The Fair is back in a BIG way and AJ and Sara are here with an in depth guide. From the parking situation to crazy food options, from the new ticket buying process to concerts to watch for, they will get you ready for your visit. They also talk to the performers behind two of this year's biggest shows!
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Welcome to another episode of volume San Diego, the podcast that highlights the people in places that make San Diego awesome. Where your host, Aja and Sarah, and one of the biggest San Diego events going is back.
I'm talking about the San Diego county. Fair fun fact, Sarah, these are usually your thing, but our Fair is the biggest fair in America.
that's insane, right? It almost seems unfair here in Southern California where we have access to everything from SeaWorld to Disneyland. But yeah, it's the way it's, America's big, largest fair and kind of, you know, it feels like.
I don't know why. I would've thought that would be somewhere in the Midwest where you're right. Like where they don't have a lot of options for things to do, but
right. And where they're really into like showing off their pigs and doing old school fair things.
right. That's right.
We just take a break from our surfing and then a gourmet eating and
But the downside to it being gigantic is it can be overwhelming so much to see so many things to do so much food. So we're going to dedicate an entire episode to breaking it down.
Okay. Let's do it.
Let's go all in on the San Diego 📍 county.
Fair. We know you want to hear about the food. That's like the most exciting thing. So we won't make you wait very long for that, but it doesn't matter how delicious the food is.
If you can't get to it. So let's start with logistics. How much are tickets? What's the parking situation? Sarah. You've got that breakdown.
Yeah, this year's theme. First of all, is heroes reunite. This is the theme that they were going to have back in 2020, but then the world shut down. So they're bringing it back.
Heroes, reunite it's on now through July 4th, like it always is, your first stop this year is going to be the Fair's website, SD fare.com because the fare has gone completely. cashless. All your admission tickets, your parking passes. They have to be purchased online ahead of time for the day that you intend to use them.
Okay. So SD fare.com,
I just say,
I love that because my least part about a day at the fair is when you get there, then go have to stand in line and all those weird little, they look like port-a-potties waiting tickets to go in. So showing up and walking right to the gates with your tickets sounds amazing.
It actually will save you time. They did that with you. in mind. Um, adult tickets, that's your welcome. Adult tickets. That's everybody 13 to 61, $20 on the weekends, Friday, Saturdays and Sundays. Um, and also July 4th, lumped into the weekend prices, $15 Wednesdays and Thursdays. And you guys should know that the fair is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays that that's the worst. you're like, Let's go on Tuesday and you get there.
Seniors 62. Plus they get a few dollars savings on those regular adult prices, youth six to 12, $17 on the weekends and July 4th, $12, Wednesdays and Thursdays, and totally free on Fridays. And then kids five and under are free. Every.
And if you wanted to buy a ride band, they're $49, but you can save five bucks with a coupon from seven 11.
You just have to purchase a Pepsi product. And they're not doing season passes this year to kind of help control the crowds as they get back into regular fare. Yeah.
Let everyone get a chance to go for.
When it comes to parking, you've got a couple of options onsite and offsite. So let's start with the closest, to the fair and work our way out.
How about. that? Okay, Uh, preferred parking is $30. That's closest to the main
Uh, it opens at 9:00 AM and closes one hour after the fair closes and then there's general parking and the horse park $15. So that's either the main parking lot, um, or the salon gate entrance or the horse park, which is just a couple miles down the road from the fairgrounds.
All of that is first come first serve, um, as the lot fills up. they may Redirect you to the next closest
lot. And after you get out of preferred parking, everything farther back than that, you get on the little tram, right? So, you know, first ride of the day kids.
That's exactly. it That's exactly how they like to frame it.
Um, and then there's completely, off-site parking where yes, you get to, you make use of that shuttle. Um, that is totally free. And it's at Torrey Pines high school and it's right off of Delmar Heights road 37, 10. So that's, that's. all.
all right. So now you know where to get your tickets, where they cost, you know where to park, let's get you inside
eating. Cause we're all excited about. You mentioned the theme this year is heroes.
