Exploring San Diego


San Diegans set to 'Go Retro' on opening day at 2024 San Diego County Fair

Posted at 6:37 AM, Jun 12, 2024

DEL MAR (CNS) - The San Diego County Fair returns to the Del Mar Fairgrounds Wednesday for the "Let's Go Retro" theme with nearly a month of marquee shows, rides and tantalizing treats.

"Bop your way around the happy days of the '50s. Twist, shout, and shake it into the bewitching '60s. Move and groove through the disco nights of the '70s. Moonwalk it back to the gnarly age of big hair, shoulder pads and parachute pants of the '80s. And enjoy the era of flannel and floppy drives of the '90s -- or whatever, nevermind," a promotional statement from the fair board reads.

The fair's usual lineup of musical acts for the Toyota Summer Concert Series has a retro flavor of its own this year, with acts such as TLC on Friday, the Kings of Late Night -- Jay Leno, Arsenio Hall and Craig Ferguson -- on June 21, Smokey Robinson on June 26, Little Big Town on June 27, Ludacris on June 28, Yung Gravy on July 3 and Hombres G on July 7 on the Corona Grandstand Stage.

Additionally, the Chevrolet Concert Paddock Series will feature cover bands -- ranging from KISS to the Spice Girls, The Doors, Elvis and a Boy Band revue -- and reggae sounds from the likes of Boostive and Arise Roots and even an appearance on Independence Day from The Village People.

Every Saturday, fairgoers can visit The Sound music venue for a theatrical glow-in-the-dark musical experience:

-- The Pink Floyd Laser Spectacular, June 15
-- Iluminate, featured on "America's Got Talent," for a dance performance, June 22
-- Holographic light show Lumia, June 29
-- The Stickmen Project, an anonymous DJ and percussion duo with electronic beats

As with any county fair, the competitions from artisan work to agriculture play a major part. Visitors will get a chance to see an international exhibition of fine woodworking with the San Diego Fine Woodworkers Association, the juried Exhibition of Fine Art show featuring both 2-D and 3-D entries, a flower show, garden show, gems, minerals and jewelry competition, homemade crafts show, photography competition and event a student showcase, highlighting work from students at San Diego County schools in a competition.

Of course, the shows, rides and animals at the fair aren't complete without a mountain of wild and wacky food to choose from. Just some of the choices this year include candy bacon pork belly bites, a deep-fried funnel cake dog, elote pizza, Spam fries, a maple bacon smoothie, vintage sodas, papusas, a Fruity Pebbles shrimp pineapple bowl, a beef birria cheeseburger, cucumber lemonade and the polarizing favorite fried pickles.

On Friday at 11:30 a.m., the second annual Fair-Tastic Food Competition on the Chevrolet Paddock Stage will select winners from the crowded field in both savory and sweet for three categories: Theme, Wow and New.

Pig races and diving dogs both return as well.

On the Fourth of July, the fairgrounds will host the Fireworks Spectacular at 9 p.m. at the Corona Grandstand.

The 2024 San Diego County Fair runs from June 12 to July 7 at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd. from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Wednesdays through Sundays. The fair is closed Mondays and Tuesdays.

For complete information on this year’s fair, visit https://www.sdfair.com.

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