Around Town: Cherry Blossom Festival returns to H.B. this weekend

Around Town: Cherry Blossom Festival returns to H.B. this weekend
Japanese paper lanterns decorate the 2017 Orange County Cherry Blossom Festival in Huntington Beach. The three-day festival returns to Central Park this weekend. (File Photo)

The sixth annual Orange County Cherry Blossom Festival will return Friday through Sunday at Huntington Beach Central Park, 18000 Goldenwest St.

The free event will run from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.


There will be more than 50 vendors and 27 performances celebrating Japanese culture, as well as a night market.

For more information, visit


Orange Coast College presents ‘Radium Girls’

Orange Coast College’s theater department will perform “Radium Girls” Friday to Sunday and March 22-24.

The play — about 20th-century women who were exposed to toxic radiation — will run at 7:30 p.m. each day, except for a 2:30 p.m. performance March 24.

“This is a compelling moment in history where female workers were able to sue and hold accountable a large corporation for work-related injuries that they had suffered,” said director Naomi Buckley. “It paved the way for many more class-action lawsuits that would allow for greater workplace accountability and worker safety. There are themes of class inequality, gender equality in the workplace and big ethical issues that the show raises.”

Tickets are available for $10 at or $15 at the door.

The college is at 2701 Fairview Road, Costa Mesa.

H.B. academy to perform ‘Phantom of the Opera’

The Huntington Beach Academy for the Performing Arts will present “The Phantom of the Opera” from Friday to Sunday and March 21-24.

The play will be held at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays at the Huntington Beach High School auditorium, 1901 Main St.

Landscape designer to speak in Corona del Mar

Dustin Gimbel, a landscape and ceramics designer, will speak from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday at Sherman Library & Gardens, 2647 E. Coast Hwy., Corona del Mar.

Registration is required by visiting

OCC symposium to award prizes to students for research

Students at Orange Coast College will present their work to the public Friday in the third annual Giles T. Brown Student Project and Research Symposium.

Students have a chance to receive $1,000, $500 or $100, based on their presentation and content of their work.

The college is at 2701 Fairview Road, Costa Mesa.

Classic-car show comes to OC Fair & Event Center

An auto show will bring vintage cars and celebrities to the OC Fair & Event Center this weekend.

The event will run from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa.

Celebrities will include Adam Carolla, Dave Kindig and Wayne Carini. There also will be live restorations and detailing demonstrations.

General admission is $20.

For more information, visit

Art installation honoring Historic Wintersburg set Saturday in H.B.

The public is invited to an art installation from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday in Huntington Beach honoring Historic Wintersburg, site of the county’s first Japanese Presbyterian church.

The installation, at 7290 Edinger Ave., will feature a sculptural column, art glass with water lillies, a fountain and a “fish pond” with references to the Furuta Gold Fish Farm in Wintersburg Village.

Huntington Beach Mayor Erik Peterson and Shigeru Kikuma of the Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles are scheduled to attend. There also will be a classical Japanese dance performance by Nancy Hayata.

The event is presented by the Historic Wintersburg Preservation Task Force, a city-sponsored ad hoc committee.

Tickets on sale Saturday for concerts at fairgrounds

Tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. Saturday for four newly announced summer shows at the OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa.

Jackson Browne will perform Aug. 16 at the Pacific Amphitheatre as part of the Toyota Summer Concert Series.

Coming to the Hangar are Ozomatli on July 21, Queen tribute band Queen Nation on July 24 and Fleetwood Mac tribute band Rumours on July 25.

Tickets are available via Ticketmaster.

Vegan athlete to start 3,200-mile run in H.B.

Vegan athlete Robbie Balenger will begin a 3,200-mile run in Huntington Beach on Saturday to promote NadaMoo vegan ice cream.

Balenger will run 43 miles a day for 75 days to accomplish the cross-continent feat.


He will eat only plants and the vegan ice cream on his journey.


Newport Beach library to host ‘Sleeping Beauty for Kids’

The Newport Beach Public Library will host two free performances of “Sleeping Beauty for Kids” at 10 and 11:30 a.m. Saturday at 1000 Avocado Ave.

The Festival Ballet Theatre will perform the program, an abridged version of the classic fairy tale.

For more information, visit

Artist to hold event in Newport Beach

Artist Robert Bissell will make an appearance from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday at the Lahaina Galleries in Newport Beach to celebrate the release of his new book, “Spirit: The Art of Robert Bissell.”

The book features more than 100 of Bissell’s art pieces that highlight the connection between humans and animals.

The gallery is at 1173 Newport Center Drive.

For more information, visit

Free waste disposal event slated for Laguna Beach

A free waste disposal event will be held from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at Laguna Beach city maintenance facilities at 1900 Laguna Canyon Road.

Residents and businesses can get rid of old paint, batteries and electronic products.

For more information, visit

Camp’s open house to include rock wall and mini golf

Camp James in Newport Beach will offer an open house with a rock wall, miniature golf and a bounce house from Saturday to May 29.

The open house will be available from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily at the campgrounds, 101 N. Bayside Drive.

For more information, visit

Laguna Beach luncheon to feature female authors

The American Assn. of University Women of Laguna Beach will hold a luncheon Saturday to celebrate National Women’s Month with three visiting female authors.

The event will be from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Surf & Sand Resort, 1555 S. Coast Hwy.

