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The 2012 San Diego County Fair Is “Out Of This World!”

Annual summer rite runs from June 8 to July 4 at the Del Mar Fairgrounds


Check out this year's Grandstand entertainment lineup here.

As sure as summer approaches and the "June Gloom" sets in, San Diegans know that it's time to head out to the San Diego County Fair. This year the Fair (some of us still refer to it as the "Del Mar" Fair) runs from June 8 through July 4 (closed Mondays except July 2), and once again will bring forth a range of fun exhibits, contests, concerts, and attractions sure to satisfy both new and long-time visitors to the fifth largest Fair in North America. This special section is a small taste of what you can expect to encounter at the Fair.

The theme for 2012 is “Out Of This World,” featuring man’s fascination with the world of outer space and the wonder of the universe, as well as the fun and imaginative world of science fiction.

Of course, the Fair will have more than 100 food vendors, great commercial exhibitors, thrill rides and attractions, the Paul Ecke Jr. Flower and Garden Show, a fun and educational Theme Exhibit, and a fantastic lineup of headliner entertainment with the Toyota Summer Concert Series on the Heineken Grandstand Stage, the Paddock Concert Series, The Solid Gold Series, the Chevrolet Del Mar Arena, and so much more!

The San Diego County Fair is the largest annual event in San Diego County drawing over 1.2 million visitors and is one of the largest fairs in the United States for attendance.

Note: The Fair will be closed June 13, 20 and 27.

The “Out Of This World” Theme Exhibit, sponsored by Jeffrey Scott Fine Magnetics, will have images to captivate and countdowns to anticipate. Do some star “gazing,” take a “walk on the moon,” and visit a UFO.

Here’s what to look forward to:

* The Mars Rover, Curiosity, will land on the red planet this August. Experience the countdown and watch the simulated landing as scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory believe it will happen.
* Relive the Apollo Space program; look back on the moonwalkers and the Astronaut Hall Of Fame.
* Learn about NASA’s Space Centers; explore the Space Shuttle program, compliments of the Johnson Space Center.
* Find out the latest on NASA TV and journey to the Moon, to Mars and the edge of the universe in our mini-theater.
* “Step” on the moon and have your photo taken with Earth as the backdrop.
* Open your mind to UFOs! The most notable events of UFOlogy are on display – including Roswell, the mystery of Area 51, and more.
* The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, San Diego Air and Space Museum, and the Palomar College Planetarium will have special exhibits exploring the marvels of our galaxy.
* It fell from the heavens. An actual meteor will be on display.
* Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be an astronaut? “Wild Science” is an area of interactive play which will give you an idea of the challenges that astronauts endure in space travel.
* What does your cellular phone, a cordless drill, and the gel inserts in your shoe have in common? They were first developed for the space program. You’ll be amazed by the everyday products and devices that have “Out Of This World” origins.
* Stargaze and view the incredible images taken by the Hubble telescope.
* Oceanside Photo and Telescope will help you “view” the stars, and beyond. See what’s going on in our universe through Google Sky and NASA’s Eye on the Earth.

New Food:
Bacon-A-Fair, on the Concourse near the bridge to the Infield
• Porkabello Kabob (bacon-wrapped, Gouda-stuffed portabello on a stick)
• Caveman Turkey Club (One pound of bacon wrapped around an extra large turkey leg)
• Manly Gourmet (two pieces of bacon wrapped around sausage stuffed with mushrooms, artichoke and smoked mozzarella)
• Meat Lovers Hot Dog on a Stick (deep-fried, beer-battered, bacon-wrapped hot dog)
• Baconshrooms (deep-fried, bacon-wrapped mushrooms)
• Half Pound Meat-On-Meat Dog (quarter-pound, all-beef dog wrapped with a quarter-pound of bacon) • Porky Poppers (bacon-wrapped stuffed jalapeños)

Chicken Charlie's on the Concourse near AgriFair:
• Deep-Fried Cereal
• Deep-Fried Pork Chops
• Deep-Fried Peanut Butter and Jelly

Funnel Cake Express near Bing Crosby Hall and the Skyway:
• Red Velvet Funnel Cake

And of course, there are the stand-by competitive exhibits: the flower and garden show, various art exhibitions, the wood design exhibit, gems, minerals and jewelry, home and hobby, photography and digital arts, and, of course, the livestock and small animal competitions.

Click here to view an image gallery of scenes from the the San Diego County Fair.

Essential San Diego County Fair Info

The dates for the 2012 San Diego County Fair are Friday, June 8, through Wednesday, July 4. The Fair will be closed Mondays except for July 2.

Adults $13
Ages 62 and older $7
Ages 6-12 $7
Ages 5 and younger FREE

$10.00 per vehicle ($15.00 for RVs) in the Fair's paid parking lots. Free parking and shuttle service is available every day at Horsepark, 2.5 miles east of the Fairgrounds at the intersection of Via de la Valle and El Camino Real. On weekends and Wednesday, July 4, free parking and shuttle service is available at MiraCosta College's San Elijo campus and Torrey Pines High School.

Special Days
Opening Day, Friday, June 8.
Albertsons $4.00 Fair Days, Friday, June 8 and Tuesday, June 12. Fair admission is just $4.00. Tickets are sold only at Albertsons|Sav-on and are not sold at the Fairgrounds.
Kids' Day, every Tuesday. Special activities for the younger set, and all kids 12 and younger get free admission!
Tuesday Taste of the Fair, every Tuesday, featuring $2.00 "tastes" of delicious Fair food.
Pepsi Pay-One-Price Ride Days, every Wednesday and Thursday, plus special online-only "bonus days."
Seniors' Day, every Thursday with fun activities and entertainment for people with a lot of life in them!
PennySaver Value Days, every Friday, featuring discount-coupon booklets packed with savings at Fair food and product booths. One per Fairgoer, at the admission gates.
Día de la Familia, every Sunday, with lively, Latin-themed entertainment and activities.

Check out the Fair's Special Events and see who's playing at the Fair this year.

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