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San Diego County Fair is back — here’s what you need to know

Following a two-year hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the San Diego County Fair returns to the Del Mar Fairgrounds on Wednesday, June 8, for a run through July 4.

“We are very excited that the fair is back this year,” fairgrounds Chief Executive Carlene Moore told the Del Mar City Council last month.

For this year’s fair, fairgrounds officials faced a challenge other than the pandemic. A San Diego County Superior Court judge blocked a contract for a single company to run the midway because of allegations that the bidding process was rigged in favor of that company, Ray Cammack Shows. The fair will proceed with a full midway that features multiple contractors providing rides and games.

In addition to the usual rides, the fair will include competitive exhibits in commercial spirits, wine, flowers, wood design and other categories.

The Toyota Summer Concert Series includes artists such as Jason Derulo, Shaggy, Los Tigres del Norte, Goo Goo Dolls and Gabriel Iglesias.

The theme originally planned for 2020, “Heroes Unite,” will be resurrected this year as “Heroes Reunite.”

“Back in 2020, we had expected and planned for a fair that was Heroes Unite,” Moore said. “After all we have gone through as a community over these past few years, it seemed more important than ever to rename it slightly to Heroes Reunite.”

There also will be an exhibit that honors the stories of “heroes next door.”

“We’re really excited to be able to share them with the rest of the community,” Moore said.

In addition to paid parking options for $15 and $30, a limited amount of free parking will be available at Torrey Pines High School, 3710 Del Mar Heights Road. Visitors also can purchase North County Transit District “fair tripper” tickets at Pronto ticket vending machines on Coaster and Sprinter platforms.

“This year we will be … looking to free up about 600 more spaces in the main parking spots as well as continuing to encourage people to use public transportation,” Moore said.

Fair admission and parking must be purchased in advance online for a particular date.

“We think this is going to help … spread our attendance over the week so we aren’t quite as busy over the weekend,” Moore said.

The fair will end with a Fourth of July fireworks display.

The fair will be closed Mondays and Tuesdays except for Monday, July 4. Tickets on Wednesdays and Thursdays are $15 for visitors ages 13-61, $12 for children ages 6-12 and adults 62 and older, and free for children 5 and younger. On Fridays, tickets are $20 for adults, $17 for older adults and free for children 12 and younger. On Saturdays and Sundays, as well as the Fourth of July, tickets are $20 for adults, $17 for older adults and children 6-12, and free for children 5 and younger.

The Del Mar Fairgrounds are at 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd. For more information about the 2022 fair, visit sdfair.com. ◆