Game on! County Fair puts all the fun, music acts you can handle at your fingertips
by Kevin McKay
Published - 06/06/13 - 04:17 PM | 5384 views | 0 0 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The 2013 San Diego County Fair is preparing to open Saturday, June 8 with a ton of food, entertainment and music, touting a theme of “Game On!” Don Balch
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The annual mix of down-home agricultural exhibits, belly-busting food, eye-catching entertainment and powerhouse musical lineups is set to return to the Del Mar Fairgrounds for a month-long engagement on Saturday, June 8 with the opening of the 2013 San Diego County Fair.

The fair runs through July 4.

Touting a theme of “Game On!,” this year’s fair is designed to spotlight classic and nostalgic games and show how these have evolved over the years — from board games and pinball to television, videos and computers — and to demonstrate how technology has enhanced the gaming culture beyond dreams.

Of course, the fair has plenty of food and drink vendors spread across the fairway and the infield track area. And each year, Fair officials spice things up with some very unusual food offerings that, well, can test one’s willingness to break the normal gastronomical barriers. This year, among other items, vendors will be selling Krispy Kreme sloppy Joes; deep-fried, bacon-wrapped pickles; chipotle BBQ beef chips;
bacon beer;
wild boar kabobs; and waffle dogs.

Also new this year is a “Star Trek Exhibition,” an interactive, museum-style experience involving one of the largest collections of authentic Star Trek artifacts and information ever put on public display, according to Fair officials.

For those who can’t get enough of bacon, foodies will be in hog heaven come Sunday, June 16 during the “Big Bite Bacon Fest,” presented by Farmer John. Fair officials said the festival is a fun-filled, walk-around tasting event featuring creative bacon dishes from the best chefs and competitive cooks in the county. Each bacon booth will prepare and serve small plates of savory bacon delights ranging from appetizers to desserts and everything in between. Adult fairgoers can quench their thirst with refreshing bacon-based and bacon-inspired cocktails and brews.

Running throughout the course of the Fair this year will also be a new addition called “The Courage to Remember,” a traveling Holocaust exhibit produced by the Museum of Tolerance, the educational arm of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. The exhibit features 200 exclusive photographs that cannot be seen anywhere else in the world, offering unique insight into the Holocaust.

The Fair is again boasting a huge slate of musical entertainment at various venues across the fairgrounds, featuring nationally known entertainers belting out cool tunes ranging from classic rock to country, Latin flavor to modern-day draws. Most entertainment is free with Fair admission. For a complete roundup of artists, venues, dates, times and prices, visit the website.

Many of the familiar sights and sounds will greet fairgoers, including the popular AgriFair, the livestock barn and exhibits of animals large and small, put on by members of the 4-H Club who are always available to answer questions. The popular “Turkey Stampede” show, featuring hilarious races pitting turkey against turkey for the prize at the finish line, also returns.

Car shows, daily watermelon seed-spitting and corn-husking contests, a motorcycle ride and competition, a Fire Expo (including a demolition derby with firefighters at the wheel) and plenty more awaits fairgoers, with something on tap for all generations.

For those who are a little more adventurous, there are plenty of rides and games to be discovered in the Fun Zone and thrill rides for those who want to push the adrenaline boundaries even further.

Tickets are $14 for adults and $8 for those 62 and older or between the ages of 6 to 12 (free on Tuesdays). Children 5 and under are admitted free.

Albertson’s will host $4 Fair Day on Tuesday, June 11 and Tuesday, June 18.

The 2013 San Diego County Fair is open every day except Mondays (with the exception being Monday, July 1). The fairgrounds are located at 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd. in Del Mar.

For more information, call (858) 755-1161, or visit


This year’s San Diego County Fair will boast an impressive lineup of artists, from seasoned veterans to more modern-day artists. Here are some of the headliners:

Toyota Summer Concert Series —

• The Beach Boys — June 8

• Espinoza Paz — June 9

• REO Speedwagon — June 11

• Sail Rock 2013 (Christopher Cross, Orleans, Firefall and Player)

• Emblem 3 — June 13

• Switchfoot — June 14

• Steve Miller Band — June 15

• La Arrolladora Banda El Limon — June 16

• Caifanes — June 18

• Third Day — June 19

• Martina McBride — June 20

• Colbie Caillat — June 21

• Grupo Intocable — June 23

• Bad Company — June 25

• Bridgit Mendler — June 26

• Train — June 27

• Kendrick Lamar — June 28

• Gospel Festival — June 29

• Julion Alvarez — June 30

• “Weird Al” Yankovic — July 1

• Adam Lambert — July 2

• Joan Jett and The Blackhearts — July 3

• Happy Together Tour 2013 — (The Turtles, Chuck Negron formerly of Three Dog Night, Gary Puckett & The Union Gap, Mark Lindsay of Paul Revere & The Raiders, Gary Lewis & The Playboys) The Navy Band Southwest also performs, followed by fireworks — July 4

Ford Dealers Paddock Series —

• David Davies — June 11

• David Cassidy of Partridge Family fame — June 12

• John Wait of The Babies — June 13

• Berlin, feat. Terri Nunn — June 18

• Beatles vs. Stones: (tribute) — June 19

• Red — June 20

• Who’s Bad: The Ultimate Michael Jackson Tribute Band — June 25

• Little Texas — June 26

• Hotel California: A Salute to the Eagles — June 27

• Pink Floyd Laser Spectacular (tribute) — July 2

• Great White — July 3

• The Motels — July 4

For a complete roundup, visit
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