Toto and Dorothy are on their way back to Kansas, and the 2019 San Diego County Fair, presented by Albertsons|Vons, is in the books! A grand total of 1,531,199 fairgoers skipped down the yellow brick road to Oz over the fair's 27-day run.
The 2018 fair had a final attendance of 1,561,236. The attendance record was set in 2016, with a total of 1,609,481 guests.
Fairgoers of all ages embraced the theme, many arriving in Oz-inspired costumes and accessories. Visitors flocked to the fair's fantastic exhibits and festivals, scream-worthy carnival rides, and Oz-some entertainment.
The fair, which began in 1880 to bring San Diego County farmers together to share ideas, compete for the best pies and citrus fruits and challenge each other to horse races, continues to celebrate agriculture and community pride. It simply wouldn't be summer in San Diego without this iconic fair, which is one of the top five fairs in the United States and Canada.
Australian Battered Potatoes used 11,200 pounds of potatoes and 6,720 pints of oil to deep-fry their potato patties. They were covered in 192 gallons of ranch dressing, 40 cases of cheese sauce, 160 pounds of bacon and 120 pounds of sour cream.
Bacon-A-Fair used more than 31,000 pounds of bacon in their various offerings. Their new delicacy – the pupusa – was a smashing success, as they sold an estimated 8,000 of the El Salvadorian cornmeal sandwiches.
Biggy's Meat Market sold nearly 3,000 pounds of Big Ribs. Biggy's used an estimated 800 pounds of Crunchy Flamin' Hot Cheetos for their Cheetos Cheese Fries and Cheetos Cheese Tots, which were dunked into 100 gallons of cheese sauce.
Candy Factory used more than 400 pounds of gourmet candy and lollipops to create their new craft-made ice cream Mermaid, Unicorn, and Orange Dream Floats.
Chicken Charlie introduced two new Oz-some items and both were winners. Hungry fairgoers enjoyed 8,000 of the new deep-fried balls of crème brulée and 2,000 of the Buffalo Chicken Chimichanga. And, as Charlie puts it – he used "a truckload of oil" to deep-fry all of his specialties.
Country Fair Cinnamon Rolls used 15,000 pounds of cinnamon roll flour and three tons of cinnamon and sugar to make their famous pastries. Those tasty rolls were covered with 1,500 pounds of cream cheese frosting and 500 pounds of walnuts. Country Fair also served more than 1,000 cinnamon roll sundaes. Their Oz-some new sensation, the Caramel Crunch Cinnamon roll was enjoyed by more than 1,500 Fairgoers. More than 500 pounds of organic coffee was served, flavored with 52 cases of vanilla and hazelnut creamer.
Corn Star grilled an estimated 47,000 ears of corn.
Grinders used 780 pounds of pork and 2,340 pounds of pastrami as toppings for their French fries. They sold over 7,000 pounds of fries. Grinders also used 780 pounds of cheese and 520 pounds of turkey breast for their sandwiches.
Juicy's sold an estimated 22,000 orders of turkey leg tacos.
Kettle Corn sold 53,700 bags of popcorn. That totals up to 24,000 pounds of popcorn seed, cooked in 12,600 pounds of oil, using 12,000 pounds of sugar and 300 pounds of butter.
Pignotti's Gourmet Italian brought back their highly-acclaimed Spaghetti Donuts and sold more than 1,400 of them. More than 800 Waffle Pizzas and 1,100 Mac N' Cheese Egg Rolls were enjoyed by Fairgoers. Also popular were Pignotti's Lasagna Egg Rolls, (950 sold) and their Lasagna Nachos (2,800 orders were enjoyed.)
Pink's sold 6,000 pounds of hot dogs and 7,200 pounds of french fries.
The Fair's Premier Food Service Restaurants featured the new "Emerald Farms Eatery" in the Flower and Garden Show presenting local, healthy and fresh foods. "The Original Cardiff Crack BBQ" was a new addition to the Paddock, and through a partnership with Seaside Market, more than 5,000 Tri-Tip Sliders and Fully-Loaded Cardiff Crack Nachos were sold. The Sangria Wine Slushies have also been a hit. Thirsty patrons have consumed 90 barrels of the fair's two official signature craft beers, the Ballast Point "Field of Poppies" and Mike Hess Brewing's "Wizard of Haze."
Reno's Fish & Chips pushed the seafood envelope this year, banking on the adventurous Fairgoer. They sold 1,600 of their "Octaco" (Octopus Taco) and 1,100 "Octopus on a Stick."
