Community Commentary: Fair freebies 'from the heart' [Corrected]

At the O.C. Fair, we are big on themes. You might remember the theme for the 2010 fair was "The Beat Goes On."

Even though it is 2011, and we are mowing our way through "Let's Eat," the beat still goes on with heartfelt connecting between the O.C. Fair and the community. So the theme for this column is "Straight from the Heart!"

So how do we love thee? Let us count the ways…

Never have I seen a greater display of synchronized emotion between event and event-goer. I am a true believer in events (of which my name is an anagram), especially fairs, as a prime conduit for people to gather and express a shared appreciation for their community. The O.C. Fair maintains a deep sense of debt and gratitude to the community and is always looking for new ways to express it. So, "straight from the heart," the O.C. Fair is offering a special gift of thanks to the entire community.

This Friday, the O.C. Fair is theming the day "Free Friday." As a heartfelt thank-you for the community making the 2011 O.C. Fair a success from the opening hour of opening day, we will repeat the opening hour of free admission, noon to 1 p.m., and free parking from noon to 1 p.m. on Free Friday.

An earlier version incorrectly stated the free parking as from 10 to 11 a.m. It is in fact from noon to 1 p.m.

Thousands of you flocked to the fair in the first hour to get a first glimpse of the fair absolutely free. Since our first date sent our hearts aflutter, a second date can't wait! Let's go out with a bang and get together on Free Friday afternoon. But that's not all.

On Free Friday, from noon to 4 p.m., how about being treated to a sky ride? The O.C. Fair's most popular ride is going gratis. Easily the most romantic view of the fair, the sky ride gives the full spectrum of the fair for all its beauty. But that's not all.

On the evening of Free Friday, join us for "Joy to the World," with free lawn seating at the Three Dog Night/America concert. If you buy a fair admission, we will give you the gift of an evening of "old-fashioned love songs." Maybe for the evening, the band will change its name to "Free Dog Night." Wanna go? I'll pick you up at 6 p.m. for the 7:30 show, and yes, you can bring all your girlfriends on our date.

Think of it this way, if you can bear to be with us for 10 hours, you can roll in, ride and rock, all completely free.

Come on Free Friday, and we will spoil, splurge and special you to death! It's all our way of saying thank you for making the O.C. Fair your first choice.

We'll drop you at your doorstep on Aug. 14 and say good night until our next date in 2012, but we will be thinking about you the whole year through and waiting until the first hour free brings us together again.

Here's to our community, its spirit and that the royal road to a bright future is paved with O.C. Fairs. All "straight from the heart."

STEVEN BEAZLEY is the president and chief executive of the O.C. Fair. He is writing a Tuesday column for the Daily Pilot on the insights and happenings for the duration of the 2011 O.C. Fair.

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