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Fair opens Friday

2012 O.C.

'Home Sweet Home' is the theme of this summer's festivities at the fairgrounds in Costa Mesa.

July 12, 2012|By Candice Baker
  • Workers setup a basketball game booth in preparation for opening day at the O.C. Fair on Thursday.
Workers setup a basketball game booth in preparation… (KEVIN CHANG, Daily…)

Summer may have arrived on June 20, but here in Orange County it sees its official start on Friday with the return of the Orange County Fair.

Open Wednesday through Sunday, the fair's 2012 theme is "Home Sweet Home," heavy on the "Sweet." Home cooking is the topic for a variety of celebrity chef shows, including the Food Network's Robert Irvine at 1 p.m. July 26 and "Top Chef" fan favorite Fabio Viviani at 1 p.m. Aug. 2 in the Hangar, the fair's newest stage. Entry is free with fair admission.

A "Home Sweet Home" highlight is Chocolate Unwrapped, a new exhibit in the Exhibit Promenade that teaches and demonstrates how chocolate is made.

The fair offers much more than just the midway and rows of buskers; regular entertainment is planned at the Hangar, the Action Sports Arena and the Pacific Amphitheatre, with shows available either with fair admission or with additional ticket purchase.

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Daily free-with-admission entertainment includes the Peking Acrobats, the All-Alaskan Racing Pigs and the Dragon Knights. Karaoke Rockstarz on the Meadows Stage offers everyone the chance to perform with a live band in front of an audience at 8 p.m. nightly, while the Action Sports Stage promises new high-adrenaline antics each weekend.

Enjoy Yarn Bombing Day on July 15, when Fair Square becomes a yarn art extravaganza. Pogopalooza returns from July 26 to 28, with attempts to achieve pogo stick world records in Fair Square.

Got Girl Scouts? Be sure to commemorate the organization's 100th anniversary July 27 with a special event. The Budweiser Clydesdales will be on hand from Aug. 1 to 12, and Oasis Camel Dairy will give milking demonstrations on the same days.

The always-popular Centennial Farm offers the chance for families to explore four acres of a demonstration farm, where they can get up close and personal with baby animals and livestock, view crops growing, and check out competitions for the biggest fruits and vegetables.

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Discounts abound

As always, a variety of special admission promotions is planned.

Get in free from noon to 1 p.m. on opening day. Kids ages 12 and under get in free on Thursdays. Seniors ages 60 and up get $2 off admission and free Ferris wheel and merry-go-round rides on Fridays. Those who arrive between 10 and 11 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays will receive $2 off admission.

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