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Persian New Year Will Draw Crowds to Irvine

From a Times Staff Writer

With warm weather predicted Sunday, thousands are expected to attend the Persian New Year festival of Sizdeh-Bedar at William R. Mason Regional Park in Irvine.

The gathering, which celebrates the 13th day of the Zoroastrian New Year, has been an Irvine spring tradition for more than 15 years, attracting Iranian families from throughout Southern California for feasting, dancing and catching up with old friends.

Irvine police urge motorists to avoid congestion near the park from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Roads to avoid include University Drive between the San Diego Freeway and MacArthur Boulevard, Culver Drive between Campus Drive and the freeway, and Harvard Avenue between Culver and Michelson drives.

In addition, access to Rancho San Joaquin village will be restricted to the vehicles of residents and their guests at the Sandburg Way entry off Culver Drive.

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Parking inside the park will be limited to about 600 vehicles. Because of the crowds expected, the vehicle entry may close as early as midmorning, park officials said.

The parking fee is $10.

Parking at area schools and churches is available for a fee. University High School, at Culver and Campus drives, will provide limited paid parking, as will UC Irvine.

Parking laws will be enforced, with vehicles parking in prohibited areas removed at the owners’ expense, police said.

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