Orange County

Here's What to Know Before Heading to the OC Fair

This year’s fair is designed to be COVID safe, so they are limiting the number of tickets that can be sold every day.

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The OC Fair has only been cancelled twice in 131 years, once during WWII and once during last year’s pandemic. Now, the fair is back open, but with a number of changes.

It’s what you don’t see that is different from years past… huge crowds. That's because this year’s fair is designed to be COVID safe, so they are limiting the number of tickets that can be sold every day.

This year’s theme? Time for fun, but there will be fewer people who can enjoy it.

Fair officials are limiting capacity to 45,000 people a day, that’s about 75% of their previous daily attendance.

David Beauchamp says he’s been to at least 20 opening days and says this one is unlike all the rest.

“First thing we noticed was a lot less people than we normally see… somewhat vacant,” he said.

The trade-off? No lines for food.

You can step right up and order your very own chicken mac and cheese cone, which Joanna Echeverria gave a thumbs up to.

“I think there are nice rides, food options, I like the vibe and environment here,” she said.

This is the first fair to fully reopen since the state lifted all coronavirus restrictions. The planning began back in April. 

Masks are only required indoors if you’ve not been vaccinated. 

Orange County health officials announced Friday that COVID-19 cases have increased, but there are no plans to institute a mask mandate. 

“I would say the joy level is higher this year. People are so ready to have fun,” CEO of the OC Fair, Michele Richards, said.

The OC Fair Is Here, and so Are Its Amazingly Offbeat Treats

The fair brought back its popular rides and there is lots of room to spread out among the 150 acres, where clearly even the dining tables are socially distanced. 

“It's nice, it’s not overly crowded. There’s room to navigate the different exhibits,” fair-goer, Michelle Flores, said.

Most of the fair favorites are back including the farm animals, so here in 2021, the barn door is again open.

The fair runs for 23 days and is closed Mondays and Tuesdays.

It might be tough to get in on days when the amphitheater has concerts because every ticket there gets you into the fair and that’s another 8,000 people. 

No days are sold out yet.

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