By Chelsea Madren

Memorial Day is an annual remembrance of the people who died while serving our country’s armed forces. Always observed on the last Monday in May, Memorial Day Weekend also marks the start of summer. Here are some ideas to plan your weekend.

Heartbeat of Mexico Festival
Musco Center of the Arts – Chapman University
415 N. Glassell St.
Orange, CA 92866
(844) 626-8726
www.muscocenter.org

Date: Saturday and Sunday, May 26 through May 27, 2018

Musco Center’s Heartbeat of Mexico Festival brings together a community of all ages and ethnicities to celebrate vibrant Mexican arts and culture. The festival will feature folklorico dancers, musicians, and performers along with crafts for kids and families, a food fair, and more. Ticketed performances each evening will feature GRAMMY Award-Winning Artists Mariachi Los Camperos on May 26 and Natalia Lafourcade on May 27.

Ikebana Demonstration
Roger’s Gardens
2301 San Joaquin Hills Road
Corona del Mar, CA 92625
(949) 640-5800
www.rogersgardens.com

Date: Saturday, May 26, 2018 at 9 a.m.

The Laguna Area Study Group of the Ohara School of Ikebana will demonstrate and exhibit multiple styles of the traditional Japanese artform of Ikebana. This artform has been practiced for hundreds of years utilizing flowers and other plant materials. This demonstration is free from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

20th Annual City of Laguna Hills Memorial Day Half Marathon, 5K and 10K
Laguna Hills, CA 92653
(949) 975-8506
www.lagunahillshalfmarathon.com

Date: Monday, May 28, 2018 at 7 a.m.

This year’s event marks the 20th Annual City of Laguna Hills Memorial Day Half Marathon, 5K, & 10K, and honors the United States Marine Corps Dark Horse Battalion. The event takes walkers and runners through Laguna Hills, Aliso Viejo, Laguna Woods, and Laguna Niguel. All experience levels are welcome to enjoy the Memorial Day festivities – Half Marathon (13.1 miles), 5K Run/Walk (3.1 miles), 10K Walk/Run (6.2 miles) and Kid’s Run (.5 mile). Grand Marshall Corporal Michael Spivey, a combat-injured Marine, will kick off the festivities in front of the Saddleback Memorial Medical Center. The finish line will be at the Laguna Hills Community Center where there will be an expo, food trucks, kids zone, and beer garden. Register today!

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Inflatable Waterpark, Newport Beach Beerfest, and Boots on the Beach at Newport Dunes
1131 Back Bay Drive
Newport Beach, CA 92660
(949) 729-3863
www.newportdunes.com

Date: Friday to Sunday, May 25 through May 27, 2018

On Friday, May 25, Newport Dunes will have a grand opening event to unveil the expansion of their Inflatable Waterpark, open to the public seasonally through Labor Day weekend. The waterpark will double in size to include a fleet of ten large inflatables, a 17-foot slide, two trampolines, a 14-foot and 7-foot climbable icebergs, monkey bars, bouncers, and teeter totters. At 7 p.m., 80’s on the Bay will be hosted by Richard Blade, from Siriux XM and Jack FM (some of you might remember him from the 80’s, Video One TV show). Enjoy waterfront dining and cocktails at Back Bay Bistro before the music starts or choose from a variety of food trucks and full bar service available during the event. You can also dress in your 80’s finery and participate in a costume contest. On Saturday, May 26, Newport Beach Beerfest starts at 7 p.m. Enjoy unlimited samples of over 150 craft beers, wine, and spirits. Listen to live bands and DJs. Indulge at the food truck tasting village. On Sunday, May 27, Boots on the Beach starts at 4 p.m. Experience the best in country music with live performances from Gethen Jenkins, Shotgun Jefferson, Morgan Leigh Band, Tina Michelle, and host/DJ David Bugenske from Go Country 105. Enjoy full service bar service and country BBQ concessions.

Garden Grove Strawberry Festival
Village Green between Euclid Street and Main Street
Garden Grove, CA 92842
(714) 638-0981
www.strawberryfestival.org
Date: May 25 through May 28, 2018

The 60th Annual Garden Grove Strawberry Festival theme is Celebrating 60 Years of Fun and Funding Charities. In 2017, the festival profits donated to the community totaled $394,000. Since 1958, the event has brought in over $6.5 million for local charities. On Friday, May 25, an official giant strawberry cake cutting ceremony will start at 6 p.m., serving free cake to over 2,000 people. On Saturday, May 26, 5K Run in the morning followed by a VIP celebrity breakfast at the Garden Gove Community Center (proceeds go to We Give Thanks), and a parade with floats, bands, equestrians, characters, and many film and TV celebrities. The festival ground will have 35 carnival rides, 5 contests (like Berry, Berry Beautiful Baby Contest, Redhead Roundup, Strawberry Idol Karaoke, and Tiny Tots King and Queen), over 200 food and sales booths, and music & live entertainment at the amphitheater.

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