Greer's OC: Eat your way through the fair

July 13, 2011|By Greer Wylder

The theme of this year's Orange County Fair, which starts Friday, is "Let's Eat!" For many, that's the theme each year and a great reason to visit the fair.

Put healthy eating aside for a day (or two) and fill up on battered, deep-fried, jumbo-sized foods and tasty treats served on a stick or in a corn husk, or try new items such as deep-fried Kool-Aid, deep-fried brownies, deep-fried Girl Scout cookies and deep-fried barbecue ribs.

Also new for fairgoers this year are chocolate-covered corn dogs, beer-battered bacon from the deep-fried butter stand and icy sweets from the new Legendairy Gelato. Not to be missed from past years' menus will be deep-fried frogs' legs, deep-fried Oreos and Krispy Kreme chicken sandwiches.


If you arrive hungry, here's what's in store for you. Taste samples for $2 during the Taste of Fair Food event from noon to 4 p.m. Fridays. Samples include funnel cake, deep-fried Oreos, barbecue tri-tip, lemonade, cinnamon roll, corn dog, falafel, gelato, sushi, bratwurst and more.

Every Thursday in the Hangar, celebrity chefs will be sharing cooking tips and doing demos. Stop by to learn culinary secrets from Food Network's "Ace of Cakes" Duff Goldman (1:30 p.m. July 21); Bravo's "Top Chef" season-five finalist Carla Hall (5 p.m. July 28); "Top Chef" season-six winner Michael Voltaggio (1:30 p.m. Aug. 4); and Las Vegas-based RM Seafood's Rick Moonen (1:30 p.m. Aug. 11). The popular Food Truck Fare continues from noon to 10 p.m. every Thursday. Featured food trucks include the OC Food Truck, the Burnt Truck, Baconmania, Piaggio On Wheels, Dos Chinos and more.

Fairgoers can also compete in free daily eating contests held in the Fun Zone Tent at 6:30 p.m. (Registration is 30 minutes prior to each contest.)

Each Saturday, compete in the Culinary Arts contests for the best lunch bags, spicy hot wings, pies, cupcakes and cuisine on a stick. Online entry registration starts the Wednesday before each contest. Visit for information and to register.

The O.C. Fair also includes rides, exhibits, animals, music, action sports and fun, as well as the popular Super Pass (season pass), Pacific Amphitheatre Summer Concert Series and Action Sports Arena.

The fair is open Wednesdays to Sundays through Aug. 24. The OC Fair & Event Center is off the San Diego (405) and Costa Mesa (55) freeways at 88 Fair Drive in Costa Mesa. For more information, visit


Munch and run

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