Guests can meet writers Sejal Badani (“The Storyteller’s Secret”), Janet Fitch (“The Revolution of Marina M”) and Anita Hughes (“California Summer”) and buy their books, bid on silent-auction items and purchase raffle tickets.

Spirit Run to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Newport Beach

The 36th annual Spirit Run celebrating St. Patrick’s Day will begin at 6 a.m. Sunday at the Edwards Big Newport 6 cinemas, 300 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach.

Adult events include a 5K, 10K, 15K, mile run and 5K walk. Youth events include a 5K, six quarter-mile races and an event for toddlers.

Proceeds will benefit the Newport-Mesa Unified School District.

For more information, visit

Ocean View School District honors Teachers of the Year

Two Ocean View School District educators were recently honored as Teachers of the Year.

Jennifer Luu of Vista View Middle School in Fountain Valley was named middle school teacher of the year and Jenifer de Lachica of Harbour View Elementary School in Huntington Beach was elementary school teacher of the year.

“It is such an honor to recognize these outstanding educators,” district Supt. Carol Hansen said in a statement. “Both of these teachers are wonderful examples of how we can positively impact students’ lives, not only through strong academic programs but by building developmental relationships with each student.”

Donations being accepted for Costa Mesa homeless shelter

Supporters of Costa Mesa’s upcoming homeless shelter can put their money where their mouths are following the launch of a new donation web page.

The page, created through a partnership with the Costa Mesa Community Foundation, is available at

Donations will go toward offsetting security and operational costs at the shelter, which is expected to open next month at Lighthouse Church of the Nazarene, 1885 Anaheim Ave.

The shelter is expected to operate for about a year at Lighthouse before moving to a longer-term location, potentially at 3175 Airway Ave.

Laguna approves summer parking plan

The Laguna Beach City Council this week unanimously approved the city’s annual summer parking management plan, including an employee-referral pilot program to recruit new employees.

Like last year, the parking meter rate downtown and at the Glenneyre parking structure will be $4.50 an hour. Summer enforcement will be extended from 7 to 9 p.m.

The rate increased last year to $4.50 an hour from $3.75 in 2017. Rates were $3 in 2016 and $2 in 2015.

Resident Sharon Fudge asked that the city inform the California Coastal Commission about the rate hikes, as they could potentially require a coastal permit. City Manager John Pietig said he would file a letter with the commission and report back to the City Council. He added that rate adjustments are part of the city’s ongoing efforts to try different pricing strategies and see their effects on parking and downtown congestion.

Local young people get etiquette lesson at dinner

Twenty-two members of the Newport Mesa chapter of the National League of Young Men joined 22 girls and young women from the National Charity League for a dinner and etiquette lesson March 3 at the Harbor View Hills neighborhood clubhouse in Corona del Mar.


The young men were taught how to greet the ladies and then set the tables before they arrived for a social hour and a three-course meal while Susan Werner of Addington Cotillion offered etiquette tips.


Free ‘Hailing César’ screening set at Orange Coast College

Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa will host a free screening Tuesday of “Hailing César,” a documentary about late labor-rights activist César Chavez.

Chavez’s grandson, Eduardo Chavez, directed the hour-long documentary. He and the film’s producer, Sirous Thampi, will lead a discussion after the showing at OCC’s Fine Art Lecture Hall.

The screening is set for 6 p.m. OCC is at 2701 Fairview Road.

Author to speak about biggest library fire in U.S. history

The Newport Beach Public Library will host an event March 21 with Susan Orlean, author of “The Library Book,” which details a 1986 fire at the Los Angeles Public Library that was the biggest library fire in American history.

The event will run from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at 1000 Avocado Ave.

Admission is $21 for Newport Beach Public Library Foundation members and $27 for nonmembers.

For more information, visit

Newport Beach Film Festival representative to speak about event’s 20th anniversary

Dennis Baker, director of shorts programming for the Newport Beach Film Festival, will speak about the history of the event at 7:30 a.m. March 21 during the Corona del Mar Residents Assn.’s monthly board meeting.

The festival is in its 20th year.

The meeting will be in Room 5 at the Oasis Senior Center, 801 Narcissus Ave., Corona del Mar. For more information, visit or call (949) 478-2454.

Tickets available for Glennwood Housing Foundation gala

Laguna Beach’s Glennwood Housing Foundation announced that tickets and sponsorships are available for the organization’s “Under Laguna’s Big Top” gala April 13. Proceeds will benefit the foundation, which provides independent living for intellectually and/or developmentally disabled young adults.

The event, from 6 to 10 p.m., will feature an all-children aerial and art circus, dinner, cocktails and a silent auction. Henri DiCarlo, meteorologist and sportscaster for “KTLA Morning News,” will emcee the event at the Festival of Arts grounds in Laguna Beach.

For more information, visit

Low-cost pet spay and neuter program offered

Residents of Laguna Beach and Laguna Woods can have their dogs and cats spayed or neutered in April with a low-cost voucher from the nonprofit Protecting Unwanted Pets at the Laguna Beach Animal Shelter. The vouchers cost $15 to $40 for neuters and $25 to $75 for spays, based on the weight of the pet.

Residents can pick up the vouchers — with a maximum of two per household — until March 31 at the animal shelter, 20612 Laguna Canyon Road.

The vouchers are good in April at Canyon Animal Hospital, Laguna Beach Animal Hospital and Laguna Beach Veterinary Medical Center.