Entertainment & Events

Food, music and the San Diego Fair 2010

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The wait is over, Summer has unofficially begun and one of the biggest events in San Diego is ready to roll out. Last year the San Diego County Fair had 1,274,440 attend and ranked as the seventh largest carnival in the nation. This year hopes are high to bring in another record-breaking number of attendees.

The fair is set to begin June 11- July 5 and will be closed June 14, 21 and 28. Although this may seem like a short time, 22 days, the San Diego County Fair has new activities, concerts, promotions and shows that surely wont disappoint.


“The fair gets better and better each year,” said Linda Zweig, from the San Diego County Fair. “We really try to respond to the demands of our quests.”

The San Diego County Fair has adopted a new theme cleverly called, “Taste the Fun.” Food, being one of the largest attractions at the fair, draws in thousands. There will be several new foods to enjoy at the fair this year such as: funnel cake on a stick, ice cream s’mores or the new Charlie’s chicken near Agrifair (deep fried klondike bar, deep fried pop tart and a beef kabob).

The idea of “Taste the Fun” is to celebrate food in its many different forms. One of the new events to highlight this idea is “The Tour of Tastes Theme Exhibit.” The exhibit will include culinary competitions between professional chef’s, culinary students and fair goers who are looking to win a prize.

“The theme speaks for itself, there are a lot of new fried foods. The exhibit is brand new and reflects the theme, the big thing this year is the ‘Next Food TV Star Competition,'” Zweig said.

Contestants in the ‘Next Food TV Star Competition’ will have multiple days to demonstrate their cooking skills and finalists will be eligible to win $1,000 prize and be filmed by a professional production company while cooking.


Fair attendees will also be able to see just how fair food is made with “Fair Food Behind the Scenes” at 1 p.m. each day at the Sparkletts Water Infield. Soon after, from 2:30-5:30 p.m. audiences can enjoy culinary demonstrations of all kinds with different foods featured ranging from wedding cakes to guacamole.

For those that enjoy a vegan lifestyle, there will be vegan cooking as well as a “healthy made easy” demonstrations. For a full list of the “Tour of Tastes Theme Exhibit” events, visit the San Diego Fair’s website here.

Food won’t be the only source of entertainment at the fair however. Fair correspondents have lined up talented musical and comedic acts from around the world.

“We try to get the best and make it as entertaining as we can, ” Zweig told us.

The concerts at the Heineken Grandstand stage bring in great performances and large crowds. The Toyota Summer Concert Series presents some of the top entertainers in the industry. The majority of the concerts are free with admission into the fair, but a few require a ticket be purchased.

Headlining the Toyota series are acts such as:

  • Sammy Hagar and The Wabos- Friday, June 11 (ticket required)
  • KC and the Sunshine band- Fri, June 18
  • Switchfoot- Thurs, June 24
  • Julio Iglesias- Fri, June 25
  • Lonestar- Wed, June 30
  • OneRepublic- Fri, July 2 (ticket required)
  • Jeff Dunham- Sat, July 3 (ticket required)
  • Guy Fieri- Sat, June 19

These shows begin at 7:30 p.m. and if a ticket is required, tickets can be purchased at the Del Mar Fairgrounds ticket office or via Ticketmaster. A number of these shows also include a gourmet dinner package a the Del Mar Turf Club. A full list of concerts are available on the San Diego Fair website here.


Lifehouse performing on Thurs, July 1.

Other music acts and entertainers performing are featured in The Coors Light Rock On Stage, Paddock concert series and Solid Gold series.

If concerts aren’t your thing, then the Chevrolet Del Mar Arena has a variety of activities planned from dog races, to horse shows and extreme sports.

June 11-12 is the Purina Incredible Dog Challenge, an Olympic-style competition for dogs. Horse fans can look forward to the Del Mar Classic Amateur Horse Show June 22- 23. The show will feature amateur riders in English and Western equestrian classes. If extreme sports are more up your alley, July 1- 5 are the days for the Extreme Sports Spectacular, Monster Truck show and the Demolition Derby.

“There is so much going on all day and all night,” Zweig said.

Late night shows are also available if you want to stay and relax after a long day. Each Saturday at 9 p.m. Rock-Out Karaoke will perform with a live band and audience members will be able to participate. Friday nights at 9 p.m. will be devoted to comedic acts like Vince Harper and Cindy Burns, Mal Hall and Mark Christopher Lawrence, and the Patrick Henry High School Improv Troupe.

There is no shortage of special events this year and there are a variety of things to do for any age or preference. There will be: car shows every day,  he international beer festival June 25-27, “enviro” fair (all about different “green” activities) on June 19,  the 6th Annual Gospel Festival on Sat, June 26 and even a Father’s Day pancake breakfast June 20.

Sundays are going to be known as “Dias de la Familia,” and will showcase the aspects of rich Mexican culture with crafts, games and musical performances.

A variety of deals to save fair-goers money are also available. On Tues, June 15 tickets are only $3 when purchased them at Albertsons. Also every Tuesday children under 12 years old get free admission. Every Friday PennySaver will have coupon booklets for fair food and product booths.

Fair goers will really be getting “the best bang for your buck,” Zweig said.

For full lists of upcoming fair attractions please visit www.sdfair.com/fair/.

Photos courtesty of SD Dirk and ciel.o via Flickr.


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