Deep Fried Everything: The Orange County Fair


Where: The Orange County Fair
Location: 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa
Cost: $3.00 (before 11:00am); $12.00 general admission

There are a few rituals that I have yet to conquer to truly make it feel like summer. At the top of that list, spending a lazy day at the beach with a good book. Luckily, that’s on the agenda this weekend!

It wasn’t until I found myself at the Orange County Fair a few weekends ago, that it started to feel more like an authentic American summer! Not that I go every year, but there’s something about being out in the sunshine, slathered in sunscreen, around deep friend everything (and I mean everything: Snickers bars, Twinkies, Oreos, butter….yes, deep friend butter…I don’t even know how that works); while people watching, walking the endless miles of vendor booths, listening to live music, and spying on the animals that channel the inner workings of summertime.

Goat ATG FINAL{Sorry to interrupt lunch, but you’re a cutie!}

OC FAIR ANIMALS 1 ATG FINAL{Boy, did I feel for this little lady. Please excuse the number of butts in your face so early in the post.}

Pig Races ATG FINAL{Prepping for the pig races.}

We’ve traveled together to the LA County Fair on the site, but never made the approximate 36 mile journey south to check out the festivities in Orange County (affectionately now forever known as “The O.C.” thanks to Warner Bros. Television, circa 2003).

I’ve only been to the L.A. County Fair twice in my life. And while each have their own unique pros and cons (I found a great article from last year comparing and contrasting “which is the fairest of them all?”), of the two venues, I have a fondness toward The O.C.

I’ve shared that I’m native to Southern California, hence my eternal devotion to sunshine and overall “wuss-iness” toward cold weather. However, to be more specific, though I grew up in L.A. for the first 10 years of my life, I consider The O.C. my hometown because I spent my more formative years (a.k.a. the time in my life I actually remember most) there. I remember going to the Orange County Fair during summers as a kid. I don’t recall it being every single summer, but enough that whenever I’m there, I feel a part of my childhood with me once again.

So what fun, after a 4-year hiatus since returning home, to head back to my old stomping grounds – looking for that summertime feeling!




I tried to behave myself and not go overboard on the sweets or the deep fried anything (I know, I know…who goes to the fair and resists part of the fun in actually going?). Instead, I used the time to simply take it all in, enjoying a lazy Saturday with my favorite person.

Maui Chicken ATG FINAL{My indulgence. Finally tried the famous Maui Chicken: teriyaki chicken, rice, and chunks of pineapple, in a hollowed out pineapple shell.}

Maui Chicken Done ATG FINAL{10 minutes later.}

Food Stand ATG FINAL{Given the options, I chose about as healthy as you could get.}

Going to The O.C. Fair again was like going back to your old middle school. It somehow felt much smaller than you recall. It hasn’t changed so much as you have. And perhaps because my last adventure into the world of deep fried everything found me at the LA venue at almost 340 acres larger – the scale in comparison would look different to my now adult eyes in contrast to my childhood memories; but my heart (however mushy that sounds), hasn’t changed perspective much at all. It’s still just a good time.

Crafters Village ATG FINAL{Strolling through the merchant booths in the Crafters Village.}

Garden ATG FINAL{Strolling through the gardens, learning about the crops.}

Fruit Growers ATG FINAL

This doesn’t necessarily mean I won’t find myself at the L.A. County Fair when it starts later this month to take advantage of that missed opportunity to finally indulge in a deep fried Twinkie. This must be why the universe has both events run so close together.

Eat ATG FINAL{…but mostly people just go to EAT…ALL DAY LONG!}

The Orange County fair ends this Sunday, August 10th.

The L.A. County Fair starts August 29th and ends September 28th.


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4 thoughts on “Deep Fried Everything: The Orange County Fair

  1. Jeez, I have never heard of a fair lasting for a whole month before!! There’s a fair in Evansville, a little bit outside of where I live that has a fair similar to this, and they deep friend just about anything? According to many people I went to school with deep fried chocolate covered grasshoppers are amazing! I don’t know what’s wrong with people sometimes Lol 🙂

    • Hi Meghan!

      Interestingly, the experience here is that fairs usually run for some time! I don’t think I’ve ever asked what part of the world you’re in!? It seems our experiences tend to differ quite often. I always assumed you were in the US 🙂 Am I crazy?

      I thought deep fried butter was a kicker, but you clearly just blew me out of the water with chocolate covered grasshoppers. That certainly one-ups me.

      • No, you’re right. I’m from the US, just the Midwest. So we do get your West Coast heat but we do get sucky winters mix with ice and snow. You might want to be happy you don’t get to experience that, but on lucky chances we do get a pretty Christmas!

        I have heard of deep fried butter though. Sounds disgusting! 🙂

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