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Daily Pilot

Retail Therapy: Summer, and savings, start here

By Candice Baker

1:33 PM PDT, July 9, 2014

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Fair deals: The 2014 OC Fair, with the theme "Summer Starts Here," opens Friday at 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa. Here's your one-stop savings guide, so you can keep more money to spend on a Krispy Kreme triple cheeseburger. (Yep, it's a thing — available at the infamous Chicken Charlie's stand. Your reporter prefers last year's Krispy Kreme sloppy joe.)

Special offers: Attend during the annual free opening hour from noon to 1 p.m. Friday and receive free admission and parking.

Daily: Veterans and active-duty military receive free admission every day with identification. Young readers ages 5 to 11 who fill out and submit a book report available at ocfair.com will receive three carnival ride tickets.

Wednesdays: The popular We Care Wednesday donation drives allow participants free admission and one free carnival ride per person from noon to 3 p.m. This Wednesday, July 16, enjoy free admission with five cans of food. On July 23, bring one new or three gently used children's books. On July 30, bring five new or gently used clothing items. On Aug. 6, bring $5 or more in school supplies. Receipt is required for proof of value. Everyone can buy an unlimited ride wristband for $30 — sold until 5 p.m. and valid until 8 p.m.

Thursdays: Every Thursday is Kids' Day, where children ages 12 and under receive free admission. Everyone can buy an unlimited ride wristband for $30 — sold until 5 p.m. and valid until 8 p.m.

Fridays: Seniors ages 60 and up receive $2 off the senior admission price on Fridays, as well as free Ferris wheel and merry-go-round rides all day. The Taste of Fair Food promotion is back as well. Try out many different food samples for $2 each from noon to 4 p.m. Fridays. Enjoy $2 rides and $2 games from noon to 4 p.m. Fridays.

Weekends: Wake up early to receive $3 admission from 10 to 11 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

Transit: Dreading the snaking line into the parking lot? Try out the OC Fair Express, which picks up fairgoers from eight Orange County locations. One-way fare is $2, and round-trip is $4. All riders will get $3 off fair admission. Information: octa.net/ocfairexpress.

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Gooooooaaalllll: The Segerstrom Center for the Arts will host two free World Cup viewing parties at 1 p.m. Saturday and noon Sunday in its outdoor Arts Plaza. Enjoy food trucks, a beer garden, soccer field and kids' play area. The plaza will open one hour before each match. Information: scfta.org.

Singers, not soccer: Prefer Victoria Beckham to David Beckham? The Arts Plaza also will host a free outdoor screening of "Spice World" at 8 p.m. Monday. Bring a low chair and snacks or a picnic supper (or enjoy food trucks, which will be on hand starting at 6 p.m.). The film features the 1990s phenomenon known as the Spice Girls as they cavort their way to the top of the pops. Information: scfta.org.

While the getting's good: The Sears department store at the Laguna Hills Mall is going out of business, with its final day expected to be July 20 unless the store sells out sooner. Enjoy huge savings on a dwindling quantity of products, from Craftsman tools to Kardashian women's wear, as well as store fixtures. Information: sears.com.

Ornamental opportunity: Holiday addicts will delight in the premiere of the new South Coast Plaza Hallmark store from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Sunday, which will coincide with the premiere of this season's keepsake Hallmark ornaments. Information: southcoastplaza.com.

The art of magic: The Orange County Museum of Art, 850 San Clemente Drive, Newport Beach, will present its Free Second Sundays event, Abracadabra!, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Enjoy live music, arts and crafts, free admission to the "Sarkisian & Sarkisian" exhibition and an onsite food truck at this family-friendly event. Information: ocma.net.

Pop-up paradise: Love UNIQLO, the Japanese fast fashion brand? It's due to open a boutique at South Coast Plaza on Sept. 5, but in the meantime, UNIQLO has opened an onsite pop-up shop with a mini-sampling of the full line of affordable, on-trend casuals for men, women and children. Information: southcoastplaza.com.

Have a hot sale tip, or know about a new local business that you think deserves a little attention? Contact CANDICE BAKER at candicebaker@gmail.com.