Long list of local events fall in response to coronavirus

The Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa has canceled all events through March as a response to the coronavirus.
(File Photo)

Like dominoes, events in Orange County toppled Thursday following Gov. Gavin Newsom’s recommendation the night before to cancel any gatherings of 250 or more people to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Local venues that regularly host large gatherings scrambled Thursday to respond to the governor’s call, which limits gatherings through March to make all California residents adopt “social distancing” measures.

Meanwhile, the total number of coronavirus cases in Orange County has ticked up to six, according to the county Health Care Agency — four confirmed and two awaiting confirmation from federal officials.

Here are the local events canceled or postponed, plus related news:

Costa Mesa

Cancellations abounded in the City of the Arts on Thursday, just as the city declared a local emergency because of the virus that causes the respiratory disease known as COVID-19.

The OC Fair & Event Center announced that many events scheduled as late as June would not take place as scheduled:

  • “Volta” by Cirque du Soliel: Wednesday through April 19, suspended
  • Crossroads of the West Gun Show: March 21-22, canceled
  • OC Science and Engineering Fair: March 24-26, canceled
  • AAOC Trade Show and Conference: March 26, postponed
  • Mom Made Market: March 28-29, postponed
  • Flying Miz Daisy Vintage Market: March 28-29, canceled
  • Car Lab: March 28-29, canceled
  • California Bridal & Wedding Expo: March 29, canceled
  • First Robotics Competition: April 2-4, canceled
  • Autism Fragile X Foundation Autism Parade: April 11, canceled
  • Imaginology: April 17-19, canceled
  • SoCal Sanitary Supply Show: May 6, canceled
  • Goat Yoga Experience: May 9, canceled
  • OC PolyFest: May 9-10, canceled
  • FamFest – June 20-21, canceled

In addition to canceling events, the fairgrounds has placed several more hand sanitizing stations throughout the property, increased the number of cleanings of commonly used objects and trained staff about best practices for a safe and healthy environment, according to the OC Fair & Event Center website.

The Orange County Market Place, a weekend swap meet held at the fairgrounds, is temporarily closed.

The swap meet across the street at Orange Coast College also is closed until further notice.

The Segerstrom Center for the Arts has canceled events through March, including this weekend’s performances of “A Bronx Tale,” “Pink Martini” and “BEEP,” a show from Australia’s Windmill Theater Company.

“We appreciate the leadership of our public officials and will continue to monitor the situation as it evolves to ensure the health and well-being of our patrons, artists and staff,” a statement on the Segerstrom Center website read.

The other performances this month that are canceled or postponed, including by the Pacific Symphony and Orange County Philharmonic:

  • Beethoven Piano Concertos: March 19-21
  • “Don’t Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus! The Musical”: March 21-22
  • Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto: March 22
  • Rotterdam Philharmonic: March 24
  • “Dancing With the Stars Live”: March 25
  • Augustin Hadelich & Orion Weiss: March 26
  • “Broadway Legends: A Tribute To Hal Prince”: March 27
  • Cécile McLorin Salvant and Aaron Diehl Trio: March 28
  • Nowruz: Iranian New Year: March 28
  • Music Matters: March 29
  • Vibe Dance Competition: March 29

All free events at the Julianne and George Argyros Plaza are canceled through March.

Since call volume is high, the Segerstrom Center is encouraging patrons to email with preferences for how to handle their tickets.

South Coast Repertory notified its patrons that it will cancel public performances this weekend of the play “Outside Mullingar.” The theater is working on setting up online access to a recording of the performance. To reschedule tickets without a fee, call (714) 708-5555.

Spring classes at the SCR Theatre Conservatory will continue as scheduled.

South Coast Plaza

South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa said it has ramped up disinfecting door handles, handrails, concierge desks, restrooms, elevators, escalators and the carousel. More hand sanitizer dispensers are available throughout the mall, as well as upon request at concierge desks.

“It’s more important than ever in this evolving situation that we constantly take into account what’s in the best interest of all of our family and friends at South Coast Plaza,” spokeswoman Debra Gunn Downing said in a statement.

