Virtual and In-Person Summer Events Pick Back Up as Orange County Slowly Re-Opens

Photo courtesy of Laguna Beach Live!

Trumpeter Bijon Watson and the Laguna Beach Live! All Stars performing at a past outdoor concert at the Montage.

Whether you are itching to get back outside as soon as possible or are taking the cautious route towards becoming social again, we have found summer events for everyone.

Although most summer activities have been cancelled or postponed, there are still many organizations are offering a mix of virtual and in-person options. Whether you want to spend a day walking through art fairs or enjoy an evening of music, we put together this round-up for you.

Casa Romantica Cultural Center & Gardens’ Virtual Film Festival

When: June 15 through July 15
Where: Online. Click here for more information
Price: Free

Casa Romantica is a community center located in the city of San Clemente. They provide guests with programs in the arts, music, history, horticulture, and everything in between.

Although some organizations have been struggling with how to hold events due to social distancing restrictions, Casa Romantica has taken advantage of the situation and hosted several online events for their guests to enjoy from the comforts and safety of their homes.

This month, Casa Romantica is hosting a virtual film festival where they are showcasing student films from the Orange County School of the Arts film and television conservatory. After watching the films, viewers vote for their favorites and the winner of the competition will earn $100 scholarship money for Best Overall Film.

Common Ground OC Virtual Open Mic

When: June 18, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Where: Register for Zoom meet-up at commongroundoc.com
Price: Free

Common Ground OC, a group of Vietnamese American community members, artists, and activists, made its return to the open mic scene on May 1. Since people are required to be cautious while gathering, the organization uses Zoom as a virtual platform to unite people together through art and community. Their second virtual session, titled “they tried to bury us, they didn’t know we were seeds,” is set to take place this Thursday, June 18. The event will be featuring spoken word artists Steady and Tom Nguyen, dancer Liz Cartojano, and DJ Johnny Fresh. Those who wish to participate can register using the link below. Sign-ups to perform start on June 17 at 5 p.m. and end the following day at noon.

Bowers Museum

When: Reopening June 19. Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: 2002 North Main Street, Santa Ana
Price: Starting at $10; prices vary by age and day of the week.

Home to countless different international pieces and artifacts, the Bowers Museum of Cultural Art in Santa Ana will be reopening on June 19. With even more to look forward to, the museum will also be extending its stay of its featured exhibition: “Inside the Walt Disney Archives: 50 Years of Preserving the Magic.” The exhibit features a display of over 400 archived objects including costumes, props and artwork. Some of the objects featured in the exhibit are being displayed to the public for the first time, featuring pieces from the Haunted Mansion, Fantasia, Frozen and other Disney favorites. The traveling-exhibit will be on display through Oct. 18.

For those worried about safety, the Bowers Museum is taking a few precautions to ensure safety for their guests and employees by requiring the use of face masks for everyone, increased cleaning, closing drinking fountains, requiring guests to remain 6-feet apart and additional hand sanitizing stations throughout the building. All guests are required to enter through the front entrance.

Father’s Day Meals and Deals

Add some extra flair to Father’s Day this year by dining in or ordering out at one of these O.C. restaurants, many of which are offering special meals and deals to make this year’s celebration a little more tasty. Khan Saab Desi Craft Kitchen in downtown Fullerton will treat all fathers to a free Doodh Jalebi dessert while Slater’s 50/50 in Anaheim Hills is including free bacon roses with their meals. The Butchery in Costa Mesa, Brea and Crystal Cove are offering curbside pick-up for their signature meat boxes – the great gift for dads that love to grill. Coastal Kitchen and Cha Cha’s Latin Kitchen are offering their signature dishes and special entrees for families to enjoy dining in or to go. Reservations can be made by visiting their websites or by phone.

Modjeska and Silverado Canyon Artists Tour

When: June 27, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: Starts at Silverado Canyon Market, 28192 Silverado Canyon Rd, Silverado
Price: Free

Local artists with studios along Modjeska and Silverado Canyon Roads are offering a day of art, relaxation and inspiration on June 27 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pick up a map at the Silverado Canyon Market, then set off to visit the 13 studios on the tour to explore jewelry, fiber art, ceramics, woodworking and paintings. Parking along the canyon road is available as long as you stay behind the white lines and do not block anyone’s driveway. Guests are encouraged to bring their walking shoes or bikes to fully enjoy the outdoor event, and an extra bag for any art they may purchase along the tour. The event organizers will be adhering to social distancing and COVID-19 safety measures and encourage attendees to be respectful of them as well.

