The Orange County Fair and Event Center hosts year-round events from festivals to swap meets. The annual Orange County Fair ... More
Orange County Fair & Event Center
The Orange County Fair and Event Center hosts year-round events from festivals to swap meets. The annual Orange County Fair is held here and features musical events, games, food, crafts, carnival rides, livestock competitions and a rodeo. There are swap meets every Saturday and Sunday and a farmers market every Thursday. There are also frequent animal shows (like the America's Family Pet Expo ) and garden exhibits, as well as the 5-yearly Sugar Plum Arts & Crafts Festival .
We went to the oc fair on Sat 8/26.. The parking is horrible. From the time u exit the freeway to park... it takes about an hour.
The fee is $5 for parking, $9 for admission per person. The food and drink here is 3 times more expensive than going to the theater.
The beer is $6-$7 per bottle. Food is minimum $6-7 per plate (dip fried zucchini or hot-dog for example) but.. u mostly like will buy combo meal which cost $11. soda $3.50 medium size, $4 for large. Also $3 per ride and $3 per game (basketball). The ride not even worth it and u don't win every game.
We spent $50.00 within in 1 hour being there..and we left after an hour. I think this place is a waste of monies.. and it's not even all that.
The place is smelly and dirty too. However, there is alot of stuffs there to see.. but just stuffs that u have seen before... not even worth it.
Not that it wasn't fun because there was a nice atmoshere and my kids had a blast, but for the money I spent I would of spent less at Knott's. You can't pay cash up front for each ride and they only expect tickets but if you do the math right you are spending a minimum amount of $5 every time you or your child get on a ride. Many of you are probably saying "well why didn't you just by the wrist band" which was my intention but the only thing is that they have no wristband on weekends. Just on my wife son and little brother in law I ended up spending about a little over $300.00 with just eating a couple of snacks here and there about 2 beers and about 6 rides that only the two kids went into. But as for the atmoshere I give it a 10 plus.
I will NEVER go back to the OC Fair again unless they go back to the less commercial and 'country-like' atmosphere that was there a few years ago.
I used to do competetive landscapes there (won quite a few blue ribbons) back before the all mighty dollar was all the fair could think of. Now the Flower/Garden exhibits building (which was willed to the county and had the stipulation that it was to be used ONLY for hortiuculture)has been taken over. The huge pond that coursed through the middle of that building has been cemented over.
I know that the fair needs money, but I visited this Friday Aug. 7th and saw fewer in attendance today than just a few years ago during the middle of the week. The fair has lost that "old-time" charm that I enjoyed. The feel of a true county fair (and not a hi cost amusement) has been lost. It seems as if the tiny OC Fair is trying to compete with it's bigger/older sibling --- the L.A. County Fair. GUESS WHAT? It's not working !!!
Forget the 'sibling rivalry'; be proud that you are a true community fair. Encourage those community groups to put on exhibits and even (gasp) sell some of there products. Turn the flower building back into what it was originally intended for - it can be done.
When this is done, I will be back to the OCF (and even pay the outrageous prices for food) but not before.
Lots of rides, games and plenty of food to choose from.
Family tips- go on a weekday when they have ride promotions; on Tues, Wed. you can buy a $20 wristband for unlimited rides or on Thurs., Fri. all rides are $1 (normally $3-$4.50). Also wear plenty of sunscreen and closed toe shoes (some rides require it).
The food is expensive, but that is expected. I paid $8.50 for chili cheese fries @ Juicy's and they were cold! They looked better than they tasted. Not worth it! Bring your own water bottles to save on drinks. All the food booths charge for water and ice.
Hope this helps with your family outing. :-)
I love the OC Swap meet, you can find so many deals there... 4 miles of vendor booths selling everything from Gillette razor heads to furniture. The clothes aren't always great quality, but for 7 shirts for $11 or a really cute pair of generic brand jeans for $10... who cares?! I have a blast everytime I go there, as a matter of fact my last trip was scheduled around the swap meet!!!
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