Fairgrounds will host ‘a version’ of the county fair

Crowds line the midway
Crowds line the midway on the last day of the 2015 San Diego County Fair. COVID-19 forced the cancellation of last year’s fair.
(San Diego Union-Tribune)

The Del Mar Fairgrounds this summer will host “Homegrown Fun,” which will be a scaled-down version of the annual county fair that was canceled last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event is scheduled for June 11 to July 4, and will be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Limited tickets and parking will be available.

Fairgrounds officials said during a March 9 board of directors meeting that they are anticipating public health restrictions to loosen enough to hold “a version of the fair.”

“I didn’t know what it was going to look like, and it would have to be based on what was allowable as we moved into the spring,” board member Frederick Schenk said, referring to earlier board discussions about whether it would be possible to bring the fair back this year. “We have a better idea of what it’s going to look like.”

Katie Mueller, chief business services officer at the fairgrounds, added that the event will “provide the community with an essence of some of the most important traditions San Diegans look forward to every year to start their summer.”

According to a fairgrounds staff report, the Homegrown Fun event will include retail shopping, popular fair food vendors and agricultural education. The fairgrounds will also ask residents for pictures of any pandemic-related home projects that they’ve completed over the last year for a special presentation. Many of the final plans for Homegrown Fun will be completed in the months ahead, fairgrounds officials said, as adjustments are made to comply with public health orders.

A portion of the fairgrounds property will continue serving as a COVID-19 vaccination center.

“We’re very optimistic that with the advent of vaccinations that restrictions will begin loosening some things,” Mueller said, adding that “we’re all optimistic that it’s doable if things continue on the positive path that they’ve been on.”