Can we just call chicken, Charlie? Because he really, he changed the game for fairs across the country. It used to be, my impression was you got a corn dog, you got some cotton candy. These were the fair foods and you moved on with your life. But this maniac started frying, Oreos, making all kinds of concoctions.
And now that's the thing to do it for ed fairs everywhere. It all comes back chicken.
He is a national hero, really? Not just a local hero.
Absolutely. So, of course he's frying up everything inside.
Let's just start with that. He's frying PB, and J's, he's frying chicken and waffles. He's frying up everything. Uh, but he does have some new creations. I'm going to throw at you, Sarah. These are some things you can try this year. Uh, how about a ramen? My man is taking a big tortilla. Okay. Follow me here, filling it with Funyuns some French, I guess, which are complicated complimented by the ramen noodles.
And then, uh, shrimp on top of that, rolling up into a burrito. That is your ramen burrito. Are you interested?
Wait, can you tell me, if, are you looking at a photo? Are the ramen noodles cooked? or Are they like those kinds of crunchy?
No, they're They're cooked.
that's the funny ones Yeah. The Funyuns is the.
Yes. Yes. The ramen. They're not, I assume they're not brothy.
Uh, but they are fact that you've got the shrimp going on. Truly. That's what
threw me off is if, if it was going to be brothy or not. So thank you for clarifying. Um, I would, I would, for sure try it. I don't really feel like chicken. Charlie has steered us wrong in the past and he always does things that seem weird at first and then you taste them and they totally work.
Okay. Well, you know, you might want to chase that down with.
Massive tater tot kegs. These are tater tots that
about four times the size of a standard tock and stuffed with everything from crab to pastrami. Uh, of course cheese. I mean, these are multi bite time.
No, that's the one I want you, you like buried the lead there.
That's what I want. I don't want a
Yeah. I think you're trying to fight about the ramen burrito and
I was okay.
are more choices. Uh, how about, okay. We'll stick with burritos. How about the hot Cheeto burrito?
I was wondering if Hot Cheetos were going to be a thing this year.
th they are not the star of this breed of the star of this burrito is actually Buffalo chicken, and then that's mixed with Mac and cheese and, and of course, bacon, and then the hot Cheetos, just coming to the end for a little flare,
I was like such a beautiful, hot mess.
know what I mean? Okay.
I just love the people eat these things before going on rides. I mean,
what, what, what are
putting your stomach through?
very, very delicious. No doubt.
an early favorite. If
at chicken Charlie's social media accounts, people are wolfing down
chicken, hot sheet up.
Read us. You can also try sticking with chicken, the Kool-Aid chicken sandwich.
My man is deep frying, your chicken Patty, and then the sauce is
cherry Kool-Aid with cayenne pepper. So you not only get that sweet and hot thing, you get this very bright red, uh, kind of amazing looking chicken sandwich,
to colors. not found in nature.
For sure. Yeah.
So that's sort of like a sweet and sour chicken sandwich with a twist. Yeah.
Sure I it's sweet and spicy. Yeah, I could go on, he's got his, crispy cream sandwich with chicken and ice cream on it.
So what boy, a whole lot going on there. Um, and then the fried Sanders, your Twinkies, your Oreos, your cookie dough, go see chicken, Charlotte. Again, I hero that we're saluting
said, we salute you, we salute UCC,
but you do have other options. A
great start. That was a great start.
maybe you're still hungry after hitting chicken Charlie's you can go to bacon affair, you know, their whole thing.
Isn't frying things. It's wrapping things in bacon, also a fair, favorite, uh, you can get bacon wrap, Turkey, legs, chocolate covered bacon, uh, cheesy bacon Bubs. And of course, bacon
other bacon things.
Yeah. I like, I like the, there's a theme here. Like chicken Charlie has, you know, like the chicken sandwich and a donut, and this guy has like the bacon.
wrapped. What was it something sweet?
have the chocolate covered bacon,
chocolate covered bacon. So it's like you're getting lunch and dessert sort of all wrap. You're just taking care of all of it in one fell swoop. Yeah.
matter of time before he's selling bacon shirts where you just wear it and then eat it at home.
