Since its incorporation in 1953, Costa Mesa has grown from a semi-rural farming community of 16,840 to a primarily suburban and “edge” city with an economy based on retail, commerce, and light manufacturing. The single largest center of commercial activity is South Coast Plaza, ashopping center noted for its architecture and size. The volume of sales generated by South Coast Plaza, on the strength of 322 stores, places it among the highest volume regional shopping centers in the nation.
Costa Mesa offers 26 parks, a municipal golf course, 26 public schools and 2 libraries. It is also home to the Orange County Fairgrounds, which hosts one of the largest fairs in California, the Orange County Fair, each July. The Fair receives more than one million visitors each year.
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