COSTA MESA — The 121st Orange County Fair has broken its all-time attendance record, officials said.
The fair broke its former record of 1.15 million visitors at 3:55 p.m. Thursday, said fair spokeswoman Robin Wachner. As of closing Thursday night, 1,183,971 visitors had passed through the fair gates, she said.
"It's very exciting that we're being embraced by Southern California the way we have been," Wachner said.
Chief Executive and President Steven Beazley said they anticipated breaking the record around that time, but it was apt that it happened Thursday — the day before a special promotion offering free parking and attendance between noon and 1 p.m., and free skyrides until 4 p.m. to celebrate the high attendance.
"It kind of feels fitting to pass our attendance record and then give a big thank you to the community," he said.
The former highest attendance record was set last year, when 1.15 million visitors shattered the 2007 record.