You walked around.
Uh, how about an ice cream choice? This is kind of what you're talking about, Sarah, about having,
know, uh, savory and sweet options. Chuckwagon express. That's the big well-known barbecue spot. That's got a lot of seating. A lot of people end up there because the barbecue is very good.
And it's very spacious. Uh, this year they're selling a barbecue Sunday, no ice cream involved here. It's smoked brisket on top of barbecue beans
homemade coleslaw on top of mashed potatoes with a cherry on top.
Yeah. dude, There was really a cherry on top.
There is a cherry on top.
of like those KFC balls where they're just like throw everything in there and to get a spork and ag and get at it.
Honestly, it sounds kind of gross and good at the same time.
not get in there? That's Chuck wagon express. Uh, the gingerbread shop is Britain. Now we're into something truly sweet seven layer smores, Sarah.
starting with the layer of chocolate chip cookie dough. Following that with Graham crackers, then marshmallow cream, then
chocolate bars, then more Graham
crackers, then more cookie dough.
And finally it's covered in marshmallows toast. And smothered an ice cream and chocolate sauce and whipped cream. I'm exhausted. Just breaking that thing down.
Oh, I got, I'm going to throw up just hearing about all of it. It's so good though. Okay.
count, but that seemed like actually more than seven layers. That seemed like an awful, well, that
sounds like a lot.
Everything at the fair has to be very extreme. Right? I mean, you can't just show up with your average ice cream sundae,
has to be the extreme version. Okay. That sounds good.
feeling ambitious. I think I'm getting the seven layers, more walking over to chicken Charlotte and say, my friend, can you fry this for me?
And then take it over to the bacon affair, wrap that some bitch and bacon. And now, now I'm at the fair. That's
like the size of your torso. You're like, I'm just gonna eat my way. through this.
to get all the, all the Fairfield all in one thing.
Um, and then Pink's hot dogs is selling their Betty White dog. Apparently that was Betty's favorite,
dog with a cheese chili, onion, a pastrami.
I just threw that in because I know you loved back.
you go. I love Betty and That's a classic. That sounds good.
And that's just the tip of the fare food iceberg.
part of the fun is exploring. I'm not going to break down everything that they have, but you you've got some options
Do you think that my fair favorite is there?
I think they always are the Australian battered potatoes. I freaking love those things.
know what? That's
such a Southern California favorite. When I moved here in the early two thousands, when the fair would come to town, no one would stop talking about the Australian battered potatoes
Yeah. And they, they, they were, I feel like they probably hate chicken Charlie, because I think he kind of took their shine.
But I do think they probably around you get him with the ranch or the nacho cheese.
Yeah. It's all about the sauce. I mean, the potato part is fine, but it's like, I mean, really that's the superstar is the sauce.
Charlie probably walks by their
Go. What do you
Oh, oh yeah, that's adorable. What else?
have 42 things. I have 42 things on one item.
Oh my goodness.
that's all fun stuff. Okay. You're there. You've parked.
You've got a full stomach now. Uh,
not ready for the rides. You want to hit up a show?
are some pretty great ones coming this year, right?
To let your food digest.
have to go see a show. Yes. Okay. Let's start with the shows that are at the Corona grand stages. This is the main stage. So these are all the bigger shows. Uh, shaggy is coming up this Friday, the 10th. I don't like shaggy. Am I allowed to say that? I don't know.
Okay. It's you're allowed to not like go up.
We is he lick your boom boom down? Or is that no, no, that was snow.
no, no, Shay was it wasn't me with his big hit
Eh, I don't love that either, but it's better than,
looking at labels down
do that after Robin Brito.
lot of people love shaggy. That's this Friday, the 10th, a three 11 is Saturday. The 11th Los Tigres Del Norta is the Sunday, uh, Thursday, the sixth. Chris young, the Google dolls are coming on June 23rd, Sam hunt. Now I like Sam hut. see Sam. Okay. is the grabby. I'm getting, this. sorry. Shaggy move over. Cause Sam hunt is the, grab your girlfriends and go to the fair and see a show night.
