The exclusive nights of short ribs and tri-tip have sparked criticism from local residents who say the burden shouldn’t be on the public to grapple with the agency’s financial concerns, while Fair Board members spend public money on perks and sit on approximately $55 million in financial reserves.
Fair Board directors at their first nighttime meeting on Thursday didn’t vote to approve any ticket price hikes at the fair gates for this summer, following public backlash and uncertainty by some directors that they had enough information to make such a decision.
Potential admission price hikes come as some community members ask: does the OC fair really reflect Orange County? Or is it losing its way as a callback to the county’s farming origins and drifting instead toward a more Disneyland-like business venture focused on vendor contracts, concerts, and being a major event venue?
Vincent Pollmeier, Director of Friends and Neighbors of the Orange County Fairgrounds, writes that the OC Fair, which is beginning its 5 week run July 13th, has degenerated into a generic County Fair and is calling on the public to insist that their county fair reflect their county.