A year after shattering attendance records, the staff of the Orange County Fair has started a full-court press of events and promotions leading up to opening day on July 13, division directors told the Fair Board on Thursday.
The fair is teaming up with the OC Marathon to host a 5K fun run with race admission covering entrance to the fair and is offering free admission for active and discharged military members. There will also be several collection drives where donations can be exchanged for discounted admission tickets.
Last year, the fair set an attendance record with more than 1.4 million visitors through a boost in advertising, more money-saving promotions and a surge in Super Pass purchases, which are good through the duration of the monthlong fair.
Things are looking even better this year, fair officials said.
Super Pass sales are up 300% compared with this point last year, and the fair is about to launch a new mobile phone application compatible with Apple and Android phones, said spokeswoman Robin Wachner.
The free app, which will launch within a week, allows users to pin where they park their car so they can find it later and also can locate nearby ATMs and food vendors by type.
About 80% of the fair's annual revenue is generated through the summer event.
In other action, the board also approved moving the starting time of its monthly meetings to 9 a.m. in August and the Fair Sale Review Committee told the board it will create a timeline of events surrounding the proposed fairgrounds sale three years ago as part of its investigation.
OC Fair By The Numbers
5,000 people applied for season jobs, 1,150 were hired.
Season staff perform 96 different jobs, costing the fair $2.3 million in wages for the month.
Season staff perform 205,900 hours' worth of work for the fair, equating to about $11 an hour in pay.
30,000 guests are expected in first hour that the fair is open, and 80,000 are expected overall the first day.
More than 286,000 cars parked at the fair last year, at roughly 12,500 a day.