Some people love it and some people in San Diego dread it due to traffic and other reasons but the San Diego County Fair is back and just right around the corner!  

My first memories were going to The Del Mar Fair... which recently changed names to the San Diego Fair.  During high school, all of my sisters worked at the fair and it was great fun and good money for those 5 weeks. I know I must have spent half my earnings on the rides. 

 Image source: Wikimedia Commons

I don't think I have missed a fair in years and I have sort of a "plan" I use each year to see the fair without missing anything I like to visit.

When entering the San Diego Fair I first go through all the halls to the left, starting with Anderson Nursery Village (has a wine and tequila bar in there) to see all the landscaping exhibits. After a crisp glass of chardonnay and new ideas of how to re-do my landscaping at my house, I head over to the O'Brian Hall.

 There are three halls in a row and I walk down each aisle to see all the vendors. Each year there is a "must buy" item ...last year it was a plugin foot massager. The year before that I bought a flagpole and the American Flag to display in my yard. Several years ago I came home with a Bull Barbeque and Firepit that I still enjoy today. 

The O'Brian Hall is always my next stop. That is where all the Jacuzzi companies, Barbeque Companies, and sauna companies are. I don't spend so much time there anymore since I bought a Jacuzzi AND the Bull Barbeque and Firepit. But I always stop by and talk to the reps. 

Next is the Bing Crosby and Exhibit Halls. My "must visits"  in these halls are Mr. Garlic, the nuts guy, and the fortune teller. Who can resist a fortune teller? 

Mr. Garlic is who I really look forward to seeing the most and stocking up on my garlic seasonings, garlic mustards, garlic mayonnaise, garlic butter  & garlic pretzels. He comes from Gilroy... the home of the Garlic Festival. He allows you to taste everything and often has a huge crowd around his booth.

The Nuts man is in the same hall as Mr. Garlic....$20 for 5 bags of nuts and boy... you cannot imagine the depth and range of nuts he has. From sugared peanuts, pine nuts, chocolate covered nuts, sesame seeds and so many more. If you have not been to his stand... it is a "MUST"

By now I am ready for my first meal..."Roxy" food truck is the place to go! Battered artichoke hearts on a stick, falafel sandwiches,  fried avocados are just some of the menu items that make Roxy's food truck so popular. They also have a restaurant in Encinitas. 

Right next to Roxy Food Truck is the swing that takes you up and above the entire Fairgrounds to the center of the racetrack which is where the large animals are, elephants,  petting zoos, children's rides and some of the best chuck wagon barbeques you have ever tasted. 

After a quick trip to the children's section, I am back on the chairlift to go to the "educational sections" of the fair.  In the main halls of the paddock is where all the exhibits from woodworking, photography, clothes making and even digital and graphic arts displays are.  Last year our friend Karen Barnhardt Chatfield entered an exquisite artistry piece to compete and won in her class!  

At night the Fair lights up with great musicians and concerts on several stages. Attached is the concert list of who will be showcased on the main stage. It is a great line up!

I hope you spend a day at the fair, enjoy my favorite booths and people... as most fair regulars have their own "favs" of things to do.

Dates of the San Diego Fair: 

June 1 - July 4th

Tips for the Fair:

  • Bring a backpack so you do not have to carry your purchases in hand.
  • Wear tennis shoes or great walking shoes
  • Do not have anything to eat at least 12 hours before going to the Fair...
  • Wear a visor or something that will not fly off your head easily on the rides.
  • Bring the entire family......

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