Squeezers Old Fashioned Lemonade literally used a whole orchard of lemons to make their many special lemonades. That's more than 14,000 gallons of lemon juice! The best seller? Good ol' traditional lemonade. Wild cherry lemonade was the next big seller.
Tasti Chips used 50,000 pounds of California-grown potatoes for their famous golden chips. 30,000 orders of Tasti Chips covered with cheese sauce were consumed along with 10,000 of chips with parmesan garlic cheese. Their sister stand, Tasti Burgers, sold 10,000 pounds of french fries which were dunked into 500 gallons of Heinz Ketchup and 600 gallons of Tapatio Sauce.
Tropical Taste brewed up their many specialty coffee drinks using over 5,000 pounds of Lion Coffee.
The Wicked Wahine Speakeasy continues to break records. The rooftop bar hideaway, with its inspired craft cocktails and the best view at the fair, increased sales by 84% from last year.
Top Ten Rides:
Sky Ride; Ray Cammack Shows, Inc.
The Big Wheel; Ray Cammack Shows, Inc.
Crazy Mouse; S & J Entertainment
G-Force; Southern Cross Rides LLC
Rave Wave; Ray Cammack Shows, Inc.
Fast Trax Slide; State Fair Spectaculars LLC
Magnum; Wood Entertainment
Alien Abduction; Ray Cammack Shows, Inc.
Olympic Bobsled; Helm & Sons
German Funhouse; Fun Attractions
Care N' Share Toy Drive:
The yearly toy drive collected more than 12,000 stuffed animals for children in need.
Red, White, and Boom:
Fireworks America of Lakeside, Calif. designed the Fair's Fourth of July Fireworks Show. The 20-minute display consisted of:
• 200 2.5" shells
• 575 3" shells
• 209 4" shells
• 146 5" shells
• 134 6" shells
• 36 8" shells
The total aerial display count was 3,700.
• The Plant, Grow, Eat student agriculture program included 89 schools and 8,148 students.
• The School Tours program included 132 schools with 31,361 students.
• The Field Trip program reached 3,672 kids.
• The Planting with Pride program reached 1,362 seniors.
70th Annual Livestock Auction:
The auction raised $482,776 for 4H and FFA youth, which included:
• 44 cattle at $3.24/pound
• 180 hogs at $4.19/pound
• 88 lambs at $7.44/pound
• 43 goats at $834/head
Special Events and Contests:
• Number of pies consumed at the daily Coco's Pie Eating Contest – 245
• Number of pieces of pie consumed at the Coco's Pie Eating Contest – 1,005
• Number of babies entered into the three Baby Derby contests – 37
• Number of National Anthem singers at Opening Ceremonies – 98
• Number of kids learning magic at the Abra-Kid-Abra Magic Camp – 336
• Number of Scout Troops that participated in the daily Flag Raising ceremony at Opening Ceremonies - 133
• Number of participants in the daily Flag Raising ceremony at Opening Ceremonies (Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Marines) – 1,017
• Number of participants in the Father/Child Look-A-Like Contest – 27
• Number of pieces of bubble gum chewed in the Bubble Gum Blowing Contest – 140
• Number of participants at Three O'Clock Fun contests – 835
• Number of couples in the Ballroom Dance Contest - 8
• Number of cars in the Car Shows at the fair – 301
• Number of photos taken of Nick Chopper, the fair's mascot – 4,233
• Number of kids who cried upon seeing the mascot – 32
• In The Spotlight Competition, Youth and Teen Divisions – 54 applicants, 10 finalists
• Singer/Songwriter Competition – 102 applicants, 10 finalists
• Battle of the Bands Contest – 89 applicants, 8 finalists
• 24 HR Film Festival – 6 applicants, 4 finalists
• Total entertainment shows scheduled at the fair – 1,808
• Total number of entertainment groups booked on the stages – 623
• Total number of entertainers performing at the fair – 19,750
Lost and found:
• 132 credit cards
• 69 ID's
• 138 wallets and purses
• 158 cell phones
• 181 articles of clothing
• 104 pairs of glasses
• 46 items of jewelry
• 89 sets of keys
• 155 miscellaneous items, including 2 retainers, 3 strollers, one cane, a seat cushion, lots of backpacks and lunch bags, a box of stuffed animals and last, but not least, a Lyft scooter!