with the concert announcements and quirky fried food reveals and mentions of new attractions. And those ripples will grow broader and deeper in 2015, which just happens to be the 125th anniversary of one of the largest county fairs around. Why will the ripples grow? Because the OC Fair is starting the party early, with a number of special events in both Costa Mesa and around the larger county.
THOSE EVENTS INCLUDE... a treat giveaway for the first 125 people at Blackmarket Bakery in Costa Mesa on Jan. 25 (from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.) and miniature birthday cake voucher giveaway at the Feb. 12 Food Truck Fare at the OC Fair & Event Center (from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. -- look for the OC Fair table). And the OC Fair booth'll show up at Anaheim's always bustling Packing House on the night of March 14 and there shall be free treatage to snack upon. The fair people are also set to pop by Lake Forest and Santa Ana, so best watch the Facebook page to see where you'll see 'em next.
AND WHILE... the whole fair can't take to the road -- not without, like, hundreds of trucks to put the midway rides on -- the notion of the fair can. And getting people excited for a SoCal classic during its 125th year seems like a nicely nostalgic thing. Oh, and this year's theme? "One Big Party," which the early start proves.