Weekend Fair Highlights: June 17-19

The third weekend of the San Diego County Fair brings a three-day International Beer Festival to the mix, plus a cool 5K and lots of live music.

Friday, June 17

San Diego International Beer Festival
Times vary (5 sessions, Friday to Sunday)
Sip on sudsy samples from nearly 200 craft breweries at the San Diego International Beer Festival (SDIBF), including plenty of local favorites like Alpine Beer Company, Belching Beaver Brewery, Ballast Point, Green Flash and AleSmith, to name a few. The SDIBF will also feature vendors selling brew-inspired goodies, plus educational demos – including food pairing demos (cheese and beer; pizza and beer; beer and desserts), and other activities. Tickets start at $61 per person, which includes fair admission. There will be five sessions of the beer fest over the course of three days: 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Cheers!

Eric Hutchinson, Matt Nathanson & Phillip Phillips
7:30 p.m., Heineken Grandstand Stage
Three singer-songwriters will take the Heineken Grandstand Stage for this concert – Eric Hutchinson (7 p.m.), Matt Nathanson (7:45 p.m.), and headliner Phillip Phillips, the winning singer-guitarist of season 11 of “American Idol” known for hits like “Home” and “Gone, Gone, Gone.” The three are touring together for the first time and will stop into the fair for this Friday night show. Tickets range from $14 to $65 per person, including fair admission.

Paradise City
9 p.m., Coors Light Rock-On Stage
This Guns N’ Roses tribute band will rock out at the Coors Light Rock-On Stage in this 21+ show, free to attend with paid admission into the San Diego County Fair. Relive the glory days of the “Appetite for Destruction” era and more – and all of that ultra-teased ‘80s hair – with a show that recreates the sights, sounds and attitude of Guns N’ Roses.

Saturday, June 18

San Diego County Fair 5K
7 a.m. to 10 a.m., various locations at fairgrounds
VAVi Sport & Social presents the 3rd Annual San Diego County Fair 5K, a chance to walk or run the fairgrounds before the big crowds arrive. Participants of all ages can stroll, jog or run this 5K while getting an all-access, behind-the-scenes look at the San Diego County Fair. Registration for the run includes a free ticket into the fair, another free fair ticket for future use, a run T-shirt and, for the 21+ crowd, one free beer.

Bluegrass Festival
11 a.m. to 8 p.m., San Diego County Ford Dealers Paddock Stage
The lively, toe-tapping sounds of bluegrass will fill the Paddock all day Saturday during this popular fair festival filled with jam sessions aimed at promoting the preservation of bluegrass music as an American art form. The music starts at 11 a.m. The fest is included in paid admission into the fair.

Grand Funk Railroad
7:30 p.m., Heineken Grandstand Stage
Classic rock band Grand Funk Railroad of Flint, Michigan, will perform Saturday, celebrating the group’s nearly 50-year career in music that includes hits like “Locomotion” and “Some Kind of Wonderful.” Unreserved seats in the 3rd and 5th levels are free and included with fair admission; reserved concert tickets start at $16 per person.

Space Oddity
9 p.m., Coor Light Rock-On Stage
The cover concerts continue at the Coors Light Rock-On Stage with a trippy, colorful performance from David Brighton, arguably the world’s best David Bowie impersonator. This show is 21+ and included with fair admission.

Sunday, June 19

Tea Time in Wonderland
11 a.m. and 1 p.m., Sprigs & Spirits in the Paul Ecke Jr. Garden Show
Each Sunday, the fair will host two 90-minute sessions of “Tea Time in Wonderland” in the Paul Ecke Jr. Garden Show area. Inspired by the fair’s 2016 theme, patrons will enjoy a proper “Wonderland” tea party that includes a menu of Egg Salad Sandwiches, Quiche Lorraine, Curried Chicken Boursin Puff, as well as baked goodies like mini Orange-Raspberry Scones, Raspberry Linzer Cookies and Vanilla Cupcakes with Strawberry Icing. Food is accompanied by black, green and herbal teas, and lemonade. Tickets are $35, including fair admission. The 21+ crowd can make it a “Tipsy Tea” for $50, which includes bottomless champagne. Tea party guests will also get to make a fun hat to take home. Seating is limited to 48 people. Don’t be late for this important date!

Roberto Tapia
7:30 p.m., Heineken Grandstand Stage
Fair favorite Roberto Tapia returns to the stage with his Corrido hits. Unreserved 3rd and 5th level seating is free with fair admission; reserved tickets start at $15 per person. This is an all-ages show.

9 p.m., Coors Light Rock-On Stage
Ozzmania, a tribute to Ozzy Osbourne and Black Sabbath, will take center stage at this 21+ show at the Coors Light Rock-On Stage.

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