Laguna Beach Art Walk

When: July 2, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Where: Laguna Beach Galleries
Price: Free

Art walks in many cities have been postponed due to the novel coronavirus, but Laguna Beach is now going to be one of the first art walk hosts in Orange County to make a comeback. Previously presented on the first Thursday of every month, Laguna Beach is going to pick this art scene back up on Thursday, July 2. As usual, this event is always free and open to the public. Free trolley service begins at 6:30 at the Laguna Art Museum and Bluebird Canyon Road. Guests can also enjoy free parking on Coast Highway after 7 p.m.

Downtown Santa Ana Virtual Art Walk

When: July 4, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Downtown Santa Ana Facebook livestream.
Price: Free

Downtown Santa Ana is hosting their First Saturday Art Walk digitally this July. According to their Facebook page, where the livestream will take place, the virtual art walk will provide a more personal insight into the featured artists’ creative processes. This online event is meant to connect the local community through positivity and inspiration as locals find ways to come together and show support. Virtual attendees are encouraged to enjoy the experience to its fullest by order from DTSA’s restaurants, such as La Vegana Mexicana, Lola Gaspar, Chapter One: the modern local and more.

Laguna Beach Live! Concerts

When: Starting July 15
Where: Forest Avenue Promenade, and other locations

Laguna Beach Live! works with artists to bring live music up close and personal to the Laguna Beach community. Before the pandemic, they were hosting free monthly chamber music at the Laguna College of Art & Design. Currently, they are in the process of organizing music events to be held at the new Forest Avenue Promenade, starting July 15, which will feature prominent jazz artists. The organization is also hoping to host other outdoor concerts this summer featuring their All Stars, led by acclaimed trumpeter and Jazz Artistic Director Bijon Watson. An event to look forward to in the near future is The Barefoot Movement Bluegrass band at the Laguna College of Art & Design on Sept. 13. In support of local businesses, the event will also be featuring Gnarly BBQ, Laguna Beach Beer Company and Purple Corduroy Wines. 

Orange County Museum of Art

When: July 16, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. (times are subject to change)
Where: 1661 W Sunflower Ave, Santa Ana, CA 92704

Orange County art patrons and enthusiasts will be excited to hear that OCMAExpand is reopening its doors to the public on July 16. The exhibitions to be on view include “Marsia Alexander-Clarke: Ojos Profundos,” “Maryrose Cobarrubias Mendoza: Navigating Technics” and “Kyungmi Shin: Father Crosses the Ocean.” Also on display will be “An Earth Song, A Body Song: Figures with Landscape from the OCMA Permanent Collection.”

In adherence to the safety standards set by the city and state, the museum strongly encourages their guests to use face masks, will place social distancing markers and provide hand sanitizer. In the meantime, virtual visitors can read, learn and watch the content that is available on their website, which ranges from politically timely music to artist profile films. Even after their opening, they will continue to post content on their website for those that still don’t want to take the risk of being out in public.

Orange International Street Fair

When: Currently scheduled for Sept 4., 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., and Sept. 5 and 6, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. (decision to cancel will be decided on July 1)
Where: Orange Plaza Square Park (the circle intersection in Orange)
Price: Free

The Labor Day weekend tradition began in 1973 as a way to celebrate the city’s 100th anniversary. Today, the Orange International Street Fair is possibly one of the most highly anticipated food festivals for Orange County locals. The fair organizers have not confirmed whether or not the event will be taking place this September. However, the OISF will make an announcement on July 1 to answer this pressing question. If the fair is to take place, the OISF said that they will encourage guests to adhere to social distancing and COVID-19 safety standards.

If you are looking for other options, check out Spark OC’s extensive list at sparkoc.org.

Kristina Garcia is an intern for Voice of OC Arts & Culture. She can be reached at kristinamgarcia6@gmail.com.

Kim Pham is an intern for Voice of OC Arts & Culture. She can be reached at kimhphm@gmail.com.