San Diego County Fair

Theme Exhibit

"Mad About The Fair"

Curiouser and curiouser at every turn is the 2016 "Mad About the Fair" theme exhibit – a steampunk twist on Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll. The exhibit is a retro-futurist vision of Alice and her friends as she learns to understand the rules of life on her own terms, not those of others.

"Oh dear! Oh dear!
I shall be late."

– the White Rabbit
White Rabbit


It all begins here

Venture through the rabbit hole to a choice of doors that lead to Wonderland. Whether big or small, find the ever-curious, yet always wise, Caterpillar before heading to a Steampunk Tea Party with Hatter as the host.

The Hatter's tea party is fit for a queen, but certainly not the Queen of Hearts, as she is off yelling orders, playing games and honoring us with her presence for the perfect selfie. It's "off with your head" if you are not careful!

"Come, we shall have some fun now!"
– Alice's first thought when she arrived at the tea party.

Alice wonders "who in the world am I," which is a great puzzle, as she starts out as a pawn and with the help of others gains knowledge and wisdom to eventually become the Queen. Alice will share stories from Wonderland along the way, and her friends will present you with riddles and puzzles to solve if you can.

Other attractions of the "Mad About The Fair" theme exhibit:

smbullet Compliments of USC Libraries, view a first edition of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, first published over 150 years ago. You will also see pop-up books, manuscripts and more that have embedded in our culture Alice, the Hatter, the Queen of Hearts, Tweedledee and Tweedledum, the Cheshire Cat and other delightful creatures from Lewis Carroll's books.

smbullet Find out what it is like to lose your "muchness" with a photo opportunity with the Hatter's larger-than-life hat.

smbullet Visit Steampunk Corner with retro-futuristic, cos-play-inspired teetotalers.

smbullet Have a tea duel and learn tea manners along with assorted guests of the tea party.

smbullet Don't miss the nightly Hatter's Mad Party at 7:00PM. It's a dance party not to be ignored, with music for everyone, plenty of room to dance and the Drink Me bar mixing up special concoctions to enhance the experience, if you so desire.


"But I don't want to go among mad people," Alice remarked.
"Oh, you can't help that," said the Cat: "we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad."
"How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn't have come here."

– the Cheshire Cat, when Alice asked it which way to go
Cheshire Cat


So. . .

Paint the roses red! Mind your own business! Experience the uncommon nonsense of puzzling changes! And imagine six impossible things before breakfast at the "Mad About the Fair" theme exhibit!