To a slightly different beat

COSTA MESA — The monthlong Orange County Fair promises a smorgasbord of events, music, fried food and amusements when it opens Friday with a theme appropriate for a trying 2010: The Beat Goes On.

Though the event is built around the familiar and nostalgic, there are plenty of new elements this year.

The Hanger, a new 23,000 square-foot aviation-style building, will be opened to fairgoers. During the day, the Hanger will be a venue for various community events and entertainments. At night, it will be home to concerts and sporting events, such as Lucha Libre, a Mexican wrestling event.

The Forever Fair exhibit at the Memorial Gardens will celebrate 120 years of history. Forever Fair offers a "decade-by-decade" history of the fair, from the time it started offering only livestock exhibitions and a small horse race for five days, to the present day, where hundreds of events make the OC Fair the third-largest in the nation, said Renee Fontes, the exhibit's designer.

Missing from the exhibit, but clearly in the background, is the almost yearlong saga of the sale of the 150-acre fairgrounds. The state recently announced that it has tentatively accepted Costa Mesa's offer to buy — with the help of a private company — the fairgrounds for $96 million.

"It's really a history exhibit," Fontes said. "It's not so much about current events that are still up in the air and changing all the time. This is more about how the fair was established, how it's moved forward."

Selling or keeping the fairgrounds isn't what matters at this time because the fair will go on, said Steve Beazley, fairgrounds' president and chief executive.

"It's important to know that even if the fairgrounds does sell, you can be sure that there's still going to be changes next year because that's how the fair lasted 120 year – because of change," he said. "It's ever-evolving, like the community. The community never stays the same and that's how the fair lasted 120 years."

The Ice Museum is also new to this year's fair, Wachner said.

Twice a day the small room will offer live ice-carving demonstrations. People can get inside the museum, or keep warm and watch from outside windows, said O.C. Fairgrounds spokeswoman Robin Wachner.

And for those who enjoy skating, the fair also has a space for them this year.

The Budweiser Clydesdales will also visit the fair from Aug. 11 to 15.

And for those who wanted to participate in culinary competitions, but missed the deadline earlier this year, there's still a chance for that.

Competitors can make submissions for six challenges starting July 24 .

The fair will operate Wednesdays through Sundays through Aug. 15.



General ages 13 to 59: $10

Seniors 60 and older: $7

Children ages 6 to 12: $5

Children younger than 6 get in free

Nightly Entertainment at the Hangar

Wild Child: Jim Morrison Tribute


Blasphemous Rumours: Depeche Mode Tribute

July 17

Dog 'N' Butterfly: Heart Tribute

July 18

Michael Jackson LaserSpectacular

July 21

Pink Floyd LaserSpectacular

July 22

Hotel California: Eagles Tribute

July 23

The Joshua Tree: U2 Tribute

July 24


July 25

Royal Crown Revue

July 28

Vitalogy: Pearl Jam Tribute

July 29

Journey Unauthorized: Journey Tribute

July 30

Led Zeppelin Live with Heartbreaker: Led Zeppelin Tribute

July 31

Mariachi Sol de Mexico de Jose Hernandez

Aug. 1

Purple Reign: Prince Tribute

Aug. 4

Wild Child: Jim Morrison Tribute

Aug. 5

Mark Wood and the Parrot Head Band: Jimmy Buffet Tribute

Aug. 6

Sweet & Tender Hooligans: Morrisey/Smiths Tribute

Aug. 7

Jumping Jack Flash: Rolling Stones Tribute

Aug. 8

The Grascals – Bluegrass

Aug. 11

Colin Hay of Men at Work

Aug. 12

Gary Hoey

Aug. 13

Los Angeles Times Summer Concert Series at Pacific Amphitheatre:

The Pink Floyd Experience

Bad Company

July 17


July 18

Jeff Dunham

July 21

Martina McBride

July 22

Ziggy Marley

Common Sense

July 23

Faith Hill

Jennette McCurdy

July 24

Blue Oyster Cult


July 25

Adam Lambert


July 27-28

Julianne Hough

July 29

John Legend

July 30



Aug. 1

Sammy Hagar and The Wabos

Aug. 4

The B-52s

w/ DJ Richard Blade

Aug. 5



The Fab Four

Sgt. Pepper's Experience

Aug. 7



Aug. 8

Joan Jett & The Blackhearts w/Cherie Currie

Aug. 11

LeAnn Rimes

Aug. 12

"Weird Al" Yankovic

Aug. 13-14

ZZ Top

Aug. 15

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