A night of surprises for Costa Mesa’s 60th anniversary celebration

Despite soaring temperatures, the party-like atmosphere on Fair Drive continued Saturday as Costa Mesa celebrated its 60th anniversary.

The festivities, which began Friday and end Sunday, had just about everything: carnival rides, games, food vendors, fireworks and a little bit of Foo.

Chevy Metal, a cover band that features Taylor Hawkins and Chris Shiflett of the Grammy Award-winning Foo Fighters, was joined on stage by Dave Grohl as the band played into the night.

Earlier in the day, a 14-foot, 1,700-pound chocolate cake was served to council members, city employees and citizens.

Additionally, Costa Mesa artists participated in an art walk, showcasing various media like sculpting, painting and air brushing.

“Costa Mesa is the city of the arts,” said Al McCoy, a Newport Beach resident. “The art walk is a celebration of that, and I am honored to be involved.”

Councilwoman Sandra Genis noted the city’s accomplishment of going from bean fields to a city with houses, a performing arts center and a world-famous mall.

Saturday’s event also celebrated the military, with a tribute to Costa Mesa veterans. The ceremony also included performances from the 300th Army Band.

Sue Lester, a member of the 60th Anniversary Planning Committee, said an event like this was vital to Costa Mesa’s current state.

“I think [the anniversary] came at a critical time when our city has become fragmented over politics and differences of opinion,” she said. “It’s important that we marked this milestone, and made the effort to get everyone together and include everyone.”

Billy Folsom, a Costa Mesa resident of 52 years, agreed.

“Everyone has gotten away from politics for this event,” he said. “It’s been a rough few years for the city, its employees and residents. We needed a break from that, and all our political foes are our friends for this three-day celebration.”

Although the city celebrated its official birthday Saturday, council members said the city will continue to celebrate throughout the year. A scarecrow contest is planned for the fall, as well as classes teaching students about Costa Mesa’s history.

The festival will continue through Sunday with a car show, a Subway sandwich-eating contest and more live music.