Winter Fest OC Thanks First Responders with Free Entry

The OC Fair & Event Center winter-tacular expresses gratitude on Friday, Jan. 5.

What to Know

  • Friday, Jan. 5
  • Free admission for first responders, plus one guest
  • OC Fair & Event Center

Winter isn't over, not by a mile, or, rather, not by over two months.

The coldest season did, in fact, begin around two weeks ago, and even though a dry mildness has settled in over much of Southern California, rain will soon return and, with it, opportunities to wear scarves and knitted hats.

But scarf-wearing wintry places do exist now, though not for long, around the region.

We're talking about the winter-themed spectaculars, like Winter Fest OC, which has been bringing the ice skating, toasty beverages, and chilly high jinks to the OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa since, you guessed it, the winter solstice.

The icy extravaganza'll soon wrap up, just a couple days ahead of our next big storm, coincidentally, but not without a sweet and celebratory moment. For the attraction is welcoming first responders, for free, on Friday, Jan. 5.

Not only will fire and police personnel, as well as EMTs, enter the playful place sans admission on Jan. 5, but each first responder is welcome to bring a friend, too, also for free (be sure to bring identification, of course).

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There's nothing chilly about that kind deal; it is, in fact, quite warm of heart.

Also warm of heart? Winter Fest OC will hold a special Three Kings Day event on Saturday, Jan. 6, complete with a parade of a kingly trio and a camel. If you miss the procession, you can say hi to the camel throughout the day.

Also full of community niceness? Jan. 4 is US Military Appreciation Day, so swing by the Costa Mesa spot, with a friend, for free, and just be sure to bring your ID, too (active military members, retired members, and veterans are all included).

Take note, as you stand before this festive flurry of gratitude, that Winter Fest OC will soon melt, as it must each year, so dally not.

The final date? It's Sunday, Jan. 7. So if you're in the mood for ice tubing, snow flurries, or the other scarf-up staples of the season, best quickly sled for Costa Mesa faster than a flake falls.

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