The San Diego County Fair returns June 7 to July 6 with a “Fab Fair” theme, celebrating 50 years since the Beatles’ invasion.
“Our exhibit is going to be extraordinary,” said Linda Zweig, fair spokesperson. “Every year, we choose a new theme that is attractive to a lot of demographics… There is something for everyone.”
It was 1964 when Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, George Harrison and John Lennon hit U.S. shores, twice appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show in a pivotal moment in American pop-cultural history. In addition to tribute-band performances, a special Beatles-themed exhibit will feature photo archives never before seen in California, including John and Yoko Ono’s 1969 “Bed-In” for peace.
The Beatles, however, will have to share the stage with the Fair’s other star, the food.
Known for such delicacies as deep-fried ice crème bars, deep-fried Oreos and roasted turkey legs, the imagination and antacid dosages are the only limit to what can and will be consumed at the fair this year.
New on the menu for 2014 are bacon-wrapped Churros, fried chicken skins, a four-patty hamburger on a Krispy Kreme Donut bun and gourmet grilled-cheese sandwiches.
Several hot musical performers will play as part of the Summer Concert Series on the Grandstand Stage. Acts include Third Eye Blind, Smokey Robinson, Toni Braxton and Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, REO Speedwagon and Matisyahu. Some acts may require purchase of an additional ticket. Several Latino-specific performers are also part of the lineup.
A favorite of the kids, the AgriFair exhibit will take place in the Wyland building. Visitors can learn about animals and visit the petting farm and Junior Livestock Auction, where young San Diegans sell the animals they’ve raised over the past year.
Of course, it wouldn’t be the county fair without contests. Everything from photography to flowers to a Homebrew Competition is in the works as locals vie for coveted blue ribbons.
The fair is the largest annual event in San Diego County, drawing more than 1.4 million visitors annually.
The Del Mar Fairgrounds are located at 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd. in Del Mar. The fair is closed Mondays and the first two Tuesdays after June 7.
Adult admission is $14 and $8 for those 62 and older and children 6 to 12. Children under 6 are admitted free. Tickets can be purchased online or at the gate.
The “Best Pass Ever” deal is $24 for all 24 days of the fair.
Kids under 12 can gain free admission by reading 10 books and having a teacher or librarian sign off a special reading certificate downloadable on the Del Mar Fair’s website. Discount tickets are also available for purchase at Albertsons and Save-On pharmacies. Military discount tickets are available at San Diego military base ticket offices.
Parking is $10 per vehicle or motorcycle and $20 for RVs (cash only). Offsite free parking and shuttle services are available at the Del Mar Horsepark, MiraCosta College’s San Elijo campus and Torrey Pines High School. If you’re looking for an alternative to traffic, Fair Tripper passes are $15. These allow guests to ride the Coaster, Sprinter or Breeze round trip, and they include admission.
For more information and a list of events, visit www.sdfair.com.