The San Diego County Fair Opens On June 1 With Candy Theme | Chocolate Speakeasy, Deep-Fried Filet Mignon, Unicorn Treats & Much More Round Out 2018 San Diego Summer Staple Event

May 30, 2018

The San Diego County Fair opens at the Del Mar Racetrack and Fairgrounds this Friday, June 1, and will take place until July 4, offering a world of tasty treats, flashy entertainment, adorable farm animals, scream-worthy carnival rides, fantastic festivals, goofy competitions, top-tier concerts and endless opportunities for fun. This year's theme is "How Sweet It Is" with a magical candly land that’s overflowing with opportunities to truly savor summer with the excitement of a wide-eyed kid.

It simply wouldn’t be summer in San Diego without this iconic fair, which draws approximately 1.6 million visitors annually and is one of the top five fairs in the United States and Canada. The San Diego County Fair - which began in 1880 to bring San Diego County farmers together to share ideas, compete for the best pies and citrus fruits and challenge each other to horse races - continues to celebrate agriculture and community pride. No two days are exactly alike at the fair, and you’ll find new treasures each time you visit.

From watching racing pigs throw it into four-squeal drive to dancing your heart out at a silent disco, to sneaking over to the new Cocoa Cabana speakeasy for some savory sips and enjoying deep-fried delectable treats that you never even knew existed, the San Diego Fair has something for everyone and many new attractions this year.

This year’s Fair features the hidden Cocoa Cabana speakeasy, where you’ll find candy-infused cocktails and an oasis that will make you feel like you’ve been transported to the tropics! Fairgoers can learn about this shhhh….weet secret at various bar locations throughout the Fair. There is also the Candy Pros new colorful candy shop featuring gummy treats dipped in your favorite sweet sauces and sprinkles.

You’ll unwrap a world of flavorful fun when you step inside the Fair’s new theme exhibit. Engage all your senses - sugary scents, flavorful treats, interactive games and colorful candies around every corner. Cross the chocolate river into our land of sweet imagination, honoring the most famous chocolate factories. You’ll also learn about real-life candy factories right here in San Diego, discover the local connection to the Candyland game, and follow the colorful squares to Rock Candy Mountain. And be sure to take the Jelly Belly Bean Boozled Challenge to try to guess what flavors you’re tasting.

Creative bites are always a star of this show at the fair, and whether you’re on the hunt for deep-fried favorites, healthy snacks or unique rainbow-colored unicorn foods that are currently all the rage, there’s more palate-pleasing options than you can imagine this year. Can’t choose just one? Try the "Taste of the Fair" on Thursdays where you can buy taster portions of delish Fair foods for just $3. Fun foods that patrons will find at the Fair this year include deep-fried filet mignon, unicorn cotton candy ice cream sandwiches, ramen burritos, bacon-wrapped baklava, cheesy bacon-bombs, cinnamon roll sundaes, lasagna nachos, unicorn burgers, donut grilled-cheese sandwiches, lobster tacos, red velvet funnel cake, chocolate-dipped jerky, spaghetti donuts, the macho nacho bacon unicorn dog and much more!

The Fair isn’t just about candy and deep-fried treats! From learning about how nature’s fruits and veggies grow and ripen to tracking your steps around the Fairgrounds and finding good-for-you snacks to keep you energized, there are a whole lot of naturally-sweet and healthier options to enjoy at this year’s Fair. Mike Hess Brewing has also crafted a special beer for this year's San Diego County Fair - The Tangerine A-Fair! This juicy IPA is on draft at the Fair, at 25+ breweries around San Diego and is available for purchase at Albertsons and Vons stores.

This year's fair also features abulous festivals and events like the Toast of the Coast Wine Festival on June 9, The San Diego International Beer Festival from June 15-17 and The Distilled Spirit and Cocktail Festival on June 23. Patrons can also spoil their green thumb at the Bloom n’ Art Garden Party on June 2-3, take a one-day journey through Asia without ever leaving the Fair at The Asian Festival on June 2, celebrate the LGBTQ+ community at Out at the Fair on June 9, and get their mariachi on at Festival de Mariachi on June 10. Enjoy the last hurrah of the Fair on July 4 with a spectacular Independence Day Celebration including a parade, fireworks and entertainment!

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Music is always the star of the show at the San Diego County Fair. There are 26 nights of entertainment on the Corona Grandstand Stage featuring Sugarland, the Barenaked Ladies, Gabriel "Fluffy" Iglesias, The Fray, Nancy Wilson of Heart, HANSON and Cheat Codes, just to name a few. Your ears are also in for a sweet treat at the Paddock Concert Series and Solid Gold Concert Series.

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Thrill seekers will find more than 80 rides to choose from including the always popular Big Wheel, Crazy Mouse roller coaster and Sky Ride. There are plenty of ride package specials to get more thrill for your bills, including the "Ride Fanatic Pack" for $46 and the "Pay One Price Ride Days" for $38 on Wednesdays and Thursdays in June.

The 2018 San Diego County Fair runs from Friday, June 1 through Wednesday, July 4. The Fair will be closed Mondays and Tuesdays in June. Located at the Del Mar Fairgrounds at 2260 Jimmy Durante Boulevard, tickets to the Fair are $19 for adults, $12 for kids 6-12 in age and seniors over 62 and free for children 5 and under. For more information and a full schedule of events, visit