Laguna Beach

The city of Laguna Beach is considering limiting upcoming meeting agendas by postponing items that are likely to draw large crowds. That includes the March 24 special City Council meeting to discuss the Downtown Specific Plan, as well as a Downtown Action Plan discussion scheduled by the Planning Commission on Wednesday.

Tuesday’s City Council meeting will continue as scheduled.

The city said it currently has no plans to close any facilities, and the library and trolley system will continue to operate.

However, all senior classes and other programming have been canceled through March at the Community & Susi Q Center.

The following city-sponsored events also are being canceled or postponed:

  • Police Department Citizens Academy
  • Leadership Laguna Citizens Academy
  • Weekly farmers market, through March

After having said Thursday that they planned to remain open, the Laguna Playhouse and the Laguna Art Museum announced Friday that they are shutting down.

The Laguna Playhouse decided to cancel all performances of “Barefoot in the Park” beginning Saturday. The playhouse will remain closed to the public until further notice. All ticket holders will receive an email and a phone call with ticket options, the venue said.

The Laguna Art Museum will close from Saturday to at least April 2. Updates are available at

Huntington Beach

The Huntington Beach Academy for the Performing Arts had planned performances of “Beauty and the Beast” this weekend and March 20-22, but spokeswoman Nicole Perreira said the play has been postponed for two weeks.

The World Surf League canceled all its March events worldwide, including the Jack’s Surfboards Pro in Huntington Beach scheduled for March 26-29.

The Orange County Women’s Chorus is canceling concerts scheduled for this weekend at St. Wilfrid of York Episcopal Church. Patrons can refund tickets, exchange them for a June concert or donate to the chorus.

The city announced Thursday night that all special programming at the senior center and library has been shut down. It also said the following community events have been canceled or postponed:

  • 3/1 Run: Saturday
  • Kite Party: Saturday and Sunday
  • Beachcruiser Meet car show: March 21
  • OC Yoga Festival: March 28-29
  • Ragnar Relay: April 2-3
  • International Jet Sports Boating Assn. competition: April 3-5
  • Bunny Run: April 4
  • Corgi Beach Day: April 4
  • Easter Hunt: April 11
  • Easter in the Park: April 12
  • Sunrise service at the pier: April 12
  • Surf City Nights: weekly
  • Pier Plaza Art Afaire: weekly

A new city website,, provides more information and updates.

Newport Beach

Newport’s Oasis Senior Center will close Friday and stay shuttered through April 3.

Visitors work out in this file photo in the fitness center at the Oasis Senior Center in Newport Beach, which will close Friday through April 3.
Visitors work out in this file photo in the fitness center at the Oasis Senior Center in Newport Beach, which will close Friday through April 3.
(File Photo)

City-sponsored events being canceled or postponed:

  • Teen job fair: March 21
  • Youth track meet: March 27
  • Mayor’s Egg Race: April 4
  • Oasis Volunteer Recognition: April 22
  • Special Olympics Basketball Tournament: April 25
  • All indoor recreation classes: through March
  • All events at Newport Beach Public Library branches: through March

Additionally, the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce has postponed all of its remaining March events, including the annual Police Appreciation Breakfast set for March 20.

Functions that will continue:

  • Senior meal delivery and transportation services for essential needs such as medical appointments and grocery shopping.
  • After-school care programs at the Community Youth Center and Newport, Newport Coast, Mariners and Newport Heights elementary schools.
  • City Council and Planning Commission meetings. These meetings have long been televised and streamed online. The city will send out instructions on how to view and submit comments via email. Other commission and committee meetings may be moved to the council chamber so they can be streamed as well. Some commission and committee meetings may be rescheduled if deemed nonessential.

City Hall and library buildings will remain open, with increased cleaning of high-contact surfaces such as front counters, door knobs and elevator buttons, and workers will reconfigure waiting room furniture and library computer terminals to encourage social distancing.

“While we recognize the impact that these steps will have on many of our residents, our first priority is to protect public health,” Mayor Will O’Neill said in a statement Thursday. “By following the California Department of Public Health guidelines, the city of Newport Beach will do everything we can to help slow the transmission of COVID-19.”

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2:40 p.m. March 13, 2020: This article was originally published at 7:40 p.m. March 12 and has been updated with new information.