In 2024, San Diego County Fair will go back to the past with ‘Let’s Go Retro’ theme

The San Diego County Fair will return in 2024 for a 20-day run starting June 12.
The San Diego County Fair will return in 2024 for a 20-day run starting June 12.
(Sandy Huffaker / For The San Diego Union-Tribune)

‘Let’s Go Retro’ was officially revealed as next year’s fair theme at the 22nd District Agricultural Association’s board meeting on Tuesday


After going outdoors this year with its “Get Out There” theme, the San Diego County Fair is planning to go back to the past in 2024 with its newly announced theme: “Let’s Go Retro.”

The theme was announced Tuesday, Sept. 12, at the board meeting of the 22nd District Agricultural Association, which produces the annual fair at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.

The fair will be held June 12 through July 7 — a total of 20 days, just two days shy of this year’s 22-day run.

“After a safe, fun, educational, and successful 2023 San Diego County Fair, we are thrilled to start looking ahead to a year that we will spend looking back — as well as imagining what will be considered ‘retro’ in the future,” Carlene Moore, district CEO, said in a statement.

“This theme is especially appropriate for our fair,” she said. “Through all the decades that we will explore in 2024, the San Diego County Fair served as a gathering place for our diverse communities. The fair remains a vital community asset today — a treasured event that brings people together, teaches them about the world around us, and celebrates fun and tradition.”

Many of this year’s new food items at the fair either have a s’mores theme or they’re covered in Flamin’ Hot Cheetos

June 13, 2023

This year, the fair welcomed 997,720 visitors, higher than the attendance figure of 973,508 in 2022 when the fair came back in full after a pandemic-induced absence. In 2019, total attendance reached 1.53 million over 27 days.

This year’s theme will take attendees through several decades, starting in the 1950s through the 1990s. Organizers are promising to bring back fashion hits and misses — from poodle skirts and bell bottoms to parachute pants and fanny packs.

In addition to fashion, the theme will touch every aspect of the fair’s usual fare of rides, entertainment, exhibits, agriculture, animals, art, food and music. Expect Pac-Man and Donkey Kong sightings along with ‘50s-era diner-style burgers, hippie hair and disco outfits.

The San Diego County Fair’s entertainment lineup has not yet been announced.