27 Top Orange County Events this August

Lobsterfest at Newport Dunes

Lobsterfest at Newport Dunes


This month, Orange County brings you festivals galore—music festivals, beer festivals, art festivals, plum festivals and lobster festivals. See our list of 27 top Orange County events in August.

By Laura Okey

Ribs, Pigs & Watermelons Summer Festival
Aug. 5-7. Bring your bibs and get ready for the 5th annual Ribs, Pigs and Watermelons Summer Festival. Sample fare from some of the nation’s best professional barbecue teams, enjoy watermelon and rib eating contests, listen to live entertainment and see a classic car show. Friday will feature bluegrass and country bands; Saturday’s festivities include a reggae festival with Pato Banton & the Now Generation, Arise Roots, Ital Vibes, CAL1FA, Special Blend and 5 other bands; and Sunday will include blues and classic rock bands and a classic car show. Admission price covers the entire weekend, parking not included. F 5-10 p.m., Sat 10 a.m.-10 p.m., Sun 10 a.m.-5 p.m. $5-$9. Food and drinks sold seperately. Huntington State Beach, Beach Blvd. and Pacific Coast Hwy Lot 9, Huntington Beach, 714.897.3221. afhusa.org

Beachfront Cinema: Bridesmaids, Jaws
August 6, 27.
Take movie night to the next level at the beach. This month, the event features flicks Bridesmaids and Jaws on one of the largest inflatable outdoor movie screens in California. Featuring theater-quality projection and sound, you will get the ultimate viewing experience on the sand. Arrive early for pre-movie festivities (live entertainment, games and contests) set before the gorgeous Huntington Beach sunset. Snacks and refreshments are available for purchase from food booths and the beach bar. Pre-movie activities begin at 5 p.m. Showtime approximately 8 p.m. (dusk). $15/pp. VIP package $49 (includes jumbo 2-person bean bag). Huntington State Beach, lifeguard tower 14, Huntington Beach. beachfrontcinema.com

Lobsterfest Newport Beach
Aug. 7. Roll up your sleeves for the 8th annual Lobsterfest at Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort & Marina. Live Maine lobster is flown in fresh on the morning of the event and will be prepared on-site alongside a buffet that includes tri-tip, corn on the cob, salads and dessert. Purchase a VIP ticket to enjoy all-you-can-eat lobster, complimentary wine, valet parking and reserved seating. Pinch Me!, a high-energy rock-n-pop band will be performing covers from more than seven decades. Special activities for kids will be provided by Camp James. 3-8 p.m. $60 if purchased in advance, $80 at the door; Children 12 and under $20 in advance or $25 at the door. VIP tickets $150 in advance. 101 North Bayside Drive, Newport Beach. lobsterfestatnewportbeach.com

Sylvester Stallone Live
Aug. 7. Take part in a knockout conversation with Sylvester Stallone, the creator and star of inspiring and treasured film saga, Rocky. Celebrate the 40th anniversary of the original film with a screening followed by Stallone himself taking the stage to share stories you’ve never heard before, giving an inside glimpse behind classic scenes. 2 p.m. 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, 714.556.2121. www.scfta.org



Aug. 9-21.
Step inside the Kit Kat Klub and hear one of Kander and Ebb’s most memorable scores in theater history, including “Cabaret,” “Willkommen” and “Maybe This Time.” Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the critically acclaimed production. See website for showtimes. Tickets start at $29. Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, 714.556.2787. scfta.org 

Summertime Beer Series
Aug. 12. Indulge on a five-course menu carefully designed by Chef Jason Montelibano to pair with California craft brews. The second of the Summertime Beer Series will feature brews from Iron Fist in Vista. 6:30 p.m. $75. Hotel Irvine, EATS Kitchen, 17900 Jamboree Road, Irvine, 888.230.4452. eatskitchen.com

Gala of the Stars
Aug. 12. Experience a star-studded roster at Festival Ballet Theatre’s Gala of the Stars. World-renowned ballet artists Tiler Peck and Robert Fairchild of New York City Ballet, Yuan Yuan Tan of San Francisco Ballet, Mari Kawanishi and Frederico Spallitta of Staatsballet Berlin and many more will be performing in the intimate setting of Irvine Barclay Theatre. VIP ticket holders have the opportunity to meet and dine with guest artists at a post-show reception. 7 p.m. $65-$200. 4242 Campus Dr, Irvine, 949.854.4646. thebarclay.org


Demi Lovato and Nick Jonas

Demi Lovato & Nick Jonas—Future Now: The Tour

Demi Lovato & Nick Jonas—Future Now: The Tour
Aug. 17. See multi-platinum selling music artists, Demi Lovato and Nick Jonas, as they hit Anaheim for their tour Future Now. Hear hits from Demi Lovato’s newest album, Confident, and from Nick Jonas’ critically-acclaimed self-titled debut album, including his double-platinum single “Jealous.” 7 p.m. Tickets start at $29.95. Honda Center, 2695 E. Katella Ave., Anaheim, 714.778.2583. hondacenter.com

Movie Nights in The Backyard
Aug. 19, 26. Ditch the indoor movie theater and enjoy blockbuster favorites on a 16-foot movie screen in Hotel Irvine’s backyard. Bring blankets and beach chairs and stake out the best spot on the lawn for featured flicks The Breakfast Club (Aug. 19) and Pitch Perfect 2 (Aug. 26). Pre-order a picnic from The Marketplace or enjoy Chef Jason Montelibano’s outdoor buffet with burgers, hotdogs, summer sides and staple movie snacks like popcorn, nachos and candy. Wine and cocktails are available for purchase. Doors open at 7 p.m. Movie begins at dusk. General admission $5. Hotel Irvine, 17900 Jamboree Road, Irvine, 888.230.4452. hotelirvine.com

