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California Fresh Exhibit debuts at the 2021 OC Fair celebrating specialty crops

The OC Fair is presenting the California Fresh Exhibit: Celebrating the Bounty of Our Counties. This special exhibit, debuting at this year’s fair, was created by OC Fair staff and is aimed at educating consumers and highlighting the state’s diverse specialty crops. The exhibit was developed as part of the California Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. At the end of the Fair, the California Fresh exhibit will be on tour educating the public.

California Fresh kids and truck

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Photos courtesy of the OC Fair & Event Center

The California Fresh Exhibit is aimed at educating consumers and highlighting the state’s diverse specialty crops

What guests can do in the exhibit:

–Learn about everything from almonds and strawberries to ornamental plants.

–Play the County Bounty Treasure Hunt augmented reality (AR) game to discover the state’s varied array of agriculture. Just look for the signs with the California Bear and use the QR code to get started or download the app (Apple or Google).

–Coloring sheet for kids. Dress the California Bear for a trip to the OC Fair. The special app also brings the bear to life, and he shares information about the state’s many specialty crops.

–There are recipe cards located throughout the exhibit to help fairgoers discover delicious ways to enjoy the bounty of specialty crops available.

–A special map in the center of the exhibit illustrates the diversity of the state’s specialty crops by showcasing each county’s key commodity crop.

–Selfie spots! Find all the different and colorful areas to snap pics with your friends, and tag #ocfairfun to be featured.

Stage demonstrations:

The exhibit will feature chef demonstrations and culinary experts sharing information on the benefits of these healthy and tasty crops grown in the state’s 58 counties, along with preparation tips.

Michael Marks, aka “Your Produce Man,” will hold demonstrations on stage and introduce culinary guests. He will discuss California crops and the benefits of eating healthy.

More about specialty crops:

Would you guess that Orange County is known for its variety of ornamental plants? California is called the Golden State for many reasons, one being the bountiful specialty crops produced here. These crops include fruit and tree nuts, vegetables, herbs and spices, floriculture and horticulture crops.

Specialty crops are grown and used for food, medicinal purposes and/or aesthetics or beautification in landscaping and more. These crops include the nutritionally delicious almonds and celery in school lunches, olives on your pizza, garlic and ginger that flavors your dinner, cut flowers in holiday centerpieces, trees in the park and herbs in your medicine.

California produces more than 400 different commodities, many of which are specialty crops and they’re all around us. The goal of the exhibit is to educate consumers about the many benefits of these amazing crops, to promote healthy eating habits and to teach fairgoers about finding locally sourced produce and more. 

California Fresh exhibit sign

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California produces more than 400 different commodities, many of which are specialty crops, so come find out what each county grows

Key things to know about the 2021 OC Fair:

–A limited number of tickets are available each day.

–Advance online ticket sales only – no transaction fees.

–Tickets are good only for the date purchased; please choose dates carefully as there are no refunds.

–Same-day Fair admission is included with tickets to concerts during the Fair.

–OC Fair is not currently planning to increase capacity which is capped at 45,000 daily.

–Masks are required indoors for unvaccinated guests.

Tickets are $12 for weekday general admission (Wednesday, Thursday) and $14 for weekend general admission (Friday, Saturday, Sunday). Admission for seniors (60+) and youth (ages 6-12) is $7 every day and children 5 and younger are free.

The 2021 OC Fair mobile app is now available with information on daily activities as well as a map, news and information and tickets. Search for “ocfair 2021” in your app store.

The Fair will open each day at 10 a.m. and close at 11 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays and midnight on weekends.

General parking is still $10, $20 for buses and limos, credit card only. The free shuttle from Experian and OCTA’s OC Fair Express bus service will not be available this year. Carnival tickets are also on sale now so fairgoers can skip the ticket booths, and tickets for concerts in The Hangar and Pacific Amphitheatre can be found at