san diego county fair – 2015 edition

I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to make it to the fair this year, but Laura and I ended up going last Friday for one of the last days of the fair. We headed up to the fair about 10:15am to try and beat some of the traffic and crowds. We parked over at Torrey Pines high school so we wouldn’t have to sit in all the traffic for Via de la Valle – the 5 was already getting crazy that morning!


Course, we had to stand in a long, long line for a shuttle. They wouldn’t start running multiple shuttles until after 11am which seemed silly to me, considering the long line that was already formed. Eventually we got to the fair and my co-worker generously gave us exhibitor tickets that she received which turned out to be the best tickets ever since we skipped the huge line and were able to go through a special entrance. HECK YEAH!

Once we got through the short line we beelined over to watch the Fido 500 races!





The Fido 500 Races were a new event for the San Diego Fair this year. It was over in the Kid’s area in the field where the racetrack is. They had three sets of races, each race with three dogs in the same weight class. There were the 5 lbs and under, around 10lbs and around 15lbs dogs. I about died from the cuteness and seeing the little dogs race and jump over pool noodles. ADORABLE. 

After the races, you could go visit and play with the puppies from the race for a $5 donation. Laura and I decided we didn’t want to play with the puppies that badly and just watching the race was good enough.


I had originally planned on getting a Lobster Slider but after I saw how tiny it was for $11, I decided to pass. And the lobster rolls were $20! I decided I could wait until I go to Boston in September for lobster. Laura and I decided to share something from Juicy’s instead.



While giant turkey legs, big ass burgers and foot long hot dogs have their appeal, we went with this instead:


Fried Zucchini!


Fried Zucchini cost an insane $9.50 for one basket of four ginormous pieces. Laura thought that someplace had the curly zucchini but I wasn’t sure and we ended up getting it here because it wasn’t crowded in the kid’s area. We later found out that Chicken Charlie’s does the curly zucchini and filed that knowledge away for next year. 

I wish they cut the zucchini into smaller wedges so it would be easier to eat. The smaller ends tasted better and had a crispier edge than the fatter ends. I was only able to eat one and a half pieces of this hefty fried dish before calling ‘uncle’.


We walked through Fiesta Village and browsed some of the shops there. At the end there’s a taco stand.


Then we walked through the tunnel to get back to the other side. There’s a long mural on both sides and I was impressed with how they incorporated one of the light fixtures into the mural!


The sun started to come out at this point and that’s when I realized the folly of not bringing a hat or sunglasses. I tried on a few sun hats, including this crazy ruffly one (this isn’t the one I choose).


We wandered through the exhibition halls and saw all kinds of things, including these expensive dog treats. I ended up buying a bottle of some seasoning called Grizzly Joe’s made by a local company up in Temecula. We also stood in line to try out one of the crazy full body Japanese massage chairs. For 20 minutes you get to feel like you’re in the human version of a taffy pulling machine – and boy, did it feel grand! 


Time for more foods! I needed some protein and Laura and I decided to split a sausage and an artichoke sandwich… but we went to the Roxy’s on the inner Paddock and realized they don’t have the artichoke sandwiches there. We split the Polish Sausage and then I was feeling too full to want the artichoke sandwich.


Hello delicious Polish Sausage ($9.75). Why, what a lot of delicious caramelized onions you have! 


The half with the mustard on it was for me. It was totally delicious, too. I ate most of the onions first so it would be easier to consume the polish sausage below. 


Laura stopped for an Orange Julius while I opted for the Strawberry Julius. Cool and refreshing, these drinks hit the spot on a warm, sunny day.


While we were sitting the Paddock, a band called Dr. Seahorse started playing. I dug their music a lot.


Here’s Laura and I with our purchases – my sunhat and Laura’s new shades.

Up next: one of my favorite fair exhibits is the Woodwork!


Balboa Park – in bench form.




Rad looking Predator floor lamp.

Then we visited the Home & Hobby collections.


Wizard of Oz.


Spongebob and Video Games


Star Trek v. Star Wars


Cookie Jars – I really like the Titantic one you can kind of see on the bottom left.


This collection of Items Found in Returned Library Books also amused me. These collections made me think maybe I could submit something next year! 

Cakes and Baked Goods were in the same area. Here’s a few that I liked:






After wandering around in the halls, Laura and I got dessert.


