San Diego County Fair Kicks Off With Oz-Theme & Plenty Of New Attractions | Visit The Del Mar Fairgrounds From May 31 Through July 4!

May 31, 2019

It’s time to skip down the yellow brick road to the 2019 San Diego County Fair, which opens at 4pm today and will run for 27 days of fun. This year’s theme explores the magical world inspired by The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and will feature a whole host of new attractions, including tasty treats, flashy entertainment, adorable farm animals, scream-worthy carnival rides, fantastic festivals, goofy competitions, concerts & comedy shows, and endless opportunities for fun through July 4.

It wouldn’t be summer in San Diego without this iconic fair, which draws approximately 1.6 million visitors annually and has been named as one of the top three fairs in the United States. This year, patrons will find plenty of new treasures along the golden path, like mobile ticketing for rides and games, esports competitions, balloon rides and Oz-some new treats like deep-fried crème brulèe and waffle pizza.

The new FunPass will streamline the carnival ride pass process and make it easy to ride rides and play games with the scan of your phone or a card. The FunPass can be pre-loaded with digital ride and game tickets that are scanned and deducted from the card or app without needing individual paper tickets. Parents can even buy FunPass tickets and send them to their kids through the app. If all the tickets aren't used in one day, they can be saved for the next visit. There is also the addition of the FastPass, which costs $20 per person and allows fairgoers to use a special lane to skip to the front of the line at rides. A limited number of these passes will be sold daily and can only be purchased at the Fair’s box office.

There is also a new ride in town called The Endeavour, which is an open-air suspended passenger vehicle that sends fairgoers flying 60 feet through the air at 25 miles per hour! It joins the Fair’s 80+ rides which include the always popular Big Wheel, Crazy Mouse Roller Coaster and Sky Ride. There are plenty of ride package specials to get more thrills for your bills, including "Pay One Price" ride days. For the best bird’s eye view of the Fair, guests can hop into a hot air balloon, offered by Magical Adventure Balloon Rides & Aerial Tours. Rides will launch from the Fair in the evenings, beginning at 5pm. For $211 per adult, you’ll get views of the Fair, the ocean, Del Mar and you’ll enjoy plenty of treats on board.

Waffle pizza!
Creative bites are always a star of the Fair, and whether you’re on the hunt for deep-fried favorites, healthy snacks or unique Oz-inspired foods, there’s more palate-pleasing options than you can imagine. Can’t choose just one? Try out Taste of the Fair on Thursdays where you can buy taster portions of delish Fair foods for just $3. New foods you’ll find at the San Diego County Fair this year include Chicken Charlie's Deep-Fried Crème Brulèe and Buffalo Chicken Chimichanga, Wicked Witch’s Sriracha Ceviche from S.D.’s Original Fish and Chips, Pignotti’s Wizard of Oz Waffle Pizza, Emerald City Pizza Balls from Linda’s Pizza, and so much more. 

This year, the fair also boasts a new interactive video game exhibit that will share information about the growing and wildly popular e-sports industry. Located in 17 Hands Restaurant & Bar, this interactive esports exhibit will feature eight Nintendo Switch consoles hooked up to TV monitors, a gaming PC and arcade machines. Informative sessions hosted by e-sports specialists will explain the structure of this growing industry.

This year’s Fair features a hidden speakeasy called the Wicked Wahine. Enjoy Hawaiian-inspired pupus and specialty cocktails with a tiki twist. Guests age 21 and older can find a tropical-inspired escape high above the hustle and bustle of the Fair, but access is limited and hidden from the public eye, so ask around for directions. There is also a new beer brewed special for this year's fair by San Diego's own Mike Hess Brewing Company. Those 21 and up should be sure to Wizard of Haze sessionable IPA from one of the many beer vendors.

At this year’s new theme exhibit, you’ll get to take a peek behind the scenes of the 1939 MGM film and see original props from The Wizard of Oz on display from the private collections of USC and the Wamego Oz Museum including a Munchkin jacket that was worn during the film. There are 11 Instagram-worthy selfie spots. If you think you’re a trivia wizard, join in the daily "Ask the Wizard" show and on weekend nights, there will be a Flying Monkey Electronic DJ area.

Music continues to take center stage at the San Diego County Fair. There are 27 nights of entertainment on the Corona Grandstand Stage featuring ticketed concerts from Pitbull, Toby Keith, Smokey Robinson, Lindsey Stirling, KC and the Sunshine Band, and comedy from Jim Gaffigan, just to name a few. The 2019 San Diego County Fair will also host a variety of festivals within the fair, including Out at the Fair on June 1, the Toast of the Coast Wine Competition & Festival on June 8, the San Diego International Beer Festival June 14-16, the Asian & Pacific Islander Festival on June 15, the Distilled Spirit & Cocktail Festival on June 22, and the Gospel Festival on June 22.

The 2019 San Diego County Fair takes place at Del Mar Fairgrounds, located at 2260 Jimmy Durante Boulevard, from Friday, May 31, starting at 4pm, through Thursday, July 4. The Fair will be closed Mondays and Tuesdays in June. For more information, visit and check out the concert calendar below.