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Locals descend upon Fairview Park for a day of festivities, music at ‘Concert in the Park’

Gabriel and Isabell Vega dance in front of the food truck during the return of Costa Mesa's "Concerts in the Park."
Gabriel and Isabell Vega dance in front of the food truck during the return of Costa Mesa’s “Concert in the Park” hosted by the city and the Costa Mesa Foundation at Fairview Park on Saturday.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

Residents from Costa Mesa and beyond came to Fairview Park Saturday afternoon for a temporary revival of a beloved local tradition, albeit in a modified format, enjoying “Concert in the Park.”

Hosted by the city and the Costa Mesa Foundation, the one-day affair attracted a large crowd, as friends and family members enjoyed a slate of activities — crafts for kids, a rib-eating contest and a dunk tank — as well as three live musical performances.

Ben Ka digs into 25 ribs at the rib eating contest during the return of Costa Mesa's "Concert in the Park."

Ben Ka digs into 25 ribs at the rib eating contest during the return of Costa Mesa’s “Concert in the Park.”
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

Until a pandemic cancellation last year, “Concerts in the Park” was traditionally hosted by the foundation as a series of single-act concerts held each Tuesday evening throughout July.

When amassing the volunteer hours needed to pull off such a feat got too tiring, foundation members were going to hold off on an event in 2021.

The Jasmine Fields band including Tim Daley, Randy Redmon, and Courtney Chambers, perform.
The Jasmine Fields band including Tim Daley, Randy Redmon, and Courtney Chambers, perform.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

That’s when Costa Mesa Mayor John Stephens talked with some city staff about turning a biennial Independence Day celebration into a full-day concert of local musical talent.

Saturday’s performers included Mariachi Juvenil Herencia Michoacana, country band Jasmine Fields and rock band the Tijuana Dogs.

Members of the Costa Mesa Foundation poured libations in a beer and wine garden, with all the proceeds going back to the nonprofit organizations and volunteer groups who helped organize, set up and man the show.

Guests arrive with beach chairs on the grass during the return of  "Concert in the Park."

Guests arrive with beach chairs on the grass during the return of “Concert in the Park.”
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

With Saturday’s festivities complete, it will be up to board members to decide the future of the series moving forward.

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