Customers waited after they ordered food on opening day of Chicken Charlie's in Grossmont Center in La Mesa
Customers waited after they ordered food online at Chicken Charlie’s temporary spot in Grossmont Center. Photo by Chris Stone

Fair food. Bah, you say. There’s no fair food this year. Do not tease us.

Au contraire, friends. Great minds have made fair food possible even without the full San Diego County Fair.

Magic! And the virtual fair is mighty fine too. Here’s how to enjoy the fair outside of Del Mar this year, whether in-person or online:

  • Food – What’s summer without deep-fried taffy? Head out to Grossmont Center in La Mesa, where you can find Chicken Charlie’s, the infamous fry-anything-you-can stand. Taffy’s the newest thing for 2020, but CC will serve up the normal fried chicken, shrimp, cookie dough and more. Find the stand near the center’s Walmart, but you must order and pay ahead online. Some stands also have been allowed to open at the Del Mar fairgrounds from noon to 6 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through June 27. They include Roxy’s, Copper Kettle and Snax Shack Funnel Cake and Ice Cream, at the Solana Beach entrance.
  • Virtual Photography Show – Scan through slideshows of the fair’s photography contest entries. Divisions include color, black & white, nature, landscapes, cell phone, digital art and more.
  • Student Showcase – An online feature on creations from students of all ages across the region posted online Thursday. Their pieces includes art, video, robotics, woodwork, drafting and fashion design.  
Mission Bay Park
An aerial view of Mission Bay Park, now fully re-opened. Photo by Phil Konstantin via Wikimedia Commons

Set for more recreation activities? Mission Bay Park opened up this week, along with, nice perk, parking! Fiesta Island opened too, for walking and cycling, but vehicles can’t enter until next month.

Balboa Park re-opened last month, but more sites within the park begin operations soon, including the San Diego Air & Space Museum, on Friday. Parking at the top San Diego attraction re-opens as well Friday.

We opened with food, we’ll close with food. Head to Little Italy after all your recreating, for an al fresco bite. Eater San Diego reported that 15 local faves there will move their tables out to the closed street so diners can enjoy a repast, social-distancing style. Street closures, from 5 to 10 p.m. Saturday, include India Street from Ash to Grape streets, and Beech, Cedar, Date and Fir streets from Kettner Boulevard to Columbia Street.

– Staff reports