San Diego County Fair 2016

Last weekend Jake and I crossed something off our bucket list for this year – we completed our first 5K race together! We did the San Diego County Fair 5K with our friend, Laura. She decided to run the race while Jake and I walked it.


Here we are right before the start of the race. We had to park on-site ($10 bucks, man) and they parked us out in the dirt lots just beyond the gate to the far right (closest to the race’s startline). We were kind of unhappy that they made us park way out in the dirt, but it ended up not being too awful at the of the day.


Once you got in, they were just letting people go in short waves to start the course. Here we are at the back of the pack. 


We started the race just after 7:30AM on Saturday. Since Jake and I walked the course, we were able to pause when needed, like when I needed to snap this photo of cow butts and baby cows.


The course went through the garden area, too. The theme for the fair this year is “Mad About the Fair” – an Alice in Wonderland theme. Jake and I finished the course in just over an hour. We felt quite accomplished finishing our first 5K race together! 

Race participants were treated to a complimentary beverage – either a Miller Lite, soda, or bottled water. We hung out after the race for a bit to rest and wait until the fair was in full swing.


We walked through the Mad About the Fair exhibit where they had this long “Mad Hatter” table with all kind of tea trinkets on the table. Then we were ready for to share some munchies!


[chicken in a waffle on a stick]

The first thing I wanted to try was from Chicken Charlie’s – the Chicken in a Waffle on a Stick! When you first get it you just think, “It just looks like a regular waffle… but it’s so heavy!”


Here’s a little peek so you can actually see the chicken embedded into the waffle. Yup. They weren’t kidding. The chicken is actually in that sucker. 


Here I am trying the waffle by eating it off the stick but this photo is just for show. It’s kind of heavy and too bulky to eat off the stick and besides, we were sharing this sucker. We forked and knifed it and then dipped our pieces into the syrup. 


Here’s a bite. While I thought it was overall a creative endeavor, I felt that the lack of seasoning on the chicken and the dryness of the chicken kind of took away from the dish overall. The waffle wasn’t too bad but the chicken was underwhelming. The syrup helped out a little bit but I’d pass on this one again. 


Jake actually got on his knees to stick his head into this frame for this photo. I love that guy.


[australian battered potatoes]

The first time I ever tried the Australian Battered Potatoes was during one of those “Taste of Tuesdays” at the fair where they did samples for $2 each. For $2 you got one potato and really, I thought that was enough. I don’t usually get this because I think it’s too much food! But there were three of us this time so we got it!

Spoiler alert: I still think it’s too many potatoes. I wish you could get like a half order of this. Also, if I had been smarter, I would have gotten the sauce on the side and I would have gotten only ranch. The cheese sauce was just kind of meh. The ranch sauce is where it’s at! These potatoes are crunchy on the outside with this golden crunchy batter and on the inside they are soft and creamy. YUM. 

They also sell a BUCKET of these. I can’t imagine how anyone eats a bucket of these things. 


[Lord of the Rings dog]

I’m a geeky girl so seeing something called “Lord of the Rings” dog on the Food Fair Map got my geeky senses flying. This nerdy homage food is from Pink’s Hot Dogs. It’s one of their classic freaky long hot dogs wrapped in onion rings and a drizzle of BBQ sauce.


Damn this thing is hard to eat. I snarfed off the end and when I got to the onion ring part, I dug my face in for a big bite and got BBQ sauce all over my face. The onion rings are all different sizes and BBQ sauce is all over the place! It’s messy but it’s pretty good. But in reality it wasn’t easy or pleasant to eat and I’d rather just have my onion rings on the side, thank you. Separately it tasted great. I just don’t it all together. Cheers on the geeky name though.


When I first read about “Deep Fried Lemonade” I thought, “Ew. What the heck is that?!”

Then I realized it was warm lemon cake and I was SOLD.


[deep fried lemonade]

It kind of looks like a twinkie but thankfully it tastes a thousand times better. The cake is warm and dipped in batter and fried… but it didn’t taste fried to me! The cake was soft with a slight batter around the edges for a tiny crunch. The cake was super lemony and the lemon glaze elevated this to the next level – this was my favorite item of the day! I love the punch of tart lemon flavor with the sweet lemon cake. Yum!


We didn’t do too much else at the fair that day. We did walk around O’Brien Hall and Bing Crosby hall, watched some kids in a pie eating contest, and ended up hanging out in the grass listening to some bluegrass music and relaxing. All in all we probably walked about 6-7 miles around the fair that day – crazy!

Hope you get to check out the San Diego County Fair before it closes on July 4th!

6 thoughts on “San Diego County Fair 2016

  1. Great fair post Mary! Both you and Kirbie agreed that the chicken in that waffle was dry, so no go on that one, although it does look impressive. I am looking forward to seeing the exhibits and trying at least one fried item, heh heh.

    1. Thanks, CC! Yeah, it was fun to try the chicken waffle but it wasn’t as great as I had hoped it would be. We are going to the fair one more time so hopefully I’ll get to try at least one more new thing before the fair closes up.

  2. Yay fair fun! I ate part of a sausage and watched a dance competition for 2-3 hours. I only took a couple of photos but your pics make me wanna go back! I love that one of the mad hatter garden! And the pancake is bigger than your face *lol*

    1. Hi Lynn! We were too tired after the 5K to check out a lot of exhibits and things. We are planning on going this weekend before the fair closes to check out the things that we missed!

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