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The San Diego County Fair Returns June 11

This year’s “Home Grown Fun” is one step closer to the traditional festivities

By Erica Nichols

San Diego’s honorary kickoff to summer is returning to the Del Mar Fairgrounds this month. For decades, the San Diego County Fair has welcomed us with wild rides, packed shows, and towering turkey legs; and while it won’t quite be the same experience we remember, this year’s event is one step closer to it. The reimagined theme, Home Grown Fun, nods to the fair’s agricultural roots, focusing on farming demonstrations and DIY workshops, along with scaled-back glimpses of the quintessential fair we know. Space is limited, so book your tickets ahead of time, and see the full breakdown below: 

SD Fair - fried oreos

SD Fair – fried oreos

The Food

We know what you’re really here for! Last year, the fair opened up a parking lot with a handful of its most popular food and drink vendors for guests to drive up, order, and take out. This year you can choose from over 30 vendors who are spread throughout the grounds as usual. Funnel Cake Express, Chicken Charlie’s, Dole Whip, Tasti Burgers & Tasti Chips, Wood Pit BBQ—the gang’s all here, so dig in!

SD Fair - racing pigs

SD Fair – racing pigs

The Activities

That classic image of the Ferris wheel overlooking the ocean is coming back this year. There will be two rides: the ferris wheel and carousel. The rest of the time, you can head into the exhibit halls to shop the many retail vendors, take the little ones to Agri-Land so they can take a spin on a kid-size tractor, or watch the many farm animal demonstrations like cow milking or the pig races.

The Shows

Live music is back with a San Diego twist, featuring all local artists as part of the Home Grown Music Series, which will take place all day near the West Gate. Additionally, Jackstraws Surf Band and Juice Box will both perform daily, and other shows like Godfrey the Magician, The Wilder Show, and daily contests are also on the lineup.

The San Diego County Fair will run June 11–July 4 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; the fair is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

SD Fair – dole whips

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