Orange County Fair Opens

Costa Mesa's month-long celebration is about the midway and the moo, too.

The Orange County Fair, which opened on Friday, July 13 and runs through Sunday, Aug. 12, has so many different and colorful things happening at once it can be hard to pick out favorites. So we'll instead wax rhapsodic about four things that happen when you first enter the fair:

1. You see the famous red barn of Centennial Farm. Well, if you're entering at the gate next to the animal area. We love Centennial Farm and all of its baby animals. You, too?

2. The smell of roasting corn envelops you like a buttery-sweet cloak. Mmm.

3. Some guy dressed as an orange waves at you. Or some guy dressed as a sunglasses-wearing cow. Wait. We think those were guys. Maybe it was a real orange with legs and arms? Huh.

4. Squeals from the nearby Midway add to the happy fair cacophony. That giant slide ride? Yeah. That one. The squeal maker, we call it. Squeals aplenty.

A solid county fair is about tradition, in short, and the OC Fair can be counted upon to deliver the hallmarks we want. But if you want to know what's new this year, here goes: There's going to be a whole yarn-bombing event for knitters on July 15; Bacon-A-Fair is one of the new food booths (spoiler alert: it serves bacon); and a "Chocolate Unwrapped" exhibit takes over the Exhibit Promenade.

Last notes: The fair is open Wednesday through Sunday, so don't be Monday- or Tuesday-sad at the closed front gates. There are a bevy of special discount days, so check 'em out. Pacific Amphitheatre has a oodle of great shows as always, including Adam Lambert and Duran Duran; and, ohhhh yeah, Pig Cam is back!

Summer, you just brought it.

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