It's A Gray Area: Join us at O.C. Heritage Museum festival

Editor's note: Columnist Jim Gray announced last week that he is running for vice president as a Libertarian. This will be his last column until after the election.

From 11 a.m. until about 7 p.m. June 2, we will have the second annual Heritage Music and Arts Festival at the Heritage Museum of Orange County.

Last year most agreed that not only was the music superior, but it was also one of the best family days they had ever spent. And this year, it will be even better.

The music festival will be anchored at 5 p.m. by Chris Hillman and Herb Pedersen, who both performed with the Desert Rose Band. As you may know, Hillman is a Rock & Roll Hall of Famer who was a member of the Flying Burrito Bros. and a founding member of the Byrds.

Pedersen has played with many legends, such as Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt and Gordon Lightfoot, and was a founding member of Loafer's Glory as well as the Laurel Canyon Ramblers.

Together Hillman and Pedersen will put on a concert that you will remember forever.

In addition, the "Americana Guitar" phenom Toulouse Engelhardt will perform at 4 p.m., Dennis Roger Reed will perform in a return engagement at 3 p.m., the Conjunto Los Pochos band will perform at 2 p.m., A Wing and a Prayer big band will once again be with us at 1 p.m., and the music festival will kick off at noon with the Rocky Neck Bluegrass Band.

But that is certainly not all!

We once again will have our craft brew garden, featuring the Southern California Brewers Guild. Other culinary delights include Tustin Roadhouse barbecue, Chuck Wagon Old Fashioned Soda, the Lime Truck and Chef Joe Youkhan's Tasting Spoon.

For children, we once again will have our Heritage Blacksmith Shop giving live demonstrations, as well as our Adobe House in operation. The Young Rembrandts will be there for children's art classes, and this year there will also be carnival games. And finally, the mounted police from the Santa Ana Police Department will be there for the protection and enjoyment of us all.

This year we have also added a student art competition, with cash prizes for the best original entries in the elementary, middle school and high school categories that portray any part of the history of Orange County.

For shoppers we have added the Village Square Shops, which will make available a wide and interesting variety of unique items that will be of interest to all. And we will have various wonderful musical groups performing on our Gazebo Stage during the 10 to 15 minutes take down and set up takes between band performances.

The Heritage Museum of Orange County is at 3101 W. Harvard St., Santa Ana. The phone number is (714) 540-0404 if you have further questions or want to buy tickets in advance.

Children 12 and younger get in for free, student tickets are $5 in advance or $10 at the door, and adult tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door. Special VIP tickets for $50 are also available, which will include preferred seating, as well as a gift, meal and two drinks. Furthermore, if 10 or more entrants come from the same office or company, we will happily give you space to fly your company banner all day long.

The Heritage Museum's mission is to educate children about how life was like in Orange County in the long ago. We provide hands-on tours of our Kellogg House, which is a gem of a Victorian where children can play with turn of the century toys, dress up in period clothing, make butter and see what life was like during the era of their grandparents. In addition the children can journey from St. Joe, Mo., to the gold fields of California, pan for gold in our gold stream, and yell "Eureka" when they find their gold nugget.

In short, not only will you be having a great day with us on the first Saturday in June, you will also be supporting a truly worthy enterprise. And parking is free at the Mitchell Elementary School and elsewhere.

JAMES P. GRAY is a retired judge of the Orange County Superior Court, the author of "A Voter's Handbook: Effective Solutions to America's Problems" (The Forum Press, 2010), and can be contacted at

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