Opening Day at the San Diego County Fair is Friday June 11, 2021

San Diego County Fair 2023

Guess what?!  The San Diego County Fair is BACK in 2021, and Friday June 11th is the big day – Opening Day, that is!

And many will be saying TGIF for more than the normal Friday reasons as a result.

2020 was a disappointing year for San Diego County Fair lovers – the pandemic forced the cancellation, as was true for so many area events.

The Fair WILL look, and feel, different this year with a scaled-back version of the traditional offerings, and admission tickets will be limited to avoid having huge crowds. But that’s OK!

What was, a least in the past, our nation’s largest County Fair runs from June 11 (it starts later this year) through July 4 with gates open from 11 am until 9 pm. The Fair is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Each year the San Diego County Fair has a theme, and in 2021 it’s “Home*Grown*Fun,” a celebration of all that America’s Finest City has to offer visitors and residents alike.

The Del Mar Fairgrounds are world famous for a wide range of events throughout the year – normally including a variety of trade expos and concerts but that’s been different due to the pandemic. In addition to  the annual county fair the fairgrounds may be best known for Thoroughbred Racing Season (stay tuned for updates on that for 2021!).

The Del Mar Fairgrounds are right off the 5 Freeway (Via de la Valle exit), at 2260 Jimmy Durante Boulevard. Need more information? Call 858-755-1161.

So what CAN you expect at The San Diego County Fair 2021? There will be food concessions, a Ferris wheel and carousel, agricultural-themed exhibits, demonstrations, educational opportunities and more.

Smaller than before? Yes. But it will still be a wonderful San Diego event for all to enjoy, and still be safe.

Be aware that you MUST order tickets online (no tickets are being sold at the fair), on sale beginning May 1st. Admission is $10 (children under 5 are free). Be aware the number of ticket sales on each day will be limited – you will select your day and preferred arrival time, but once you are inside you can stay as long as you wish.

Please be aware parking at the fairgrounds will be extremely limited, at $12 per vehicle. Tickets go on sale May 1. You must purchase your parking ticket in advance – no tickets for parking will be sold at the event.

Despite the San Diego County Fair being scaled back, my guess is you will still find heavy traffic around the fairgrounds, on the nearby side roads including the Coast Road/Route 101, and on the 5 freeway heading north and south near the Via de la Valle exit, especially during rush hour. But the fair is worth dealing with the traffic, right?