Around Town: Virtual Orange County Fair opens Friday

Adalyn Brizendine spins around on the tea cups ride at the Orange County Fair in Costa Mesa on July 20, 2019.
Adalyn Brizendine spins around on the tea cups ride at the Orange County Fair in Costa Mesa on July 20, 2019.
(Raul Roa / Staff Photographer)

The 2020 Virtual O.C. Fair — reconfigured to an online format due to the coronavirus pandemic — opens Friday and runs through Aug. 16 at

Several fair elements will be highlighted in a social media campaign that runs through July 26 and features fun content with which viewers can interact throughout the summer.

Videos of the fair’s favorite performers, photo galleries of summer memories, family activities, contests and more aim to keep people connected to the O.C. Fair no matter where they live. Even the annual Fun Run 5K has gone virtual, with actual prizes for winners.

Fairgoers can learn how to create crafts at home, see how deep-fried Oreos are made, take a tour of Centennial Farm, decipher a magic trick and get the best garden pesto recipe from O.C. Fair staff and partners. A virtual dance party in currently in the works.

From July 17 through August 16, visitors can enjoy an annual tradition without having to leave their homes, as the OC Virtual Fair rolls out online concerts, competitions and tours.

Hundreds of competitors are vying for virtual ribbons this year with online entries the public can vote for from home. Among the 33 unique categories this year are those created for these “unprecedented times,” including Doughmestic Baking, Home Landscapes, Best Hen House and photography categories like Bedhead, Empty Streets and Essential Workers.

We Care Wednesday takes place Wednesday, when participants can donate gently used clothing items at specific Goodwill of Orange County locations and receive one free ticket to the 2021 O.C. Fair and a coupon for a free Wahoo’s taco.

For more information on the 2020 Virtual O.C. Fair, visit or follow @ocfair on Twitter and @oc_fair on Instagram.

Food drive set for Tuesday in Huntington Beach

A canned/non-perishable food drive benefiting Beach Cities Pantry will be held Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Manning Park in Huntington Beach.

Event organizer Chaya Gottesmann said items being accepted included canned chili, fruits, tuna and chicken, as well as rice bags and pasta bags, boxes and sauces. Baby wipes, baby food, diapers, instant potatoes, peanut butter, jelly, Cup of Noodle soup and macaroni and cheese are also sought.

For more information, contact Gottesmann at

Laguna Beach unites to support youth shelter

The Laguna Beach Youth Shelter reported Thursday that it received donations from nearly 40 individuals and organizations since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, its largest basic needs donations from its surrounding community.

Among the organizations are the Laguna Presbyterian Church, Laguna Beach Police Assn., Assistance League, Women’s Club of Laguna Beach, St. Mary’s Episcopal Church Laguna Beach, Mimi’s Tailor & Design, Main Street Laguna Bar, World Newsstand and Laguna Beach Fire Fighters. Donations included items such as masks, meals, produce and snacks, games, books, clothing, household items and cleaning supplies.

“Amid the pandemic, we are so thankful to our local community that has answered the call and risen to the challenge when we needed it most,” said Carol Carlson, program director of the Children’s Crisis Residential Program for Waymakers, the organization that runs the youth shelter. “We are so proud to provide essential services to vulnerable individuals in Orange County, especially during this difficult time when it is needed most, and it would not be possible with the help of our neighbors, supporters and generous community.”

For more information on how to donate, visit

UCI offers summer class for high school students

UC Irvine is offering a four-week online course called “Leveling Up for College Success,” which teaches high school students transferable life skills and how to use past accomplishments to transition academically and personally into college.

The class will cover topics such as expectations of a college or university experience, time management, goal setting, building connections, problem solving, motivation, maximizing resources and study skills. The class is split into two sections, with the first running from Aug. 1-28, and the second session from Sept. 1-28. Enrollment in a section costs $75.

For more information or to sign up for the course, visit

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