Orange County “Super Fair” Opens Today

Orange County's annual fair opens a 23-day run Friday under the theme "Think Big" and with a new name to match: Orange County Super Fair.

This year, the fair will stretch into an extra week -- from July 10 to Aug. 9 -- because it will be closed Mondays and Tuesdays. And for the first time, a Super Pass will be available, allowing daily unlimited visits, or "all the fair you can bear."

The Super Pass comes with express lane access at all entry gates and 10 percent off reserved seating in the Sports Arena and two-for-one tickets for select Pacific Amphitheatre concerts.

The Super Pass costs $30 for adults, $25 for seniors and $20 for children five and up.

The fair will feature the world premiere of the $2.2-million movie -- written, directed and starring "Weird Al" Yankovic. "Al's Brain" is a 3-D educational film about the brain.

"This is the first time an attraction of this scope and magnitude has been created for a fair, by a fair," fair CEO Steve Beazley said of the 10-minute film.

Back to the fair after its debut last year, and with $450,000 in prize money, is the Maloof Money Cup -- a three-day, five-event competition and festival created by Joe Maloof, owner of the NBA's Sacramento Kings and the Palms Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

The purse, Maloof said, is the largest ever in the history of professional skateboarding and the competition will draw the sport's biggest names and rising stars.

Highlights will be the Zoo York U.S. Pro Street Championship, which will offer a $100,000 first prize, and the Carl's Jr. U.S. Pro Vert Championship, which will award $75,000 and a tricked-out SUV to the winner who exhibits the best "big air" and "off-the-wall" tricks.

The U.S. Women's Pro Street Championship will offer the largest first prize in woman's professional skateboarding, Maloof said.

The festival, which has been designated a National Championship by World Cup Skateboarding, will take place the fair's opening weekend.

The Maloof Cup is free with fair admission, but reserved seating tickets range between $13-$30 for the Maloof Money Cup.

The customary offerings of "deep fried" treats, such as Snickers thrown into a vat of hot oil, will get some new company this year with deep-fried S'mores, a Zucchini Weenie and the deep-fried pizza bite.

About 80 vendors will offer such fare as barbecued beef, giant turkey legs and corn dogs. Another first is a $2 tasting menu offered by select vendors each Thursday from noon until 4 p.m.

Headline acts at the Pacific Amphitheatre include Kelly Clarkson, Heart, Rick Springfield and Duran Duran. Old returning favorites include Lucha Libre, a Mexican wrestling event. Also on tap will be the mixed martial-arts, Summerfist 2009.

Free admission and free parking will be available to anyone for the first hour of Friday 's fair opening.

Opening day will also feature the "Salute to Heroes" promotion, which provides free admission for active duty members of the armed forces, law enforcement personnel and firefighters, with one guest, from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

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