O.C. Bargainista: Enjoy the theater for nothing

Freebie of the Week: Hurry to participate in this one. Free Night of Theater 2010 has released free pairs of tickets to hundreds of October performances and events nationwide, including dozens in Orange County. Local shows with tickets still available as of press time include the Hutchins Consort at St. Mark Presbyterian Church in Newport Beach on Oct. 17; "Misalliance" at South Coast Repertory on Friday; and "What Makes Music Beautiful" with pianist and conductor Leon Fleisher at the Irvine Barclay Theatre on Oct. 18. One pair per household, while supplies last. Visit freenightoftheater.net.

Shop designer for charity

For great rates on designer duds — all for a great cause — hit Working Wardrobes' opening of its resale boutique, the Hanger and Allure Couture, from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at 3030 Pullman St., Costa Mesa. Wine will be provided by Prego Ristorante; designer clothing will include labels like St. John, Tommy Bahama and Escada. All proceeds benefit the organization, which helps people in need enter the workforce with wardrobe services and career development. The cost of admission is a gently used bag or bangle. For more information, call (714) 573-0899. To make a reservation, e-mail Beth Quezada at beth@echomediapr.com.

Say you saw sand sculptures

Sunday, hit the beach for the 49th annual Sandcastle Contest, Treasures of the Sea, held by the Commodores Club of the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce, from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Corona del Mar State Beach, at Marguerite Avenue and Ocean Boulevard. Thousands of spectators will view groups ranging from children to professional architects, all competing for awards like Most Humorous Creation. Visit newportbeach.com.

Stock up for winter

In need of comfortable, stylish and elegant lifestyle knits? Stop by the Allen Allen Warehouse Sale from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday or noon to 5 p.m. Sunday at 2323 Main St., Irvine. Savings include up to 75% off overstock and samples.

Teach kids about culture

For a fun, free day with the family, consider the Irvine Global Village Festival from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at Col. Bill Barber Community Park, 4 Civic Center Plaza, Irvine. Each year, Irvine celebrates its colorful community with live arts and entertainment, cultural displays and an interactive Kids Village. In addition, 44 diverse restaurants will offer samples of their cuisine via food tickets that can be bought at the event. For more information, visit irvinefestival.org.

Get thrifty

For a new option on the thrift store circuit, check out the brand new Goodwill at 2090 E. Lincoln Ave., Anaheim. The store opened Sept. 24, and already has seen large donations of goods. Insider tidbit: Target stores donate unsold merchandise, from furniture to housewares to clothing, to Orange County Goodwill locations. Many local stores have more than 40 new-with-tags Merona dresses of various sizes and designs in stock, which can retail for $50; the Goodwill price is $8.99 each. Visit ocgoodwill.org.

Have a hot sale tip, or know about a great local business that you think deserves a little attention? Contact the O.C. Bargainista at candicebaker@gmail.com. And remember — never pay retail!

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