Around Town 8

Another Great Christmas Boat Parade!

The 107th Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade saw 85 boats decked out in their finest holiday attire glide through the waters of Newport Harbor to grand applause from thousands of spectators for five consecutive nights in mid-December. Together with television, radio and social media coverage, more than 1 million people enjoyed the decorated boats–some extravagantly so!–as they set the harbor aglow. Rated by Yahoo! Travel as #2 in the country for holiday lights and by the New York Times as one of the “top holiday happenings in the nation,” it is a tradition in which the City of Newport Beach and the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce’s Commodore’s Club, who hosts it, can be very proud.

The Wooden Floor’s New Partnership

Kudos to The Wooden Floor, one of the country’s most cutting edge arts-for-youth organizations, for licensing its model nationwide. The Santa Ana-based nonprofit gives under-served local youth the tools to live fuller, healthier lives through a unique approach grounded in dance. It has been proven that the students who join The Wooden Floor and stay with the organization all graduate high school and enroll in higher education, many being the first in their families to do so. The nonprofit’s first licensed partner is CityDance, a recognized leader of high-quality dance education for at-risk youth in Washington D.C. CityDance recently received the coveted 2015 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award, presented by the President’s Committee on the Arts. The Wooden Floor received the same honor in 2003.

Farmers Market, Anyone?

If you haven’t visited the Newport Beach Farmers’ Market at the Newport Beach Pier on Sundays, then it’s time to do it. Having recently moved from its Lido location, it continues to offer fresh, healthy vegetables from the market’s farmers, along with local food vendors and artisans with a variety of items. Held on Sundays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., it is a fun community event for the entire family. There is even a balloon man to entertain the kids.

They’re Here!

If you are a Girl Scout cookie fan, your time has arrived. The Girl Scouts of Orange County Cookie Program runs January 24th through March 6th. Remember, when a Girl Scout is selling you cookies, she’s building a lifetime of skills and confidence. She learns goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics–aspects essential to leadership, to success and to life. A portion of the money raised goes directly to local troops, which helps fund program goals and activities, such as trips, camp and service learning projects. And, if you’re not interested in keeping the cookies for yourself, the purchased cookies can be donated to nonprofits through the Scouts’ Cookies from the Heart and Gift of Caring programs.

The Beverly Hillbillies Revisited!

The Balboa Island Museum & Historical Society hosted a party in memory of The Beverly Hillbillies American sitcom in the home of late Balboa Island resident Buddy Edsen, who was known for his role as Jed Clampett on the popular television show, which ran from 1962 to 1971. Since the property had just sold, the new owners offered the home as a venue for an event to benefit the museum, and the Beverly Hillbillies idea was born. It was great fun and included live music by the Retros, dinner on the bay front, a graffiti wall for guests to write messages to Buddy, and photo opportunities. Hillbilly attire was encouraged, and many guests got into the spirit by doing so.

Riding Carousel Benefits Nonprofits

The King Arthur Carrousel at Disneyland was extremely busy recently when it was used for raising money by local nonprofits serving children, among them the Assistance League of Newport Mesa (ALNM). Dubbed “Carousel of Possible Dreams,” the event was hosted by the Festival of Children Foundation, which underwrote the costs of the effort. The idea was to have representatives from each of the 43 participating charities ask for pledges to ride the carousel 50 times. Five designated riders from ALNM mounted the painted ponies and did their part (see photo). The total funds raised was an impressive $615,587, with each of the nonprofits receiving 100% of the funds raised through their pledges. For ALNM, it was more than $6,500.

On Pointe at Segerstrom

The American Ballet Theatre William J. Gillespie School at Segerstrom Center for the Arts has announced its 2016 Spring Sunday Intensives program for students ages 12–18 on Feburary 28, March 20, April 17, May 22 and June 5, 2016. The day-long sessions are designed for intermediate and advanced dancers, and include specialized training for young women and men in technique, ABT repertoire, pointe work, and character and body conditioning. Tuition is $100 per class, with a minimum sign-up of three of the five Intensives. To enroll in classes or to learn more about the scholarship program, visit, call 714.556.2122, ext. 4100, or email

The Secret is Out!

The theme for the 2016 Pageant of the Masters has been announced. It is “Partners” and will feature the provocative and passionate tales of some of art’s dynamic duos–artists and patrons, models, muses, even dance partners! The dates this year are July 7 through August 31, nightly at 8:30 p.m. at the Irvine Bowl in Laguna Beach.

From the Heart!

Angelitos de Oro, a Newport Beach-based volunteer women’s auxiliary group, held its 14th Annual Angelitos Card fundraiser at South Coast Plaza, its partner in the effort, and raised $310,000 for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County’s “High School Bigs” mentoring program. The highly successful program for at-risk children facing adversity, now in its 11th year, matches a volunteer high school “Big” with an elementary school “Little.” The “Bigs” provide age-appropriate peer-to-peer mentoring once a week after school. The Angelitos Card one-week fundraiser featured 115 boutiques and restaurants participating in the effort by offering 20% savings when the Angelitos Card was presented. The card was sold for $60, with all proceeds benefiting the nonprofit. and