Costa Mesa’s Fairview Park to host modified ‘Concert in the Park’ Saturday only

Tijuana Dogs perform at Concerts in the Park in Costa Mesa in July 2019.
Matt Mauser, of local band Tijuana Dogs, performs at a Concerts in the Park event in Costa Mesa in July 2019. After being canceled last year due to the pandemic, a one-day concert comes to Fairview Park Saturday.
(Matt Fitt)

After a pandemic cancellation last year, Costa Mesa’s Concerts in the Park series will come roaring back to life Saturday afternoon as a one-day-only event with free musical performances, food trucks, a beer and wine garden and more.

Presented by the city of Costa Mesa and the Costa Mesa Foundation, “Concert in the Park” at the city’s Fairview Park kicks off at 1 p.m. and features three live bands whose musical stylings are a perfect pairing for an outdoor picnic or get-together.

Mayor John Stephens said city officials and staff were considering whether to reinstate a biennial Independence Day event when the idea came up to host a modified version of the concert series, traditionally held Tuesday evenings in July. A day-long celebration with multiple musical acts seemed like an ideal combination.

Costa Mesa’s Concerts in the Park, seen in July 2019. On Saturday at 1 p.m., a full-day free event comes to Fairview Park.
Costa Mesa’s Concerts in the Park, seen in July 2019, ran Tuesdays throughout July before being canceled last year. But on Saturday at 1 p.m., a full-day free Concert in the Park event comes to Fairview Park for one day only.
(Matt Fitt)

“I’m very excited about the event. There’s going to be stuff for everybody — face painting, gift giveaways, crafts for kids, a beer and wine garden,” Stephens said Tuesday, hinting he and other city officials might even take turns inside a dunk tank.

Pre-show activities designed for families and children begin at 1 p.m., just before Mariachi Juvenile Herencia Michocana takes the stage at 1:30 p.m. Local to Costa Mesa, the band’s members range in age from 10 to 18 and regularly offer up Mexican folk favorites for community events.

Then, at 3 p.m., Costa Mesa band Jasmine Fields will perform a mix of new country favorites with a sprinkling of classics, playing across the genre, from Miranda Lambert to Johnny Cash.

At 5 p.m., Huntington Beach rock/dance/party band Tijuana Dogs, who’ve performed alongside Pitbull, 50 Cent and Lynryrd Skynyrd, will deliver high-energy rock tunes designed to unleash the party animal within.

“It’s actually three concerts in one,” Stephens said. “So, you still go through the effort of getting there, but you get a lot more music for it.”

Costa Mesa Foundation board member Mary Fewel said while the city has assumed responsibility for organizing this year’s event and seeking sponsors, CMF members will still sell tickets to the beer and wine garden, with proceeds going to participating local organizations as grants.

Meanwhile, the foundation — whose volunteer members had become exhausted by prepping weekly concerts each July — will use Saturday to test the viability of hosting future concerts, perhaps in a modified format, moving forward.

“We think it’s going to be a great time,” Fewel said. “There isn’t going to be that much of a difference (from the usual concerts), except there’s going to be a lot more music.”

Guests are encouraged to arrive early and bring chairs and blankets for outdoor seating. Alcoholic drinks must be consumed inside the beer and wine garden, as open alcoholic containers, smoking and vaping are not permitted at the park.

Because parking is limited, organizers urge guests to walk, bike, carpool or rideshare to the event.

To help promote active transportation, the city’s public services department will open a temporary two-way cycle track on the west side of Placentia Avenue, from Fairview Park to Victoria Street, from noon until the end of the event. Temporary bike racks will be provided by the Costa Mesa Foundation.

Fairview Park is located at 2525 Placentia Ave., in Costa Mesa. For more, visit

Former Costa Mesa Mayor Katrina Foley, singer Matt Mauser, and Mayor John Stephens at Concerts in the Park in July 2019.
Former Costa Mesa Mayor Katrina Foley, left, Tijuana Dogs singer Matt Mauser, and current Mayor John Stephens at Concerts in the Park in July 2019.
(Matt Fitt)

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