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Around Town: Huntington Beach Cherry Blossom Festival comes to Central Park on Sunday

Children from St. Wilfred’s Episcopal Preschool perform during last year’s Cherry Blossom Festival in Huntington Beach. This year’s event is Sunday at Huntington’s Central Park.
(File Photo)

The fifth annual Huntington Beach Cherry Blossom Festival is set for Sunday.

The festival will feature Japanese music, food, dancing and cultural exhibits. It also will include the 35th cultural exchange with Huntington Beach’s sister city, Anjo, Japan.

The free event runs from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Central Park bandstand, behind the Central Library, at 7111 Talbert Ave.

For more information, call (714) 615-7774.


Newport Beach to ramp up DUI patrols for St. Patrick’s Day weekend

Newport Beach police will have additional officers on the lookout for intoxicated drivers during St. Patrick’s Day weekend.

The officers will be in areas where DUI crashes and arrests commonly occur. The extra patrols will last between 6 p.m. Friday and about 6 a.m. Sunday. Funding is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety.

In 2016, 60 people nationwide died as a result of drunk-driving collisions over St. Patrick’s Day weekend, according to the Police Department.

Argyros Plaza to host free concerts

The Julianne and George Argyros Plaza at Costa Mesa’s Segerstrom Center for the Arts will host free concerts from 6:15 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.


The Flying Seeds, a Chinese singing group, will perform folk songs from Taiwan before the evening performances by the Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan in Segerstrom Hall.

VW bus show Saturday at Huntington Beach Pier

The Kowabunga Van Klan of Huntington Beach Car Show comes to Huntington Beach Pier Plaza on Saturday.

The event, presented by the International Surfing Museum in Huntington Beach, will showcase Volkswagen buses from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission is free.

Assistance League hosts fundraiser gala

The Assistance League of Newport-Mesa will present the 10th annual “Dancing for Tomorrow’s Stars” gala at 6 p.m. Saturday.

The fundraiser will include cocktails, dinner and a dancing competition at City National Grove of Anaheim.

Tickets are $250. For more information, visit

Paul Mitchell School to donate salon treatments

Adults with developmental disabilities who are clients of Project Independence, a Costa Mesa-based nonprofit, will be treated to free salon treatments Sunday from the Paul Mitchell School in Costa Mesa.

The services will include hairstyling, haircuts and skin care, according to a news release.


Toshiba golf tournament raises $1 million, gets new name

The 23rd annual Toshiba Classic golf tournament, which ended Sunday at the Newport Beach Country Club, raised more than $1 million for Hoag Hospital and other causes, according to a news release.

Vijay Singh won the event, which has raised more than $20 million for Hoag in the past 20 years.

Officials also announced that the tournament will be renamed the Hoag Classic next year.

The 2019 event is scheduled for March 4-10 at the Newport Beach Country Club.

CdM chamber hosts Newport mayor Tuesday

The Corona del Mar Chamber of Commerce will host Newport Beach Mayor Marshall “Duffy” Duffield on Tuesday for a talk about the city’s planning goals and budget.

The event at Bayside Restaurant, 900 Bayside Drive, will begin at 11:30 a.m. Tickets start at $30. Reservations are required.

Tickets are available at or by calling (949) 673-4050.

Vanguard University unveils renovated theater

Vanguard University in Costa Mesa recently unveiled its renovated theater with a performance of “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.”


The Lyceum Theater was given $650,000 in renovations, including a backstage dressing room, guest restrooms and a multipurpose space for academic instruction, according to a news release.

The project was spearheaded by Kevin Coleman, founder and chief executive of Costa Mesa-based Net Development Co.

“This marks a new chapter for the department and its patrons,” Susan Berkompas, chairwoman of Vanguard’s theater department, said in a statement. “The growth of the theater arts program — increased audiences, enrolled students and degree courses — placed extraordinary demands on the theater, but this renovation enables the department to attract the most talented students, faculty and theater patrons.”

Mesa Water District again named a District of Distinction

The Mesa Water District has been reaccredited as a District of Distinction by the Special District Leadership Foundation “for its sound fiscal management policies and practices in district operations,” officials said. It received the biannual award for the sixth consecutive time.

To qualify, Mesa Water’s operations and website were independently reviewed, according to a news release.

“Due to the efforts of our staff, management team and board members, Mesa Water has again achieved the highest transparency performance standards,” district board President Jim Atkinson said in a statement.

Heroes Hall event will honor female military members

The Heroes Hall veterans museum in Costa Mesa will host “A Salute to Women” on March 22 to honor female veterans and active military members.

The free event will run from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the museum at the Orange County fairgrounds, 88 Fair Drive.

For more information, visit

Tsunami experts to present preparedness workshop in Newport

The city of Newport Beach will hold a tsunami awareness workshop from 6:30 to 8 p.m. March 22 at the Central Library, 1000 Avocado Ave.

Experts from the city and state will teach about tsunami threats and what residents can do to prepare.

For more information, email

Junior League looking for volunteers for beach cleanup

The Junior League of Orange County, based in Newport Beach, is looking for children and their families to join a beach cleanup from 1 to 3 p.m. March 25.

For more information, email

Ensign students to show off engineering projects

Ensign Intermediate School in Newport Beach will host a showcase March 28 for students’ engineering projects, including robots and toy prototypes.

The event will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. at the school, 2000 Cliff Drive.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Huntington Valley opens spring break registration

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Huntington Valley is accepting applications for spring break camp.

The camp will run from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 2-6. It will offer optional field trips.

For more information, call (714) 899-5900 or visit

‘Van Gogh’ author to speak in Costa Mesa

Friends of the Costa Mesa Libraries will present author William Havlicek at 4 p.m. April 8 at Inspired Art Wine, 1500 Adams Ave.

Havlicek, a fine-art exhibitor and a teacher at the Laguna College of Art + Design, will talk about his book, “Van Gogh’s Untold Journey.”

Admission is $10. For more information, call Bob Ooten at (714) 545-9613.

Festival of Arts Foundation donates $100,000 to nonprofits

The Festival of Arts Foundation in Laguna Beach has given $100,000 in grants to local nonprofits, according to a news release.

The recipients are Art4Kids Inc., Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach, Community Art Project, Festival of Arts, Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach Chamber Singers Inc., Laguna Beach High School art department, band boosters, ceramics, dance and performing arts; Laguna Beach Live, Laguna Beach Seniors, Laguna College of Art + Design, Laguna Community Concert Band, Laguna Dance Festival, Laguna Outreach for Community Arts, Laguna Plein Air Painters Assn., LagunaTunes Inc., Master Chorale of Saddleback Valley, No Square Theatre, Sawdust Art Enrichment Fund and Laguna Playhouse.

Wells Fargo hosts new art exhibit in Laguna

The Festival of Arts has organized a new exhibit, “Fresh Faces 2018,” which is open through June 1.

It features the works of 16 artists in a wide range of media, including painting, photography and pastels.

The exhibit is in the Third Floor Gallery at Wells Fargo, 260 Ocean Ave., Laguna Beach.

Laguna students advance to state Destination Imagination tournament

Teams from Laguna Beach High School, Thurston Middle School and Top of the World Elementary School have advanced to the state competition in Destination Imagination, where they will present various scientific and technical projects.

The competition will be in April in Clovis.


10 a.m. March 16: This article was updated with the Mesa Water District item.

This article was originally published at 5:30 p.m. March 15.