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Cowabunga! It’s O.C. Fair time

Times Staff Writer

The 2007 Orange County Fair kicks off its three weeks today with free parking and free admission for the first hour, and the fair’s first-ever opening-day fireworks display at 9:30 p.m.

This year’s theme honors two things close to the heritage of Southern California: cows and sand.

“Every year we try to pick a theme that salutes our past as well as something about our current culture,” fair spokesman Steve Beazley said of the theme, “Cowabunga: The Year of Herefords, Surfers & Sand.” “It’s a nice blending of the past and present. Orange County once had a ranching heritage, and ‘cowabunga’ is a surfing term.”

In keeping with the beef theme, fair organizers are planning a cattle run of 300 Corriente steers through the streets of Costa Mesa on July 25. And the beach component will be represented by master sand animation artist Ferenc Cako, scheduled to perform nightly at the Plaza Arts Stage.

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The fair also will include the return engagement of “Weird Al” Yankovic, performing July 17-21 at 8 p.m.; frequent appearances by Aga-Boom!, a theater of interactive physical comedy and circus acts; and a concert series featuring Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson and a double bill of Heart and the Bangles.

The usual fair fare, of course, will also be on hand: bull riding, demolition derbies, elephant and carnival rides, farm animals, agricultural displays and lots of food, such as barbecued beef, giant turkey legs, cinnamon rolls, deep-fried pickles, avocados and corn on the cob.

The idea, Beazley says, is to have a good time.

“Have a really fun experience,” he suggests. “Ride rides, eat foods you wouldn’t normally eat -- just come out and have a really energetic time at the fair.”

david.haldane@latimes.com

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Today’s highlights at the O.C. Fair

Hours: Noon to midnight. Location: 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa

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Free admission and parking: Noon-1 p.m.

Free admission for all active-duty military, law enforcement and firefighters plus one guest: 1-6 p.m.

Information: www.ocfair.com or (714) 708-3247

All day: Surfboard-shaping demonstration

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All day: Webs, Wings & Creepy Things exhibit, featuring prehistoric pets

1 p.m.: Basic beekeeping and beekeeping crafts by Janet Andrews

2 p.m.: Stories with author Danielle Tiano

4 p.m.: Cerritos College Orchestra

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5 p.m.: Mapapa African Acrobats

6 p.m.: Creative Memories scrapbooking by Ginny Wilson

8 p.m.: Terry Hanck Blues Band

9:30 p.m.: Fireworks spectacular over the Main Mall

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10 p.m.: Sand animation master Ferenc Cako

10:30 p.m.: Glasgow Tiki Shakers perform surf music

Source: Orange County Fair & Exposition Center

Los Angeles Times

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Summer fair

The Orange County Fair is open today through Aug. 5 and is closed Mondays. Parking and admission are free from noon to 1 p.m. today only. There is a fee for all carnival rides. Additional information is at (714)708-3247 or www.ocfair.com/2007

Fair admission

*--* Prices General (13-59 years): $8 Seniors (60 years+): $6 Children (6-12 years): $4 Children (5 and younger): Free Hours Tues.-Fri.: Noon-midnight Sat.-Sun.: 10 a.m.-midnight

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Free admission days

Today: For active-duty military, law enforcement officers and fire personnel and one guest, from 1-6 p.m.

Tuesdays: Ages 12 and younger

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July 18, noon-6 p.m.: With each donation of five dry or canned food items

Aug. 1, noon-6 p.m: With each donation of one new or three near-new children’s books

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Parking

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In fairground lots

*--* Vehicle parking: $5 Bus parking: $10 Preferred parking: $10

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Saturday and Sunday only

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Free offsite parking and shuttle service from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. from the Experian parking structure at 475 Anton Blvd., Costa Mesa

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Source: Orange County Fairgrounds


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