Costa Mesa

Things to Do This Weekend: OC Fair Opens

Piglets, concerts, midway rides, a drink topped with Hot Cheetos: The Costa Mesa extravaganza starts its merry month-long run.

OC Fair

What to Know

  • July 15 through Aug. 14, 2022 (select dates)
  • Costa Mesa
  • Advance tickets, purchased online, are required; $12 general Wednesdays and Thursdays, $14 Fridays through Sundays; other ticketing tiers available

OC Fair: This vivacious and venerable spectacular fills up a whole month — skipping Mondays and Tuesdays, do note — with big rides, cool concerts, quaint competitions, and so many cute critters. The 2022 dates are July 15 through Aug. 14, you'll need to buy your ticket online ahead of time, and special doings? Those are happening, like the $4 Taste of Fair Food events on Thursday afternoons and the OC Brew Hee Haw. "Feel the Sunshine" is the keep-smilin' theme; creamy, dreamy eats? Those are in the fryer, too.

Happy 40th, Outfest: One of the planet's best-known and best-loved LGBTQ+ film festivals, a cine-extravaganza that celebrates four decades in 2022, opens on July 14 with a gala for Billy Porter's "Anything's Possible" at The Orpheum. More marvelous movies will show at a number of venues, while events like Screenwriting Lab Live Readings, an Episodic Showcase, and a virtual festival will happen throughout the festival, which closes with another gala, for "They/Them," on Sunday, July 24. The full schedule is here, as well as information on attending, tickets, and locations.

Chinatown Summer Nights: Music, art, and so many delicious eats weave together at this evening-effervescent happening, which takes place in the historical neighborhood's Central Plaza on July 16. KCRW DJs will be providing the sounds, cooking demonstrations from Chinese chefs will be a delicious centerpiece, and all sorts of cool and creative moments will add to the atmosphere (look for "large-scale, outdoor video projections" to turn the alfresco space into an under-the-sky gallery). Planning for a quick bite or two? A number of food trucks will be nearby.

"¡Fiesta!": The Bob Baker Marionette Theater presents this puppet-cute, joy-filled "love letter to Latin America." Co-directors Karina De La Cruz, Alex Evans, and Daisy Hernandez "collaboratively revised the classic show to better represent the variety of voices and cultures it reflects," working with local "artists, researchers, and organizations." Find this festive, music-filled family show at the troupe's Highland Park theater, on York Boulevard, on select dates through Sept. 18.

National Ice Cream Day: Oh goodness, we're craving all of the ripples, and chocolate chunks, and vanilla swirls, and scoops of one flavor that sit alongside another flavor that is totally its opposite. We want all the cold confections, in short, and while we likely won't find them all, we can find a lot of them at Ice Cream Alley, which returns for a multi-week run to Smorgasburg LA at ROW DTLA on Sunday, July 17. Lo and becold, er, behold: That's National Ice Cream Day. Entry is free, but have funds for the fun stuff (in other words, yep, all of that artisanal ice cream).

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