"How Sweet It Is," indeed as San Diego County's fair kicks off F - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

"How Sweet It Is," indeed as San Diego County's fair kicks off Friday

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DEL MAR (NEWS 8) – The 2018 San Diego County Fair kicks off Friday. This year’s theme is, “How Sweet It Is.”

As one of the top five fairs in the United States and Canada, the San Diego County Fair is expected to draw 1.6 million visitors.

The fair runs Friday, June 1 through Wednesday, July 4, 2018. The fair will be closed Mondays and Tuesdays in June.

Facebook Video: Gates open at the San Diego County Fair Friday afternoon and News 8's Ashley Jacobs helps you plan your trip! 

Gate Hours:

  • June 1: 4-11 p.m.
  • Wednesdays, Thursdays and July 2: 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
  • Fridays and July 3: 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
  • Saturdays and July 4: 10 a.m.-11 p.m.
  • Sundays: 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

(The Fair stays open for approximately 1 hour after the gates close for the night.)


  • $19 adults
  • Kids 6-12 and seniors 62+, $12
  • Kids 5 and under get in FREE

This year’s fair will feature a hidden Cocoa Cabana speakeasy, where visitors will 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.

Did someone say food? Here’s a sampling of fun foods you’ll find at the Fair this year:

  • 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
  • Macho nacho bacon unicorn dog

Can’t pick just one? “Taste of the Fair” on Thursdays will let visitors buy taster portions of delish Fair foods for just $3!

Events and Festivals

  • Toast of the Coast Wine Festival on June 9
  • The San Diego International Beer Festival June 15-17
  • The Distilled Spirit and Cocktail Festival on June 23
  • The Asian Festival on June 2
  • Celebrate the LGBTQ+ community at Out at the Fair June 9
  • Get your 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 and fireworks

San Diego’s Mike Hess’ will showcase their new IPA crafted specifically for the San Diego County Fair: The Tangerine A-Fair.

Ride Tickets

There are plenty of ride package specials to get more thrill for your bills – go to sdfair.com to learn about the “Ride Fanatic Pack” for $46, the “Pay One Price Ride Days” for $38 on Wednesdays and Thursdays in June.

Sweet Deals!

  • Save 20% on adult admission when you purchase Fair tickets at Albertsons and Vons grocery stores ($15 instead of $19). Seniors and children’s tickets are just $11.
  • “Kids Days” feature FREE admission on all Fridays in June for kids 12 and under.
  • “Sweet 16 Day” on June 16, features FREE admission for all 16-year-olds (with proof of age).
  • “College Day,” Friday June 8, features $10 Fair admission with student ID (at the Fairgrounds box office on the day-of only).
  • The best deal of all: For just $28, you’ll get unlimited entry to the Fair with the “Best Pass Ever!”

Check Fair Traffic

Check your News 8 Microclimate Forecast as you head out to the fair.

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