Irvine’s annual Harvest Moon Ball, La Musica...


Irvine’s annual Harvest Moon Ball, La Musica y La Luna, was a cornucopia of autumn colors and celebration Saturday night at the Irvine Hilton and Towers.

Beside being the only event of the season where City Councilman Dave Baker could be seen wearing another hat--a sombrero, naturally--the evening gave representatives from different areas of community life (university officials, Irvine Co. executives, city government types and community leaders) an opportunity to enjoy one another’s company, without the usual politics and protocol.

Plans originally called for a poolside cocktail hour, but brisk winds forced party-goers inside where lavish buffets of both Mexican and just plain old fancy treats were offered--although the margarita bar was no doubt the preferred pre-dinner pit stop.


Seen sipping generous glasses of the pink concoction were Bill and Holly Ackman, the Irvine Co.’s Gary Hunt and his wife Joanne, Ralph and Penny Rodheim (he’s still plugging for the Irvine float entry in the Rose Parade) and Dr. and Mrs. Jerry Sinykin.

Tables were lit with colorful luminaria (those glowing paper candleholders) and mariachis serenaded the guests, a few of whom were adventurous enough to wear the prescribed Spanish formal attire.

Proceeds from the evening (which hadn’t been totaled at press time, according to ball chairwoman Mary Ellen Hadley) will be going to the Irvine Symphony. The symphony’s new conductor Roger Hickman told party-goers that the benefit ball “is a great boost for us, not only financially, but morally,” and invited everyone to attend the season opener Nov. 1.

Hickman, who hails from Hawaii, where he played viola with the Honolulu Symphony, says he much prefers Irvine and is looking forward to a “growth season”--perhaps even moving from the current recital hall at the South Coast Community Church into the brand new Orange County Performing Arts Center for a show or two.

Comments by ball officials were followed by a feisty flamenco dance troupe, which bowed off after nearly half an hour, allowing ball guests to take to the floor.