OC Fair will drop a ball (of sorts) New Year's Eve

Monday at the OC Fair & Event Center, 11 lucky people will get to find out how a dropping ball feels.

The New Year's Eve celebration at the fairgrounds won't feature a ball drop like the one in Times Square, but there will be a plummeting object of a different kind: the fairgrounds' Mega Drop ride, which will descend with 11 attendees who won an on-site raffle.

When people enter the OC Fair New Year's Eve Block Party, those with the Foursquare social-media application on their phones can check in at a table up front. Fairgrounds staff will then draw 11 winners from that pool to fill the Mega Drop.

The venue did a similar drawing last year, inviting people to enter on the OC Fair website.

That time, about 200 people entered the running, but communications director Robin Wachner said technological savvy will determine the 2012 pool.

"This year, it will be entirely dependent on people using Foursquare," she said.

The third annual Block Party, which runs from 7:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., also features food, music, dancing and Vegas-style games, plus plenty of live entertainment: a demolition derby and tribute bands on four stages, which are divided in 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s themes.

Among those slated to perform are Hot August Night (after Neil Diamond), Dead Man's Party (after Oingo Boingo) and the Beatles-Rolling Stones joint tribute Abbey Road and Jumping Jack Flash. The Queen tribute group Queen Nation won the plum lineup spot — getting to play as the clock passes midnight.

Mike McManus, who portrays Queen lead guitarist Brian May, said his band has already performed twice at the fairgrounds and has a special song in mind for when the clock strikes 12. He declined to divulge it, though.

"We're really looking forward to this show," McManus said. "Without giving away any surprises, we're going to be the band that's featured right at the new year."


Twitter: @MichaelMillerHB

If You Go

What: OC Fair New Year's Eve Block Party

Where: OC Fair & Event Center, 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa

When: 7:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Monday

Cost: $42.50 per person through Sunday, $47.50 on Monday; $38.50 per person for groups of 10 to 24 through Sunday, $42.50 on Monday; $31.50 per person for groups of 25 or more through Sunday, $35.50 on Monday; parking $10; all rides, Vegas-style games and demolition derby attendance free with admission

Information: (714) 708-1500 or http://www.ocfair.com/blockparty/index.php

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