DEL MAR — Be prepared to play or be played at next year’s San Diego County Fair.
With Game On as its theme, the 2013 event will run June 8 through July 4.
The 22nd District Agricultural Association board of directors approved the theme and dates at its Sept. 11 meeting. Joe Harper, president of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, also announced next year’s horse race meet will run July 17 through Sept. 4.
Like music and food, games are an aspect of the fair we do well and this will be an opportunity to highlight that, Katie Philips, the exhibits manager, said.
Games bridge the generation gap and reach all demographics and ethnic groups, she added.
Plans are to focus on everything from nostalgic games everyone grew up playing to computer and video games, as well as future technology in the gaming world.
Philips said the theme will provide myriad opportunities for attendee participation and interaction.
Television game shows, arcades, the history and evolution of carnival games, horse racing, bingo and movies based on games will all be incorporated into exhibits and other fair activities.
The 24-day event will be closed the first three Mondays, June 10, 17 and 24.
The 2012 fair broke another all-time attendance record for the fourth consecutive year with 1,517,508 attendees.
New this year was a shuttle that was intended to take fairgoers into Del Mar and Solana Beach to shop and eat in those two cities. But it ended up working in reverse, with most riders taking the bus from those cities to get to the fair.
Director Fred Schenk said the 22nd DAA will try it again next year with improved marketing. He said he was pleased to see a 1.2 percent increase in fairgoers using offsite parking. “Next year I think we can do better,” he said.