A county fair's annual theme should be as fizzy as a limeade, as easy to discern as a tall Ferris wheel, and as sunshiny as high noon on the midway.
But finding a vibe that suits a particular festival, one that includes rides and animals and roasted corn and wine tastings and quilt competitions and pig races and art shows, can be a bit of a needle/haystack situation, or at least as challenging as selecting the prize-winning rabbit among many long-earred cuties.
The OC Fair, however, has had well over a century to nail the whole theme-making thing down. In fact, the Costa Mesa spectacular, which traditionally begins around the middle of July and wraps in the middle of August, is marking its 127th annual go-around in 2017, which means that the fair has had its share of a large number of themes.
What to do, where to go and what to see
The upcoming theme, though, fits like a saddle on a horse or a brass bell on a cow: It's Farm Fresh Fun, which will spotlight Orange County's "... rich relationship with agriculture."
Agri-everything has long been at the fair's bustling heart, but count on seeing more straight-from-the-farm fancifulness. "Whimsical images of cows licking ice cream cones and Ferris wheels made of oranges..." are just some of the sights fair fans'll spy as the summertime party approaches.
And, by golly, is it ever on approach. True, winter still has a good chunk left, but nice, warmer days remind us that we'll soon be petting goats and devouring hunks of fried dough in Costa Mesa.
'The 2017 dates? Be there Wednesday through Sunday from July 14 through Aug. 13.
If you need more proof that the OC Fair is sliding towards us as fast as someone on one of those giant, go-fast slide rides, check it out: The Pacific Amphitheatre concerts are already being rolled out. The B-52s, Pepe Aguilar, and Huey Lewis & The News are just three of the acts on the always mega (and sure to grow) 2017 schedule.
One more slice of it's-coming-this-way-quickly news? The Super Pass is already on sale.
Ready for Farm Fresh Fun? Once the big fairs of summer begin to unveil their themes, you can almost, allllmost, break out your roasted corn-eating shirt, the one you get a little more buttery, year after corn-loving year.