The fairgrounds feel in a state of disrepair in recent years. The bathrooms have a lot of broken stuff and are almost always filthy. There are a lot of standing structures that need repair including the stadium seats. Areas for temporary vendor also aren't well kept. They have the same tents that have been used forever (holes and all).
The weekend swap meet is one of my favorites. It's $2.00/person to get in. Most of the vendors offer quality goods and the prices are usually pretty fair. I would recommend starting at one end and working your way through the rows. That way you're sure to cover the entire place and see everything.
I always have a great time when I come here. I much rather go to the OC Fair than the LA County Fair, which arguably is the same, but the LA one seems more of a hassle. This year, I was only able to make it once and it was for the Brew Hee Haw festival. My wife, my buddy, and I had a great time sampling!! I'll be back next year for sure! PRO TIP: When going to the fair, don't exit off the 55 freeway. Exit off of Harbor from the 405, head south to Fair Dr, and turn left. You'll get to the parking lot much quicker than being parked on an off ramp.
The OC Fair is a great tradition! Fun for all ages, and you can save a bundle if you keep an eye out for their special days and deals. We enjoyed the free shuttle this past year. I did find it hard to locate affordable soft drinks this last year. Granted, one always expects to pay a premium for refreshment at a fair... In years past, I found a good deal on refillable soft drinks and missed that this last year.