Ready, Set, Summer!

June is indeed a busy month filled with birthdays, graduations, weddings and, of course, Father’s Day on the 18th of June. Mid-month, the kids will be anxious for the school year to come to a close and outdoor activities and musical events will be in full swing. Here is a quick run-down of the some of my favorite happenings in June, and I, for one, can hardly wait to get this summer party started!

The first Saturday of June is always marked on my calendar, and, this year, on June 4th you will find me down on Balboa Island along the parade route on Marine Avenue. This is truly a “home spun” community parade and most guests dress in patriotic red, white and blue. This will be the 24th Annual Balboa Island Parade, and it is a kickoff to our summer.

For the musically inclined, the Hyatt Regency holds a fantastic weekend music festival. The annual Newport Beach Jazz Festival, June 2nd through 4th, is not to be missed. Whether by day or under the evening stars, listening to a parade of jazz legends–one group right after the next–it is a super relaxing way to spend the weekend.

For the car enthusiasts (my husband included), Russo & Steele returns to Newport Dunes for the auctioning of all types of cars from historic classics to more recent models. This three day “auto extravaganza” will be getting underway June 2nd. It is such fun to watch those fancy cars parading across the stage!

Did someone mention a birthday? Well, this year Newport Beach is celebrating what would be John Wayne’s 110th birthday (he was born on May 26, 1907). His yacht, The Wild Goose, is now part of the Hornblower fleet. Now, through June 18th, guests can take a Harbor cruise and share in the history of our beloved icon. There are cocktail, brunch and dinner options available. All proceeds will be donated to the John Wayne Cancer Foundation to help fulfill his last wish: to find a cure for cancer.

For boat enthusiasts, the Fourth Annual Wooden Boat Festival will be held on the docks of the Balboa Yacht Club and is open to the public to come view the classic vessels. Mark your calendars for Saturday, June 10th. The Newport Beach Art Exhibition is in its 53rd year, and, on June 17th at the Civic Center, guests can view more than 300 pieces of art. Just viewing the fine works of art is truly inspiring.

Being a gardener, I have my eye on a few fun events. Sherman Gardens will be having a workshop on “Creating Your Dream She Shed” with Erika Kotite, who authored a book on the topic. It is all about transforming a utility shed into a girl-cave, and participants will get some great ideas to take home a plan to make their own. Join us Saturday, June 24th and call soon to get a spot. There is a fee for the workshop; however, something free at Sherman Gardens is Movie Night, when the 1939 film, “The Big Sleep,” will be featured on June 29th at 7 p.m. And, just down the street at Roger’s Gardens, they have all kinds of seminars, lectures and workshops. Two that I am excited about are the chat with horticulturist Steve Hampson on My Edible Garden on June 3rd at 9 a.m., and a workshop on Creating a Miniature Garden. I have one and it is so much fun to create! Barbara and Courtney get that going on June 7th at 6 p.m.

And, most importantly, for Father’s Day on the 18th, we want to honor the dads in our life. My favorite plan is to take the guys out on a Duffy Electric Boat ride around the Harbor and then an early dinner. We have wine and appetizers on-board and just make a fun day of it.

So, here’s to June, as it gets into full swing, and hoping your summer is off to a fantastic start!

Deirdre Michalski is a travel and culinary writer covering topics near and far. You can read more about her adventures on her website at TastesAndTravel.com.