That's June 24th. Uh, June 25th. That's when you can grab your buddies and go see John. Fogarty, We get Sam hunt.
You get John
at shaggy. Thank
You will. yeah, I could see you going to shaggy. Um,
Over John fogger days. All I'm saying
Okay. June 30th, you have comedy from Gabriel, fluffy Iglesias. Is this is a comedian that everybody knows, even if you don't recognize his name, if you saw his face, you'd be like, oh yeah, of course.
I've seen him everywhere. Um, July 3rd is Ebony dose vetted days and that's sort of, kind of closes out. They don't have a big show on that main stage on July. 4th. Um, so that's kind of closing out the fair as far as the main stage
Yeah, those are sort of the highlights right there.
And then you have the paddock concert series. This is where you can see all of those awesome tribute bands. These are great shows because you're going to go and you're going to be able to sing along to every song. Right? So this Friday, June 10th, we have petty fever. June 12th is a diva tribute band called who's that girl, June 15th Zoopla, which is a led Zeppelin tribute, the 16th Bohemian.
queen. I think you can kind of guess who they're, who these people are all covering.
Friday the 17th, the whalers on the 18th, there is an Elton John tribute with a guy named Kenny Metcalf and he looks so much like a young Elton John is awesome. Can't wait to hear what that guy sounds like. Wednesday. The 22nd, we have the Selena experience.
And then June 24th is who's bad.
This is a Michael Jackson tribute. One of the best tribute bands. It's going to be at the fair this year. And we're lucky enough to have the lead singer James with us and Wamsley. Who's the producer.
up guys? Thanks for joining us.
Yes. Hello? Hello.
I can't wait to get to, uh, to James, uh, but we have to start with the story behind the, the show. Uh, why was he giving us a little bit of the background of how the show was created and how it's evolved all over the country, but locally at the San Diego county fair.
Yeah. So 2004, I was, uh,
well, I guess 2004
was our first show. So 18 years ago,
We could we debut give you the show and it was kind of, uh, it was, it was my brainchild, but kind of as a fun project, wanted to remind people how amazing Michael Jackson's music. Through a live band, and that's kind of what created the impetus behind creating the project. I was a saxophone player. I wanted to have a horn section. What better music to be able to play some funky horn lines too, then Michael Jackson.
So fast forward to, you know, 2009 at this point. And you know, we started in North Carolina. That's where the band is based.
Through the years by 2007, we were touring across the country clearly because his music was so popular, we were getting booked everywhere. And then in 2009, unfortunately he passed away.
And that's when we actually got a call from the San Diego fair because they wanted to pay tribute as close to, as possible to the, to the day that he passed away. And then ever since then, we've been playing every year at the San Diego fair and you know, not only there, but after he passed away, the demand was so high, it's been a blessing Thailand, Saudi Arabia, uh, but San Diego fair is still one of our favorite places to play it because it's around the time that really commemorates his life and unfortunately his death. But we get to bring back the memories of this.
It's absolutely incredible. I know a lot of people are listening to this in podcast form, but we're also recording this and it'll be posted on YouTube. You got, you have to see James as Michael Jackson, as soon as he popped on the screen.
It's like, it's almost triple. because of the likeness and just like, I can see why it brings out such an emotional response.
Uh, and what's your inspiration, James? Obviously you must be an absolute massive fan of Michael.
You obviously, if you're able to, to portray one of the most talented musical performers ever, you've gotta be pretty darn talented yourself. What made you want to dedicate that talent to this?
I think it first comes from the love of music, the love of art, performing art entertainment. that's something that, that outside of, of tributing Michael is something that I, I want to dive into. And so, so that's first. And then of course, Michael Jackson is my number one, ultimate inspiration for all things entertainment.
you know, because he was, he was, you know, himself, all things entertaining. And so. everything
that I do on stage, you know, as, as inspired by what he did, but also it's inspired by the people that he himself was inspired by like Fred Astaire, James Brown, especially, any type of like, boom, like Boogaloo, pop, you know, lockers.
