Fair announces first acts of grandstand lineup

DEL MAR — Music genres from alternative rock and jazz to disco, country and classic oldies will be represented during the 2017 San Diego County Fair, which opens at 4 p.m. June 2 and runs through July 4.

The 22nd District Agricultural Association, which governs the Del Mar Fairgrounds, approved the first round of contracts for the summer concert series at it March 14 meeting.

The grandstand stage lineup includes Patti LaBelle, Toby Keith, Darius Rucker, Switchfoot, Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons and comedians Jeff Foxworthy and Anjelah Johnson.

Country singer Toby Keith is one of the grandstand stage at this year’s San Diego County Fair, which opens June 2 through July 4. Courtesy photo

Country singer Toby Keith is one of the grandstand stage at this year’s San Diego County Fair, which opens June 2 through July 4. Courtesy photo

Scheduled to appear in the Paddock Concert Series are The Yardbirds — the English band that launched the careers of guitarists Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck — Aaron Tippin and Los Lobos.

Rita Coolidge, Don McLean, the Pointer Sisters and Jay and the Americans will perform in the Solid Gold Concert Series.

“This is a great broad-brush of entertainment to bring to the county fair,” 22nd DAA Director Fred Schenk said. “This is just the beginning. We’re going to have more.”

“We’re off to a great start,” President Russ Penniman added.

Most concerts are free with fair admission on the third and fifth levels of the grandstand. Reserved seats are also available and some shows offer a dinner package at the Turf Club on the fourth floor.

Fair admission is up $2 this year, to $18 for adults. Tickets for seniors 62 and older and children 6 to 12 are $11. Anyone 5 and younger is free. The “Best Pass Ever” is $26 and includes unlimited admission daily.

With the theme “Where the West is Fun,” this year’s fair will feature a Wild West saloon, panning for gold, a stunt show and numerous Western-themed educational and historic exhibits.

Beginning in May, 1,006 banners will be hung in 25 cities as part of a program that began in 2008.

The participating cities choose who will be on the banners, said Katie Mueller, deputy general manager. The fairgrounds sets up the photo shoot and returns the banners to the cities after the fair.

The program began with 259 banners hung around the fairgrounds. In 2011 there were 15 participating cities.

“It’s really a unique way for the fair to be out in the community and showcasing residents,” she added.

Tickets for the fair, paid shows, dinner packages and reserved seats are available at the O’Brien Gate box office from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, through Ticketmaster or by calling (800) 745-3000.

The fair is closed the first four Mondays and first three Tuesdays. Visit sdfair.com for more information.

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