SAN DIEGO — The “Fab Fair”-themed 2014 San Diego County Fair opens Saturday with exhibits paying tribute to the Beatles’ arrival in the U.S., along with the entertainment, rides and cuisine that draw fair goers annually.
Among the tributes to 1960s culture will be photographic exhibits designed to give viewers a behind the scenes look at the “Ed Sullivan Show,” the Beatles’ subsequent tour and the John Lennon-Yoko Ono “Bed In,” and the John F. Kennedy Exhibition featuring a re-created Oval Office and a fuselage re- created to look like Air Force One as it did when JFK was a passenger, fair officials said.
On opening day, the Burn Institute will host a fire expo and will pit firefighters against each other in a demolition derby to raise money for fire and burn prevention education programs and support for burn survivors.
Demonstrations will include a mock extrication from a burning vehicle, rappelling, CPR training and fire engine displays.
At 5 p.m. the Firefighter Demolition Derby’s last qualifier and finals will get underway. Set to participate in the event are members of a Lake Forest- based fire crew, who were inspired to help burn victims after treating a 9- year-old boy burned by scalding water.
Opening day will also include a performance by Third Eye Blind on the Heineken Grandstand Stage, the first in a concert lineup that includes Voz de Mando, Sunday; Jeff Dunham, Thursday; Darius Rucker, June 13; and Smokey Robinson on June 20.
Grandstand entertainment highlights also include Toni Braxton with Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, June 21; Grupo Intocable, June 22; Huey Lewis and the News, July 1; REO Speedwagon, July 2; and Matisyahu, July 3.
New culinary choices are on tap for this year’s fair — some healthier than others.
New to the fair this year are Chicken Charlie’s Triple Decker Krispy Kreme Cheeseburger and Deep Fried Chicken Skins; the Smoked Jack Daniels Bacon- Wrapped Churro at Bacon A-Fair; and Sippers’ Chocolate Peanut Butter Bacon Banana and Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel.
Also available will be a Chile Relleno Pretzel Burger from Grantburgers; a Grilled Cream Cheese Hot Dog, Frito Dog and Gourmet Grilled Cheese from the California Cheese Company; Reno’s Fish & Chips Seafood Salad; Grinders’ Cauliflower Sandwich; and Fruit Caboose’s Banana Foster Pie, Black and White Sundae and Cowboy Sundae, which is served in a waffle cone shaped like a cowboy hat.
Adult fair admission is $14, with an $8 rate for seniors 62 and over and children ages 6-12. Children under 6 get in free.
The fair parking lots are usually full by late morning. Organizers suggest using public transportation or parking at off-site lots and using a free shuttle.
Off-site lots are located at the Del Mar Horsepark, 14550 El Camino Real; the MiraCosta College campus in Cardiff by the Sea, 3333 Manchester Ave.; and Torrey Pines High School, 3710 Del Mar Heights Road.
Buses leave the off-site lots every 15-20 minutes.