San Diego County Fair
July 4 girls

Fourth of July

What better place is there to spend Independence Day than at the San Diego County Fair? Highlighting the day will be the traditional fireworks display, which will happen at approximately 9:00PM. The fireworks display is visible throughout the Fairgrounds, so as long as you're outside, there's no better place to watch!

We'll start the day with a patriotic Opening Ceremony about 9:30AM at the O'Brien Gate. When the gates open about 10:00AM, there'll be plenty to do.

This is information from the 2016 San Diego County Fair.

Please check back next spring, when we will have information on this event for the 2017 Fair!


During The Day

Human flag

Enjoy exhibits, entertainment, contests and much more. Here's a partial list of the great activities we have planned:

10:30AM: Stars, Stripes and Stems Floral Design Contest (Flower and Garden Show Stage)

Noon: Coco's Pie Eating Contest with special guest Jack Delaney (Plaza Stage)

Noon, 2:00 and 4:00PM: Pro Wrestling Live (Ford Dealers Paddock Stage)

1:00 and 5:00PM: Monster Trucks, Mini Dwarfs and Outlaw Sprints (Del Mar Arena)

1:00PM: Hometown Heroes Parade (Avenue of the Palms)
Enjoy our Fourth of July parade with the Steampunk Society, the Del Mar Fire Station rig, Dragon Knights, Circle City Sidewalk Stompers, a golf cart brigade and our very special guests – the Hometown Heroes you nominated for their community service here in San Diego County!

1:00PM: Most Patriotic Costume Contest with special guest judges (Plaza Stage). This contest also will be at 3:30PM at the Queen's Court Contest Area.

2:00PM: World Memorial Guest Speakers Joe Torrillo, Tommy Fenech and Jack Delaney share their stories and experiences at Ground Zero after the 9/11 tragedy. At the San Diego Showcase Stage. See below for more information on these speakers. Be sure to see the World Memorial exhibit at the south end of the Del Mar Arena.

Download the July 4, 2016, daily schedule for a list of scheduled events.


2016 Grandstand Schedule

Jack Delaney

7:30PM: World Memorial Speakers Joe Torrillo, Tommy Fenech and Jack Delaney will share their experiences as rescuers when the World Trade Center fell on Sept. 11, 2001. Torillo and Fenech are return visitors to the Fair, we welcome Delaney (pictured, right) in his debut as a July 4 speaker at the Fair. All three men were in the thick of the rescue on that fateful day. Torrillo and Fenech were with the New York City Fire Department; Delaney headed emergency services at New York Presbyterian Hospital. Torrillo and Delaney were buried in the rubble and both suffered injury.

8:00PM: Special Edition Orchestra performs on the Heineken Grandstand Stage. The Special Edition Orchestra (formerly the Miller Sound Orchestra) was formed in 2014 by professional musicians from San Diego County to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Glenn Miller and his wartime overseas orchestra, originally called "The Special" by Supreme Commander of allied forces Dwight Eisenhower.

The show will feature selections from the Glenn Miller 1944 military band library, patriotic songs, and an original band theme inspired by Glenn Miller's book "Method for Orchestral Arranging" published in 1942. Music to be performed will include "America," "St. Louis Blues," "Stars and Stripes Forever," "Rhapsody in Blue" and "God Bless America."

9:00PM: Fireworks (visible throughout the Fairgrounds)

Robot Resurrection

9:20PM (approximate, following fireworks): Robot Resurrection Show, Family Funville (visible from the Grandstand)

9:30PM: Comedian Sebastian Maniscalco performs on the Heineken Grandstand Stage.

The Grandstand show is included with Fair admission, but you can buy reserved seats, either at the Fair's Box Office or through Ticketmaster.

July 4 fireworks

Open Until Midnight; Lots To Do

Stick around after the fireworks, let the traffic clear, and have some fun! All the shopping and exhibit buildings will be open until 11:00PM, and the food booths and Fun Zone will be open until midnight. It's the last night of the Fair, so stay around and have some fun!

We also will have entertainment on several stages after the fireworks, all included with Fair admission.

Transportation and Parking

The COASTER train will run its normal Saturday schedule on July 4, which includes late trains running north and south so you can stay for the fireworks. (Some of the late trains are operated by Amtrak, but are included in the COASTER fare.) The SPRINTER and buses operated by North County Transit District will run on a Sunday/holiday schedule. Please see the Holiday Schedule page of the website for more information.

We have a great package deal called the Fair Tripper, which includes Fair admission and the round-trip fare on all the North County Transit District trains and buses. See the public transportation page for additional information.

Park at one of our free off-site lots on July 4 and take the free shuttle to the Fairgrounds. We have three free off-site lots, open from 9:00AM to 1:00AM on July 4. Shuttles run continuously about every 15 minutes from the lot to the O'Brien Gate (the main entrance):
   • MiraCosta College's San Elijo campus
   • Horsepark Equestrian Center
   • Torrey Pines High School
See the parking page for more information.