Memorial Day is the unofficial kick-off to summer in the OC. Giving locals a glimpse of what is to come over the summer, it is an action-packed weekend full of fun in the sun. Decorate your bike with American flare and hit the boardwalk in Newport Beach or attend one of these fun events happening around the OC.
The Orange County Fairgrounds will become a Celtic food fest over the Memorial Day weekend. There will be piping, drumming, highland dancing, kid’s activities, and whisky tasting. The 2-day event will take place from May 26th until May 27th from 9-5pm. Adult tickets are available for $15, seniors $13, Kids (5-12) $3, and Military personnel are free. Parking is available for $5 with a complimentary tram to the ticketing booth.
This inaugural event will feature the best funk, Latin and soul bands performing live at the Queen Mary Sea walk. There will be gourmet food trucks, vendors and more. Don’t miss this hot Memorial Day event on May 26th from 5pm to 11pm. Tickets are $25 in advance and $35 at the door. VIP tickets are $85 in advance, and $100 at the door. The VIP tickets include a meet and greet opportunity with the artists, five drink tickets and complimentary parking. Guest must be over the age of 21 for VIP tickets, and general admission is open to all ages.
Newport Dunes Movies on the Beach
Over Memorial Day weekend, Newport Dunes is going to be the hottest hang-out for locals. With Pirate Coast Stand-up Paddle Boarding and Camp James recently coming to the Dunes, there is something for the whole family to enjoy. The Dunes will be hosting the movies “Surf’s up” and “Soul Surfer” on the beach after a fun day on the bay. Parking is $10 with concessions available for purchase. Remember to bring a jacket and beach chairs, it can get a little chilly when the sun starts to set.
The Strawberry Festival
Don’t miss the giant strawberry cake cutting ceremony at the 54th annual Strawberry Festival in Garden Grove. There will be live music, entertainment and carnival rides at the family-friendly event. Admission is free, and special wristband pricing is available for the carnival rides. The fun will happening on Friday from 1-10pm, Saturday and Sunday from 10am-10pm, and Monday from 10am-9pm. Visitors are recommended to park at Garden Grove High School or the Garden Grove Library for easy access to the festival.
KSBR Birthday Bash
More than 20 restaurants and wineries will be hosting tastings, and 30 top jazz artists will be playing during this lively jazz festival on May 27th. Tickets are available for purchase online starting at $45 each. Gates will open at 3pm; the taste of the bash will run from 3-6pm, with the concert starting a 5pm.
Knott’s is honoring all Veterans and Military personnel with free admission to Knott’s Berry Farm over Memorial Day weekend on Sunday and Monday with identification. Discounted tickets will be extended for family members for $32.99 adults, $21.99 children (3-11), and $27.99 Soak City tickets.
Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlor
All Military personnel that come to Farrell’s with a valid id will receive a free Red White and Blue Thank you Sundae at all Southern California Farrell’s locations. The delicious patriotic treat is made with vanilla ice cream, strawberries, blueberries, and topped with an American Flag. Farrell’s has locations in Brea, Mission Viejo, Rancho Cucamonga and Santa Clarita.
Shelby Barone is a local freelance writer in Orange County. She writes for OC Family Magazine, OC Menus Magazine, and more! You can keep up with her adventures around Orange County on Twitter.