Fair Celebrates Community Heroes; Real People Who Do Extraordinary Things

Published On: June 10th, 2022


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Fair Celebrates Community Heroes; Real People Who Do Extraordinary Things

This year, the 2022 San Diego County Fair is hosting a celebration of fun on a heroic scale as “Heroes, Reunite!” The Fair opened Wednesday, June 8 and continues through Monday, July 4 at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. This year’s power-packed theme puts superheroes center-stage, but not everybody needs a cape to be a hero.

Beyond the superpowers of the larger-than-life characters we’ve grown up with in comic books and the silver screen, we went on a mission to find real life heroes, right here in San Diego County. Community Heroes are ordinary people who take extraordinary measures to make the world a better place. They are mentors, volunteers and do-gooders; veterans, nurses, first responders, doctors, teachers, and caregivers just to name a few.

This year’s Fair celebrates our neighbors right here in Southern California who have overcome monumental obstacles, shown great courage, and protect, nurture and bring joy to people around them.

In the Fair’s featured theme exhibit, the Hall of Heroes, guests can learn about the inspiring deeds of these Community Heroes. While you may be familiar with some of the names on our list, you’re certain to be introduced to others for the very first time.

Every evening in the Paddock at 7:45pm, an immersive Salute to Heroes video plays, honoring these inspiring individuals.

On the Fair’s opening day, Wednesday, June 8, several of the honorees and their families took to the Fair for a special reception and debut of the Community Heroes exhibit and Salute to Heroes video.

These Community Heroes go out of their way to improve the lives of the people they encounter, and we will be honoring them and sharing their stories throughout the Fair.

2022 San Diego County Fair Community Heroes:

  • Alan Scheuler, San Diego Civic Dance Arts
  • Alex Montoya, motivational speaker
  • Amanda Schoppmeyer, couponing philanthropist
  • Bonnie Baranoff, La Mesa community leader
  • Bree Rowand, Kylie Rowand Foundation
  • Cadence Mitchell, heart disease survivor and volunteer
  • Charles “Chaka” Webb, Stoke For Life Foundation
  • Christina (Tina) Calabrese, school principal
  • Derrick Miller, firefighter and pastor
  • Dylan Rodrigues, lemonade stand entrepreneur
  • Ernest Rady, health-care philanthropist
  • Jessica Meir, astronaut
  • Jim Watkins, community leader
  • Jonathan Wiese, San Diego Police Officer
  • Kathy Kinane, motivator through running
  • Kelly and Andy Smíšek, Frosted Faces Foundation
  • Lesia Stockall Cartelli, founder of Angel Faces
  • Leslie Reynolds, restorer of Chollas Creek
  • Michelle Parada co-founder, All Tribes American Indian Charter School
  • Michael “Big Mike” Phillips, Rob Benzon Foundation
  • Mike McElhiney, volunteer woodworker
  • Mim Michelove, farm-to-school food program
  • Pat Anderson, knitter of breast cancer prostheses
  • Patricia Justice, longtime police volunteer
  • Rhina Paredes-Gleeson, founder, Eric Paredes Save A Life Foundation
  • Ricochet, surf therapy dog
  • Roderick Sewell Jackson, Ironman challenged athlete
  • Steph Johnson, Founder, Voices Of Our City Choir
  • Ryan Yanni, super school volunteer
  • Susie Murphy, bike park activist
  • Tom Lightner, Turn Around For Vets
  • Tommy Sablan, media mentor
  • Yana & Vlad Khorenko, I Care Ministry


Heroes Re-Unite! The 2022 San Diego County Fair is back after a two-year hiatus with a celebration of epic proportions. Pow! Wham! Shazam! Superheroes are the stars of this year’s Fair, so embrace your inner hero and show off your superpowers Wednesday, June 8 through Monday, July 4 (closed on Mondays and Tuesdays in June) at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. You’ll soar through the air on adrenaline-pumping carnival rides, strike a power pose with your favorite superheroes, taste your way through the Fair’s superfoods, discover entertainment surprises around every corner, learn the science and history of being a superhero and meet real-life community heroes who put Clark Kent to shame. The San Diego County Fair admission and parking tickets are now limited and are only available for purchase online in advance. For more information, visit sdfair.com.

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