Del Mar to turn into Wild West during 2017 San Diego County fair


The Del Mar Fairgrounds is going to be transformed into the Wild West for next year’s San Diego County Fair.

The 22nd District Agricultural Association Board of Directors, which governs the state-owned site, unanimously approved a western theme — “How the West Was Fun at the 2017 San Diego County Fair”— during its Sept. 13 meeting.

The fair will explore the Wild West, also known as the Old West, the period of American history from the 1800s to the early part of the 20th century when the last mainland states entered the Union.

The theme exhibit will look like a western saloon, complete with a bar and player piano. From learning recipes and listening to campfire tips, to setting up camp and panning for gold, the exhibit will offer a variety of western-themed activities.

The exhibit will feature notorious outlaws, including Billy the Kid and Jesse James, as well as famous women of the west, such as Annie Oakley and Calamity Jane. Additionally, the exhibit will explore the unique cultures and contributions of Native Americans. Among other activities, fairgoers will also learn how to saddle up, rope and ride horses.

The board also approved dates for the 2017 fair, which will open at 4 p.m. on Friday, June 2, and close on Tuesday, July 4. The fair will be closed the first four Mondays and on the first three Tuesdays.

With the wacky, wild and whimsical “Mad About the Fair” theme, the 2016 San Diego County Fair, which also had a 26-day run, set an overall attendance record of 1,609,481 guests — the most since the fair began in 1880.

The 2015 fair ran 25 days and had a final attendance of 1,503,538. The previous attendance record was set in 2012, with a total of 1,517,508 guests.