Weekend Fair Highlights: July 1-4

The 2016 San Diego County Fair ends on the 4th of July with a grand, patriotic fireworks show

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It’s the final weekend of the 2016 San Diego County Fair. After the 4th of July, the lights will dim and the indulgent food stands will turn off the fryers, so make the trek to Del Mar while there’s still time for fried fare and fun. Here’s a round-up of some cool events taking center stage at the fair this weekend.

Friday, July 1

Luis Coronel
7:30 p.m., Heineken Grandstand Stage
Boxer-turned-singer Luis Coronel hopes to knock out the crowd with his musical talents Friday night at the Heineken Grandstand Stage. Coronel has a huge following on YouTube, with millions of views on his videos. You can watch his show for free in unreserved areas (3rd and 5th levels) or buy reserved seating starting at $16 per ticket.

Noise Pollution
9 p.m., Coors Light Rock-On Stage
Tribute band Noise Pollution will cover the hits of AC/DC, rocking the Coors Light Rock-On Stage at 9 p.m. This 21+ show is free with paid fair admission.

Saturday, July 2

The Whole Life Festival
10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Paul Ecke Jr. Garden Show
Formerly known as the Enviro-Fair, the Whole Life Festival goes down all day Saturday at the Paul Ecke Jr. Garden Show area. Discover a holistic approach to a healthy lifestyle with speakers, demos and displays, plus live music and other activities, including a free workshop from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. that will teach you the basics of planting and caring for succulents. Talk with local farmers about healthy food and shop for unique, healthy goods from local vendors. This fest is free with paid fair admission.

Acoustic Showcase
11 a.m. to 10 p.m., San Diego County Ford Dealers Paddock Stage
Top-notch singers/songwriters from Southern California will have a chance to take the Paddock Stage Saturday for this all-day acoustic showcase. The headliner – performing at 9 p.m., is Welshly Arms, a group that combines blues, rhythm, soul and rock ‘n’ roll.

Kool & the Gang
7:30 p.m., Heineken Grandstand Stage
Celebrate good times, come on! R&B icons Kool & the Gang take the final Saturday night concert slot of the 2016 fair season with a show at the Heineken Grandstand Stage. Dance along to the hits including “Jungle Boogie,” “Ladies Night” and, of course, “Celebration.” The concert is free with paid admission to the fair if you watch from the unreserved 3rd and 5th levels. If you opt for reserved seating, tickets start at $16 per person.

Sunday, July 3

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!

Steam Powered Giraffe
8 p.m., San Diego County Dealers Paddock Stage
Steam Powered Giraffe is a local, quirky music and arts group featuring musicians dressed as singing antique automatons. The group’s act includes comedic sketches, improvised banter, original music, visual effects and robot pantomime. The show falls perfectly in line with the 2016 fair’s steampunk-infused Wonderland theme, too.

Hammer of the Broads
9 p.m., Coors Light Rock-On Stage
Rock out to Led Zeppelin tunes as Hammer of the Broads – an all-female tribute band – crushes the covers. This 21+ show is free with paid fair admission; there is no reserved seating.

4th of July – Final Day of the Fair

4th of July Celebration & Fireworks
9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Various Locations Throughout Fairgrounds
The 2016 San Diego County Fair closes its summer season with a bang – and a 4th of July fireworks show – Monday. The patriotic party at the fairgrounds starts at 9:30 a.m. with a special ceremony at O’Brien Gate, followed by contests (floral design, pie-eating, costumes, etc.) and the 1 p.m. Hometown Heroes Parade at Avenue of the Palms. At 9 p.m., a dazzling July 4th fireworks show will be visible throughout the fairgrounds as we bid farewell to the county fair. Don’t worry – the rides, fried food and merriment returns next summer.

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