Orange County Fair - An OC Super Fair Review

Orange County Fair July 15- August 14, 2016 open Wednesday-Sunday, ocfair.com

88 Fair Drive
Costa Mesa, CA

By Craig MacDonald

(Craig MacDonald's favorite beat as a Pulitzer Prize nominee on the San Diego Union newspaper was coverage of the San Diego Fair at Del Mar. MacDonald continues to visit California fairs and has even judged journalism contests at the fair. His story was written after attending the Orange County Fair.)

Pigs, Popcorn & Polkas--An OC Super Fair Review

COSTA MESA-A whole lot of people are going to the OC Super Fair to see some fascinating animals, taste outrageous food, and dance up a storm. See another year at the OC Fair, or see the California Fair List.

Watching new born piglets, gigantic oxen, baby chicks, cows, sheep, lovebirds and many other critters is not only exciting entertainment but educating to city folks and others who maybe have never seen them--at least not upclose and personal. Here you not only get to catch a glimpse & hear their unique sounds, but you actually learn to appreciate these creatures thanks to the volunteers who explain whatever you want to know about them.

One of the nice Fair Volunteers explained how oxen were so much better than mules, horses or cattle for pulling emigrants' covered wagons to California during the Gold Rush. Not only were they stronger, and could usually find something natural to eat growing on the ground during the long trek, but these amazing animals also could provide much-needed milk and, in a dire emergency, could even be eaten, she said.

Overhearing kids comments is one of the joys at the Fair: "I want to have a piglet as a pet," said one little boy to his mother, while looking at the entirely cute baby pigs nursing on the tired mom, who just gave birth to them. "They're the cutest thing I've seen. Can't I have one mommy?"

You can spend your whole day watching, listening & talking to the animals at Centennial Farm and the Livestock Areas or you can see how many different types of incredible food is offered by vendors--everything from traditional cotton candy, lemonade and hamburgers to corn on the cob, turkey legs, beef brisket, fresh cut California potato chips and funnel cakes, gyros, burritos.... There seems to be more food at the Fair than ever before, casting delicious aromas throughout the grounds. It's fun to see and smell the meat and chicken cooking in smokers.

TIP #1: Be sure and look in the free Fair Program for discount offers at many of the food vendors. There are a lot of good deals to be had and even some free food, when purchasing other stuff.

TIP #2: Some Ralphs Supermarket register receipts can be used to get you and some others into the Fair on Wed-Fri for $5! That's a super saving but be sure to read the receipt for the exact details. That's what I
used to get in.)

After munching down your grub, why not sit and watch some terrific acts appearing on several stages--from tap dancing women sailors to all-star school jazz musicians--to singers--and seniors dancing the polka, like they really know how to do.

When you're done eating, it's fun to go into the halls and watch the spellbinding hawkers selling their mops, slicers & dicers, and a lot more to passersby, who keenly watch their smooth pitches and patter. These men and women are sensational at what they do--over and over and over and over again--somehow unleashing new enthusiasm each time. They're really pros!

There's so much to do at the Fair that you'll have to go back again and again. They even have a season pass so you can do just that. Enjoy the journey to the land where most people of all ages seem truly happy. It's too bad the Fair couldn't last all year long. Not only does it churn out happiness but extra seasonal employment and much needed revenue for the badly strapped governments, like the state. The OC Super Fair--See it while it's still here to see. (Closed Mondays & Tuesdays. For more details, check out their cool website, ocfair.com).

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