A “Time for Fun” at the OC Fair

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AN EXCITING RETURN: Fairgoers browse the OC Fair’s midway, finding interest in the endless amusement rides, carnival games and concession stands.

Karen Wang, Staff Writer

The annual Orange County Fair will open its doors for a summer of in-person festivities from July 16 to Aug.15, with public-health modifications to accommodate the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The OC Fair Board voted on March 25 to hold the event with limitations on daily attendance, the number of rides, concession stands and food vendors allowed on fairgrounds, while also mandating masks for all workers and fairgoers. The annual fair theme was deemed a “Time for Fun,” celebrating the return to a degree of normalcy after the fair was held virtually last summer. 

“We have worked through many different scenarios for the 2021 OC Fair, and we are so excited to move forward with this plan because it means that we really can bring back the fun, and that’s why I love this year’s theme,” OC Fair & Event Center CEO Michele Richards said.

As Orange County entered the less-restrictive orange tier of COVID-19 cases from the previous red tier, public health projections for the summer allowed for the return of the OC Fair. The return of this Southern Californian staple is met with exuberance by many Northwood students who plan to attend.

“It’s always a fun time to walk around with your friends and eat good food,” sophomore Janna Elshahawi said. “Virtual events are fun and all, but they’re completely different and just not as fun as winning something in person at a fair game.”

Advance tickets will go live virtually on May 1 on ocfair.com. In accordance with 2019 rates, tickets will be $12 for general admission and $7 for children and seniors on Wednesdays and Thursdays, while the general admission rate will rise to $14 on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The fair will remain closed on Mondays and Tuesdays as per tradition.

The opening remains tentative, in which a spike of local COVID-19 cases could warrant a drive-through event or later dates spilling into September. Updates regarding concerts in the Pacific Amphitheatre and the Hangar will be revealed in OC Fair press releases in the next few weeks.