COSTA MESA – Comedian Gabriel Iglesias will open the 2017 OC Fair this Friday, July 14, with an 8:15 p.m. performance. Tickets start at $45.
Also scheduled to perform is the David Bowie tribute band Space Oddity ($17.50) and an X-treme Freestyle Mo-X ($17.50). All tickets include admission to the fair.
The OC Fair, which runs through Aug. 13, is offering free admission and free parking from 12-3 p.m. this weekend only.
This year, the fair is adding three new rides and new funhouse.
The new rides include La Grande Wheel XL, a ferris wheel so large it was transported to the fair on 22 semi-trailer trucks. It is 130 feet tall, weighs 616,000 pounds and features a half-million LED lights.
Its 36 cabins are climate-controlled and hold six to eight people. It takes the ferris wheel about 3-1/2 minutes to make a full circle and can carry about 2,000 passengers an hour.
The ride cost $6 million to build and is one of the largest traveling observation wheels in the western hemisphere. This giant ferris wheel was manufactured in Europe, where it is known as the “Mercedes Benz of carnival wheels.”
Another new ferris wheel is the Big Wheel. Standing more than 108 feet tall, the Big Wheel features 24 open-air gondolas and the newest technology for a smooth ride. It’s also equipped with LED lights.
Also making its debut at the OC Fair is Endeavor -- an open-air ride in which passengers are suspended in their seats and experience 3G acceleration. Riders will feel the sensation of flying 60 feet through the air at 25 miles per hour.
A new funhouse, Rockin’ Rodeo, also is new at the fair, where it joins returning favorites such as Big Top Swinger, Cliff Hanger, Cyclone, Insanity, Mach 1, Speed, Wild River and more.
A full list of carnival rides is posted online at ocfair.com.
The OC Fair also features a beer garden with more than 80 brews available for sampling. Admission is $65 at the door (if available) or $55 if purchased in advance online at ocbrewheehaw.com. Hours for the beer garden are Saturday 12-4 p.m and 6-10 p.m., and Sunday 12-4 p.m.
Wine tastings are available in The Courtyard, where vino is sold by the glass.
For children, there is the Kids Can Cook show at Centennial Farm. There are also milking demonstrations, new baby animals and a honey-tasting bar.
Returning favorites for the entire family include the Peking Acrobats, Russell Brothers Family Circus, All-Alaskan Racing Pigs and kids’ eating competitions every night in the Explorium.
There’s also Crafters Village, Carnival of Products and Parade of Products.
In addition to Friday’s entertainment, this weekend’s entertainment lineup includes Lynyrd Skynyrd and Jaramiah Red performing on Saturday, and the Happy Together Tour on Sunday.
Also on Sunday is SummerFist 10, a mixed martial art event that may not be suitable for children. Tickets start at $15.
Admission to the OC Fair, Wednesday through Friday, is $12 general admission and $7 for seniors and children. Kids ages 5 and younger are free.
On Saturdays and Sundays, admission is $14 for general admission; all other prices remain the same.
Veterans and active-duty military personnel receive free admission to the fair and their guests can purchase up to six half-price tickets.
Seniors ages 60 and older can get into the fair for $5 every Friday.
The fair also sells a “super pass” ($35 general admission, $28 seniors and kids) that gives access to all 23 days of the fair. Super pass holders who visit all 23 days of the 2017 OC Fair will receive a free super pass for 2018.
Most carnival rides and games have additional charges, but are discounted to $2 on Fridays between 12-4 p.m.
Free offsite parking is available in the Experian structure at 475 Anton Blvd. (near the Bristol exit off the 405 Freeway with a free shuttle to the fair.
OCTA bus service is also available from one of nine locations direct to the fair. Bus fare is $2 each way and riders receive a coupon for $3 general admission.
OC Fair is open Wednesdays through Fridays from noon to midnight, and Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to midnight.