San Diego County Fair

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can enter the Fair's Competitive Exhibits?

Anyone! Each department has specific requirements on eligibility so read them carefully. The Fair strives to offer "something for everyone."

How do I know whether I am considered a "professional" or an "amateur?"

According to the State Rules which govern the competitions at the San Diego County Fair, a professional engages in an activity as a livelihood rather than a hobby. An amateur engages in an activity as a pastime rather than a profession. At the San Diego County Fair, amateurs may sell their work occasionally but do not rely on sales of their craft for their livelihood. The terms "master" and "novice" are used in some departments and those definitions can be found within the individual department's information.

What is an "entry or project?" What is an "exhibit?"

An entry or project is an object, animal or collection of objects or animals intended for exhibit. An entry becomes an exhibit when it is shown or judged at the Fair.

Is there a fee for entering my entry or project?

In most departments, there is a processing fee for entering an entry or project. The processing fee helps the San Diego County Fair offset a portion of the costs associated with processing every entry. Fees are non-refundable.

Can I take my entry, project or animal out before the Fair or Show ends?

No. Only in some one-day contests may your entry be removed before the close of the Fair or Show.

How do I know that my entry form and fees were received for my entry?

After you use our online system to enter, you will receive a receipt confirmation by e-mail. Pre-registration one-day contest forms may be mailed or hand-delivered to entry office. You will not receive any sort of notification if you choose to mail in your registration.

May I still register if the deadline has passed?

No. All registrations and fees must be received no later than the posted entry closing date. NO EXCEPTIONS.

Can I just display my work at the Fair without registering and/or participating in the judging process?

No. All work that is to be displayed at the Fair must be registered and judged.

Can I deliver my entry before or after the scheduled delivery date(s)?

No work will be accepted before (unless the department allows mail-in deliveries) or after the delivery dates. NO EXCEPTIONS.

Is there a size limit for my entry or project?

Most departments have specific size limits and requirements for how your entry or project is to be submitted. Not adhering to the limits or requirements is cause for disqualification. Please read and follow the limits and requirements. If you do not understand them, call the Entry Office at 858-792-4207 or e-mail the Entry Office at



If you would like to receive reminders on deadlines and other entry information, please sign-up for the Del Mar Fairgrounds mailing list.


Please contact the Exhibits Office at 858-792-4207 or email Someone is available to assist you Monday-Friday from 9:00AM to 5:00PM