Like all those people are the types of people that taught him. That's where he learned from. And so those are. A lot of the tools that I use that help me to execute the performance that I do is what, through this bad,
It's a wild thing when you break down his skillset, because if he was just the dancer that he was, he would have been one of the best mainstream dancers of all time.
If he was just the singer that he was, he wouldn't go to the great vocalist of all time. If he was just one of the, you know, the way he created his shows, he could have just created these amazing show, everything he was the best at so many things. Um, how do you capture all that? How do you, you know, you know, all of those different elements of his talent?
Well, I done a lot of studying. A lot of watching, growing up, much, much more than, than is probably normal. And so, um, so I feel like I just, with his shows and just his music videos or short films, like everything he did, I feel like it's. Almost like in me too, like even though I didn't create it or had nothing to do with it, it's just that I feel like I've seen it and watched it so much.
Um, and I'm able to, to, to feel it and connect with it just the same. And then, and take that. What, what moves me and what drives me and. Try and execute that to the people that are his fans. So they can kind of get that same feeling
What are, what are some of your favorite songs I'm going to push you to try to pick your favorite song to perform in the tribute show?
I know it's hard
you can do a
was your top three. That's fine.
Okay. Top three, top three. I can do, uh, so we'll do want to be starting something, Billie Jean, definitely. And those are going to be my two, but one more. I would say black or white.
I think all the talent aside, one of the unique things about him was the mystery about him right here.
He had this almost Willy Wonka, like thing where, you know, if he showed himself and said a sentence, it was like, Ooh, you know,
what if he was here today, would he be on.
I don't think so. I really
I don't know.
either, you know, you're talking about a guy again who became world famous before the internet.
say, if anything, like he is to it, like he was Twitter, you know, like he didn't, he didn't need Twitter to, for people to follow him. Like everywhere he went, it was a spectacle, like just anywhere.
I agree. I can't imagine.
him putting out
Cobb salad for lunch. Yum. With a picture
then it gets 3 billion likes.
Yeah, right. You're right.
Everyone make, when you're making your plans plan around being here for this show, uh, you you've never seen anything like it, unless you've seen it before. Cause it's been going on here for a lot of years, and I know for a lot of people that, that is the tradition.
Right? Lot of people come back year after year.
24th, get there a little bit early, trying to get up in that front row. So that you can experience all of this up close. Awesome.
for joining us guys. We really appreciate you.
Yes. Thank you as well. Thank you very much.
mentioned who's that girl that's the diva tribute show also produced by Wamsley. So
say goodbye to James. We're going to welcome mohel. Who's one of the stars of that show and talk a little bit about who's that girl what's up.
guys? Thanks for joining us
Thanks. Thanks so much for
having me. Yeah.
Sounds like so much fun. Tell us a little bit about it and what makes it so
It truly is. It's been just a dream. It's a three, three leading ladies show. And, We, uh, we sing and we dance. We do a bunch of choreography, so it's, it's always something that's going to have your attention. You know, we're bringing it with the costumes, we're bringing it with the, with the moves and, um, of course all of the songs. So it's definitely a full entertainment,
fine for high energy.
Right. And it's not
just a Madonna
no. Oh no. We, we
cover almost every leading powerhouse diva of the last, 40 years, like covering every decade from Katy Perry, you know, to, yes, of course you have McDonald. We have
you know, Whitney Houston, so a little bit of everything.
and of course, a little bit of everything for every person. So
When you talk about these well-known divas from Madonna to Beyonce to get to
parody, lady Gaga,
they're also fun to watch. They're
mean, they all look like what they're doing is exhausting.
I mean, they really
put it all out there.
how do you, how do
you, uh, get your energy, you have to get through a show like this.
a great question.
I box, so that is like
what I do during
week and just
to keep my cardio up because without
that, I don't think I would be able
to hit any
know, beyond say apparently there was something that
years ago, where in order to, for her to keep her cardio and her stamina and seeing all the,
all the stuff that she sings, like she sings
while she runs on
So I was that girl in the
gym that will
while I'm hitting that. So that's, that's my way of being able to do this thing. Right.
the best song to sing while you're punching a heavy bag.