I didn’t get these last year but I’ve always loved these simple mini donuts from Dixie’s Donuts.


We shared a dozen of the freshly made little donuts that are covered in cinnamon sugar. $5 for one dozen! The donuts reminded me that there’s a shop in Pacific Beach called Lil’ Orbits that makes tiny donuts all year round. I think I need to go visit it!


Originally I wanted to also try the Corn on the Cob Ice Cream but when we went over to the booth, it had been taped out! Our back up dessert ended up being these Cow Pies.


We decided on getting nuts for our topping which provided the perfect crunchy topping. I loved the waffle on the bottom which created another layer of texture for the dessert. Yum!


Of course we couldn’t leave the fair without spending a quarter on the Footsie Wootsie machine. And I got a bag of salty sweet Kettle Corn to go.


One trip to the fair doesn’t ever seem to cover it all, but we managed to do quite a lot in one day. Until next year, San Diego County Fair! 

8 thoughts on “san diego county fair – 2015 edition

  1. I love the Fair! We try and go every year, but I feel like this year we skipped a lot of things we usually check out, like the Swifty Swine pig races and all the stuff in the infield. And we missed the mini donuts this time, too! Travis loves the Woodworking exhibit and the collections in Home & Hobby. One year he submitted his mint tin collection and won a ribbon! You should enter next year!

    I’ve heard that there’s a mini donut stand at Kobey’s swap meet, too.

    1. Hi Leanne – I feel like we skipped a lot, too! I usually like to go see the animals and the Photographs as well but we just didn’t have the time for it. I love the Swifty Swine pig races, too – also sooooo cute. But the puppies won it for me this year. Oh! Maybe I will enter a collection next year. I have a mighty fine postcard collection, haha. I haven’t been to Kobey’s in years but I’d totally go for some mini donuts.

  2. Great fair post! I love the exhibits! Some of those collections are pretty wacky like the laundry lint and cat hair one (what!). I missed that wooden Bender and Predator lamp, so cool those were. The cow pie looked good. You can get corn ice cream at Oasis Ice Cream down south and I’m sure it’s a flavor by Magnolia, found at Seafood City.

    1. I saw your post and that’s what made me go look at the crazy collections, haha. I must have missed the laundry lint and cat hair though… because whaaaaaat. You know, we only walked down one side of the collections that were in the table-like area, those were probably on the other side, haha. Oooo, thanks for the tip on the corn ice cream! I was totally hoping to try it at the fair and have it be corn on the cob shaped. Alas, it was not to be.

  3. I totally nodded in agreement when I saw the shuttle bus line in this post. Family and I did the same exact thing YEARS ago and never again did we try again. We stood in line for 1.5 hours for the last shuttle to take us back to TP High School.

    Can you imagine if our lazy dogs tried to race in that Fido event. Yeah, no.

    I think we should 1) have a dog race in a park b/w Maya & Lifu; 2) create a fried zucchi crawl; and/or 3) have a (Roxy booth inspired) Garlic Battered “x” dinner party.

    1. Yeah, the shuttle lines are lame but we feel it’s worth it to save the $10 bucks on parking. We waited for maybe a half hour in the evening to leave (around 7:30pm).

      Haha, Maya loves to run, actually! It’s just at home she looooooves to sleep, too 🙂

      And I think we should do ALL of those things. Maybe instead of particularly zucchini it could be a tempura crawl or “fried stuff and eat salad in between” crawl. My friend once had a Fry Party where we made a batter and dipped all kinds of things into it and ate them all. We felt so sick the next day… haha.

  4. Ooh fun post! I almost went too but it seemed like everyone was also going that Friday! I decided to stay in my cool, uncrowded house instead and just bum around. I went earlier for the wine festival (post to come eventually) so at least I didn’t miss out. I’m still iffy about the whole shuttle verses drive thing. They both are a pain in the butt for one reason or another!

    if you do the dog races at home, make a video for us all to see!

    1. Hi Lynn – Oh yeah, I’m interested to hear about the wine festival went. I’ll look out for your post! 🙂 I like doing the shuttle even though you have to wait forever because I’d rather use the extra money to spend on food or something cool to buy and because the shuttle drops you off right at the front gate. I do sometimes feel a twinge of regret when I’m standing in that line to get back to my car, but that usually passes. Haha.

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