OC Fair 2017 – Behind the Scenes!

Hi friends! Summer is in full swing here. Temperatures are creeping into the triple digits. The humidity is doing quite a number on my hair too. I feel like a giant Q-tip when I go outside. Does that happen to anyone else? Man! Hair clips are my best friend right now.

Thankfully at our local Orange County Fair, the temperatures are a bit lower. (Because they’re closer to the beach! YAY Southern California living!) I am blessed to be going back to the OC Fair again this year for two demos on the Culinary Stage. You may remember last year was all about peaches and grapes. This year, I’m sharing two different Farro Salads and Zucchini butter on Friday July 21st and then some fun and funky fruit and vegetable pickles on Friday July 28th! If you’re local and heading to the Fair, stop by! I’d love to meet you sand say Hi!

This year is extra special because I was able to get a “behind the scenes” tour of Centennial Farm and hear how the OC Fair is put together!

Orange County Fair 2017 Centennial Farm
Orange County Fair 2017 Centennial Farm
Orange County Fair 2017 Centennial Farm

Of course, all the animals are adorable! There is even a pig named Violet who is due to deliver piglets during the run of the Fair.

Orange County Fair 2017 Behind The Scenes

Orange County Fair 2017 Behind The Scenes

Don’t worry if you can’t make it to see Violet. The Fair will have a “Pig Cam” this year to capture all the excitement!

You have to check out all the things they have growing at The Farm too!

OC Fair Tour

OC Fair Tour

OC Fair Tour

The super salsa garden is amazing!

OC Fair Tour

One of the things we don’t often think about is how much prep goes in to creating a huge event like the OC Fair! People have to come in, set up the booths and displays, judging takes place for the many different competitions, volunteers and staff have to be trained, security needs to be in place, spaces for the performers need to be organized, any presenters (like me!) have to be cleared, then the stage areas each have a coordinator in charge of schedules/activities etc. The animals at the farm need to be taken care of and don’t forget those fun carnival rides and games! They don’t just appear out of thin air!

Case in point, the new XL Ferris Wheel!

This ride is amazing! It took 32, 18-wheelers to bring this in and then it takes 10 people, 10 DAYS to set up! That’s crazy!

Orange County Fair 2017 Behind The Scenes

What is really cool about this new XL though, each one of the cabins is air-conditioned! Yeah, I’m going to come back, just to check it out!

Orange County Fair 2017 Behind The Scenes

The OC Promenade, which houses the Culinary Stage and many other displays, is a work in progress too! They have a huge moss wall going up on the West Entrance that requires several people and several days to put together. They are hand-gluing each piece in place! I can’t wait to see the finished product!

Orange County Fair 2017 Behind The Scenes

And here’s the stage!

Orange County Fair 2017 Behind The Scenes

It may not look like much now, but in about a month it will be completely different. I’m excited to see it all come together. It’s going to be gorgeous! The Orange County Master Food Preservers are planning on having a “canning kitchen” where they will be sharing canning techniques and recipes. If I’m not on stage, you’ll probably find me there! Or (and let’s be honest here) having something deep fried. Like bacon-wrapped pickles or funnel cake…

It’s a bit surreal seeing everything in pieces! Knowing hundreds of people are working long, hard hours to get ready for the thousands and thousands of people who will experience the OC Fair this year is humbling. It makes you think about things a bit differently, doesn’t it?

The theme this year is FARM, FRESH, FUN! The cow licking the ice-cream cone makes me laugh!
OC Fair

The Fair opens Friday, July 14th and will run through Sunday, August 13th. They are closed Mondays and Tuesdays, but you can check out their website or Facebook page for more details and all the information about concerts, activities and special events!

I hope to see you there! With luck, my hair will behave and my head won’t look like a giant red tennis ball! HA!

Until next time, friends!

My thanks to Pamela, who is the culinary director at the OC Fair. She gave us a tour of the Farm and showed us all the behind-the-scenes details. I am grateful!

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