COSTA MESA (Aug. 17, 2023) – The 2023 OC Fair is a wrap and there were a whole lot of summer memories for Fairgoers who wanted to get “Happy Together.” This year’s Fair ran July 14 through Aug. 13.
“It is an absolute joy for our team to bring the OC Fair to the community each year,” said OC Fair & Event Center CEO Michele Richards. “There is definitely something for everyone at the OC Fair and this year was no exception. From animals and agriculture, exhibits and entertainment, food and fun, the 2023 OC Fair was the place to be this summer. We want to thank our guests for supporting the OC Fair and we look forward to seeing everyone again in 2024.”
Advance tickets were required again for the third year so daily capacity could be limited to provide a better experience for guests, neighbors and partners.
The Fair welcomed 1,048,181 Fairgoers who came out to enjoy summer’s most-anticipated event and there were 12 sold-out days during the 23-day run. In 2022, OC Fair attendance was 1,055,173 and there were 11 sold-out days.
“The Board of Directors is very pleased with the performance of this year’s Fair,” said OC Fair Board Chair Newton Pham. “Once again, our attendance model is proving to be a huge success for the organization. By controlling our daily attendance, we have achieved a high level of per capita spending, while greatly minimizing the impact of the Fair on our surrounding neighborhoods and creating a great guest experience.”
Here’s a look at this year’s OC Fair by the numbers:
- 18,725 competition entries came in from 3,784 exhibitors who vied for blue-ribbons. In Home Arts, there were 1,322 entries, 1,592 entries in Culinary, Visual Arts had 4,768 entries and there were 5,068 entries in Horticulture. Entries were up 21 percent over 2022.
- 2.3 million carnival rides were enjoyed by Fairgoers and their favorites were Sky Ride, La Grande Wheel XL, Raptor Coaster, Rave Wave and Crazy Coaster. More than 400,000 stuffed toys were won by Fairgoers trying their luck in the carnival midway.
- 112 53-ft. trailers delivered all the carnival rides to the OC Fair.
- 91,200 fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies were made from scratch at Mom’s Bakeshoppe.
- 35,000 pounds of fries were served up at Biggy’s and these were topped with 400 pounds of Parmesan cheese and 1,500 pounds of garlic. It took one truckload of Kennebec potatoes to get these in to feed hungry Fairgoers. Biggy’s also doled out seven miles of foot-long Big Daddy corn dogs.
- 29,914 tickets were purchased for performances in Pacific Amphitheatre, The Hangar and Action Sports Arena.
- 42 concerts were sold out in Pacific Amphitheatre, The Hangar and Action Sports Arena during the course of the Fair.
- 8,400 pounds of Ten Pound Buns were served up at this year’s OC Fair along with 2,758 Philly cheesesteak sandwiches.
- 80,000 deep-fried Oreos, 10,000 bacon-wrapped pickles, 6,000 fried Twinkies and 50,000 pounds of fries were served up at the Chicken Charlie’s stands throughout the Fairgrounds.
- 18,000 sheets of tissue paper were used to make approximately 2,250 flowers for the Chicano Heritage Month celebration.
- $254,437 was paid out to agriculture students through the Junior Livestock Auction and this year we saw the sale of 179 animals.
- 800 pounds of pepperoni topped slices at Enzo’s Pizza along with 500 pounds of pickles for the new Hot Cheeto Cheese Pickle Pizza.
Concerts under the stars are continuing with these upcoming shows in Pacific Amphitheatre:
Aug. 18 – Los Tucanes de Tijuana / La Original Banda El Limon
Aug. 20 – Chicago
Aug. 27 – Gabriel Iglesias
Sept. 2 – Common Kings / Fiji / Sammy J and guests
Tickets are for sale on Ticketmaster.
OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa, California, is home to the annual OC Fair. Year-round attractions include Centennial Farm, Table of Dignity, Heroes Hall and Pacific Amphitheatre. OC Fair & Event Center also hosts year-round events. For more information, visit ocfair.com.
Support of OC Fair & Event Center provides year-round educational opportunities and helps fund community give-back programs.