What there is to know
- OC Fair 2022 is from July 15 to August 14 (select dates)
- The fair’s annual competitions, from baking to livestock to photography, are at the heart of the month-long event
- Entry deadlines vary for the 20+ competitions, and some categories are free to enter; note that some categories may only be open to residents of Orange County
Wonderful woodworking, whimsical floral arrangement, simmering gorgeous gooey jams: you might be the kind of maker with a remarkable talent for a craft, a calling, cooking, or a way of putting materials together in exciting ways, visual, useful, and/or appetizing.
If so, here’s something exciting: Now is the time for you to go get that coveted blue ribbon, literally, and the honors that come from winning big at a big county fair.
The OC Fair, which has brought joy, gluttony, interesting competitions, thrills, and all-around lovable animality to Southern Californians since the late 19th century, certainly qualifies as great, and its annual competitions? They are known to attract some of the most talented bakers, photographers, quilters and winemakers around.
If you’re already looking for your favorite punch, measuring spoons, or lucky pair of knitting needles, you’re one step ahead of us: Calling Southern California Creatives was launched from the spectacular Costa Mesa, and entries for the 2022 extravaganzas are now being accepted.
Sure, you have a little time to sew that last stitch, rearrange your table layout, or try a different ingredient with your favorite cookie recipe, but you won’t want to wait until mid-July, when the fair officially begins, to enter.
Deadlines vary by competition, with some falling towards the end of May, some in June and others at other times on the calendar.
Important: Some categories may be open only to Orange County residents, so make sure you know the residency rule before entering.
Reading the category you’re interested in and knowing all the rules is your first step, before trying to shake up some tangy honey that’s sure to please the judges or quickly finish that elegant embroidery project you’ve been diligently working on. Winter.
If you receive a ribbon, do you already have a place for it? Surely you must, and that’s fine, because dreaming of a well-deserved victory at the county fair, an honor awarded for something you imagined, built, or baked from scratch, really is as American as an Apple pie.
And speaking of sweet treats, Sugar Arts & Confections is one of the competitive categories. Cookies, cakes, and gelatin all have their own separate spotlights, so you better dream of the yummy, yummy creation you’ll whip up for the prestigious OC Fair.
Start here, makers, and good luck!