Um, shoot. That's a good one. I feel like, you know, crazy love just gets, gets my blood rushing.
people are like,
my God, this girl girl's singing crazy love, but she's the one who's crazy. What's going on?
And she just
gave us a little taste. Are we going to
on the spot and ask her to sing something for us as, or is it a little too early in the
listen, if it was like, you know, 5:00 AM, I might have my qualms,
but you know,
it's not too bad. It's
not too early.
We do a lot of, you know,
crazy, crazy. So we got
a little bit of that Wow. Love,
I'm sure the, the song choice and the musical choices, a lot of those come from . So give us a little bit of give us that sample of orange chicken. Tell us a bit about the songs we'll be hearing, uh, at the who's that girl.
we really covered the full spectrum. So you're talking about Madonna going
Katy Perry. And then you got the Beyonce and the Brittany Spears and Tina Turner, Whitney Houston, Cindy lopper, you know, so many great artists, you know, I mean, Kelly Clarkson pink,
Briana, you know, it's
that list goes on
and on and on.
It's just so much fun music.
I think one of the best things about taking in a show like this is,
going to know
every song that you guys are singing. You know, when you're at a concert, it could even be your favorite artists. But when they're like, oh, I'm going to sing something brand new, off my new record. You're like, oh, okay, well,
like you really want to be able to sing along. This is a perfect
so it's so fun just cause it, it truly like covers every spectrum of type of music to, you know, we have the disco, we have, you know, the pop, we have the rock we have the RMB, like it really is. So even if, you know, you have a specific genre music that you love. You're most likely going to hear your favorite song from that type
We know the shows on June 12th. What time should people get in there? What are the logistics effective? Where inside the fair did they need to be headed? Give us the scoop now that we all want to go see the show.
yeah. Paddock stage June 12th. It's a Sunday,
Um, and paddock stage. It's a
concert series right in
of the fairgrounds behind
📍 June 12th. Who's that girl. It's going to be a ton of fun. You can tell just by how fun they've been with us today. We look forward to it. We thank you for joining us guys.
Thank you so
see all that.
right. A couple of fun shows to check out there. Of course the rides are a big attraction to the fair. You don't need us to break down the rides
for you. Just go
there and pick the thing that spins you around or flips you upside down the way you find exciting and jump on that.
whatever your style is. Sideways
However you'd like
You do you. Um,
uh, the events I, Sarah, I was gonna break down some of the biggest events. And I'm telling you
the day today,
as of this recording, there are two day 92 different events at the fair.
Yeah. You cannot possibly begin to break them. all down.
So what you're gonna want to do is plan your day, uh, go to SD fair.com and they literally have a section called plan, your visit, click on the day.
You're going and make sure you, because you don't want to miss something there. You know, you go thinking about the food and the rides and where there are so many events.
get whoever organizes
gotta be an absolutely exhausting job.
Lot of fun to be
the fair. It's just getting
It just opened up. Get out there and check it out.
All you need to know is that the pig races are happening again this year. That's it? The rest is just like icing on the cake, icing on the 14 layer Sunday.
And if you,
the other thing you need to know is if you're looking
for Sarah Perry,
Sam hunt show, she'll be dancing and
down a barbecue sauce.
Um, yeah, just,
you know, like women deal when they start to get a little tipsy,
they think they're like
being So they're so soulful and they're, they think they're being sexy, but really you're like, Ooh, you're, you're about to fall over. So
harder to do when you're eating a Kool-Aid chicken sandwich.
All right. Thanks
haven't gotten a new review in a while and I feel bad that always begging for reviews, but the, the apple machine and the Spotify machine, they like us having new reviews. So if you have a minute go to apple podcasts or wherever you're listening to this or Spotify.
And if you could say a couple of nice words about us,
help us keep doing this podcast.
Yeah. Give us a subscriber, a follow, and as always, Hey, if you go check out all of this fun stuff at the fair, make sure to tag us at all in SD