San Diego County Fair Opens

This Year's Fair Theme Is 'Out Of This World'

The 2012 San Diego County Fair, themed "Out of this World," began a monthlong run Friday.

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The theme exhibit, just inside the O'Brien Gate, includes a countdown to the Mars Rover landing in August, information on the Space Shuttle and Apollo programs, displays of space suits, an astronaut Hall of Fame, an exhibit of a rocket engine and nozzle, and inventions made for the space program that affect our everyday lives.

As usual, the fair includes cinnamon rolls and other food, thrill rides on the midway and numerous concerts.

Also scheduled were a wine festival on Saturday, an international beer festival June 22-24, a Fathers' Day Pancake Breakfast on June 17, and a Food Truck Festival July 2. Sundays will feature Latin-themed entertainment and Thursdays will be senior days.

This weekend includes the eighth annual Gospel Festival on Saturday, featuring a grandstand concert with Donnie McClurkin. On Sunday, fair-goers can take part in La Guelaguetza, a traditional festival celebrating the culture of the Mexican state of Oaxaca, and listen to a musical performance by Larry Hernandez.

The North County Transit District was offering $15 weekend fairs good on its Coaster and Sprinter trains to the fair. Riders should depart at the Solana Beach station and use the Route 408 Breeze bus.

From Escondido, fair-goers should use the Route 308 Breeze bus.

The fair will be open 24 days -- two more than usual -- through July 4.

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