Summer Fun: 2011 San Diego County Fair Guide

Summer Fun: 2011 San Diego County Fair Guide

San Diego entertainment expert Michelle Guerin walks you through the 2011 San Diego County Fair, including concerts, rides, games, and deep fried food.

If you don’t yet know, I am proud to be a real San Diego native. No disrespect to transplants, but there is just something special about growing up in a vast and ever-changing city like San Diego.

As you smart transplants now know, bad weather never really comes our way. But the best season still remains sweet, sweet summertime. In addition to long, carefree beach days, one of the best summer activities is a trip to the San Diego County Fair. I can’t even remember a summer when I didn’t visit the infamous Fairgrounds for outdoor concerts, wild rides, tricky carnival games, and of course, extra-greasy food. When I am in the presence of deep fried twinkies, extra large BBQ turkey legs, and whipped cream topped funnel cake, do yourself a favor and just don’t get in my way.

Unlike many other county fairs across the nation, the San Diego County Fair is incredibly unique for its beach-side location and gorgeous ocean view from atop the grand ferris wheel.  Take it from me, if you’re searching for the perfect summer date night, take your special someone to the fair and steal a romantic kiss as you reach up to grab the stars and watch the waves crash onto the sandy shore below. The Del Mar Fairgrounds is also located near many top restaurants and bars, making plenty of options for full day fun, including pre-fair lunch spots and post-fair bar hopping routes. A few of my favorite Del Mar hot spots include Market Restaurant and Bar, Flavor Del Mar, KITCHEN 1540 at L’Auberge Del Mar, and En Fuego Cantina & Grill.

The 2011 San Diego County Fair opens on Friday, June 10, and this year’s theme is Race to the Fair, which is a celebration of modern and historic automobiles. In addition to traditional fair entertainment, there will be daily car shows and special events like antique car races, monster truck freestyles, and a demolition derby. Off the high-speed course, the fair will feature over 75 rides, 40 different games of skill, countless exhibits, and a variety of concerts across multiple stages. First things first: the food! New must-try food items include Deep Fried Kool Aid, “Cornucopia” which is deep fried corn on the cob, and Deep Fried Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies … they pretty much deep fry everything at the Fair these days! Just a few of the acts coming to the Del Mar Fairgrounds this year include Pat Benatar, Bruno Mars, Weird Al Yankovic, The Beach Boys, and Joan Jett, as well as tributes to Bon Jovi and Michael Jackson.

The San Diego County Fair runs Friday, June 10 through Monday, July 4, 2011 and opens daily at 11 am on Tuesday through Friday, and 10 am on Saturday through Monday. Individual event entry is priced at $13 for adults, $7 for ages 6-12 and seniors, and free for kids under the age of 5. Every Tuesday is ‘Kids Day’, with free entry for kids under the age of 12; and Wednesdays and Thursdays are Pepsi Pay One Price Ride Days. To get the best bang for your buck, get the “Best Pass Ever” that grants you unlimited access for $22. For more information, visit

Want more San Diego entertainment tips? Follow Michelle Guerin on Twitter - @MichelleScene!





Look for this special section in your
Baltimore Sun newspaper on Dec. 29, 2013.
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