DEL MAR, Calif. (KGTV)-- The long-awaited San Diego County Fair opens Friday at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.
Last-minute preparations are happening for one of the summer's most anticipated events, with this year's County Fair called "Home Grown Fun."
Because of the pandemic, staff barely had three months to prepare. They contemplated until the last moments if it would be a drive-through or walk-in event and decided that it would be an in-person one, with only about a third of the usual attractions.
"This is our little taste of what the fair would be," Del Mar Fairgrounds Marketing Director Jennifer Hellman said.
Speaking of taste, forty food vendors will be back. This year, crowd-favorite Chicken Charlie's has three new crazy fried items, including ice cream nachos.
For animal lovers, pigs, ponies, and cows will be back. As for rides, there will only be two at first: the carousel and Ferris wheel. But after the State opens up on June 15, there will be more.
"We've been able to contract with about 12 more rides that we are bringing in, mostly geared towards small children and families," Hellman said.
The Fairgrounds will continue to be a COVID-19 Vaccine Super Station until the end of the month. That is why admission tickets and parking will ONLY be sold via online reservations. THERE WILL BE NO BOX OFFICE ON SITE.
"There are some days that are on and some days that are off, and that is why our parking is so limited," Hellman said.
For the staff and vendors, Friday cannot come soon enough.
"It is such a special feeling right now to be back on these grounds. A very special moment," Charlie Boghosian of Chicken Charlie's said. "I'd say that all of us are on par with putting on the best show yet."
The price of adult admission will be half-off the usual fee, at $10. Masks will be required opening weekend and in the indoor halls for the duration of the fair. But that could change following June 15. Fair staff recommends you check for updates on its website.