Huntington Beach Beer Festival
Aug. 13. Sample over 100 beers from multiple local and regional breweries like Four Sons brewing, Shocktop, Stone Brewing Co. and Golden Road Brewing. Taste the fare from several food trucks and listen to live performances by local bands such as Weezerton, a tribute to Weezer and house/EDM DJ, DJ Luca. VIP 6 p.m.  7-10 p.m. Tickets start at $35. Meadowlark Golf Club, 16782 Graham St., Huntington Beach. huntingtonbeachbeerfestival.com

San Clemente Fiesta Music Festival
Aug. 14. Enjoy live music, food and activities at the 63rd annual San Clemente Fiesta Music Festival. The festival features activities for the entire family like an Easter egg hunt, tortilla toss, pie-eating contest and jump rope. Free shuttle service is available from San Clemente High School. 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Free. 100-200 Avenida Del Mar, San Clemente, 949.492.1131. scchamber.com


OC Fair

The OC Fair

Orange County Fair
Through Aug. 14. Indulge in a little bit of deep-fried everything at the Orange County Fair. Bring the whole family and enjoy action sports (rodeo, BMX, pig racing), tribute bands in the Hangar, carnival with rides, La Grande Wheel, livestock competitions, agricultural displays, petting zoo, wine tasting and of course—fried food galore. Concerts at the Pacific Amphitheatre include artists such as Earth, Wind and Fire and Train. M-Tu Closed, Wed-F noon-midnight, Sat.-Sun. 10 a.m.-noon. $7-$12, under 5 free; $10 (cash only) for parking. 88 fair drive, Costa Mesa, 714.708.1500. ocfair.com

Brea Fest

Aug. 19. Indulge on fare from over 35 local restaurants and distributors and enjoy live music, theater performances, gallery exhibits, live artist demonstrations and free activities for kids. The annual event celebrates Brea’s Art Programs such as the Curtis Theatre, Brea Art Gallery and Concerts in the Park. 6:30-10 p.m. Free admission, food and beverage sold seperately. Brea Civic & Cultural Center, 
1 Civic Center Circle
, 714.990.7771. brea.ca.us

Dana Point Lobster Beach Fest 
Aug. 20. Get ready for a feast at the 7th annual Monarch Beach Sunrise Rotary Club Dana Point Lobster Beach Fes. Admission includes a steak, lobster and seafood dinner and live entertainment. There will also be a Silent Auction and an opportunity drawing. Alcohol is available for purchase. 4 p.m. 
Tickets start at $95. Parking $7.50-$15. Doheny State Beach
, 25300 Dana Point Harbor Drive, Dana Point. danapointlobsterfest.org


Plum Fest & Weiner Dog Races
Aug. 21. Old World has gone plum crazy. The Plum Fest features Pflaumenkuchen, or plum cake, a cake made with specialty plums that only ripen for a brief time once a year. In addition to plum cake, try plum crepes, plum schnapps, plum martinis and more. Enjoy live music, barbecue fare, full bar and street vendors. Watch the wiener dog races at 3 p.m. 2-6 p.m. Doors open at 1 p.m. Free. Wiener dog races $2. Old World, 7561 Center Ave., Huntington Beach, 714.895.8020. oldworld.ws

Rob Schneider at Irvine Improv
Aug. 26-28.
Spend a summer evening in laughter at Irvine Improv with Emmy-nominated actor Rob Schneider. Well-known for his trademark blend of character and comedic acting, he will be performing stand-up comedy throughout the weekend. F 7:30 p.m., Sa 7 p.m., 9 p.m., Su 7 p.m. $30-$35. Irvine Improv, 527 Spectrum Center Drive, Irvine, 949.854.5455. irvine.improv.com

Farmers Market to Table Dinner
Aug. 27. Local chefs in Orange County are coming together in support of the locally grown food movement to create a “Farmers Market to Table” dinner in Old Towne Orange. Participating chefs include Dee Nguyen of Break of Dawn, Gabbi Patrick of Gabbi’s Mexican Kitchen, Adam Navidi of Oceans & Earth and many others. Arrive at 6 p.m. for a 30-minute cocktail reception with tray-passed appetizers. Bring a beverage of your choice to accompany the meal. 6 p.m. $150. Villa Park Orchards Packinghouse, 204 N. Cypress Ave., Orange.  orangehomegrown.org

Tour de Force III
Aug. 27. Celebrate Segerstrom Center for the Arts 30th anniversary with another one-night-only star-studded evening of dance: Tour de Force III. The performance will be the first event to represent the array and diversity of the center’s artistic programming, in this case, 30 years of presenting the greatest ballet companies and the world’s most celebrated dancers. Tour de Force III will include four premieres: Clay by Vladimir Varnava, Zeitgeist by Alastair Marriott, Tristesse by Marcelo Gomes and Le Divertissement du Roi by Maxim Petrov. The international cast includes Diana Vishneva, Joaquin de Luz, Marcelo Gomes, Denis Matvienko, Marcelino Sambé, Friedemann Vogel and Edward Watson, as well as members of the The Royal Ballet, Mariinsky Ballet and the National Ballet of Canada. 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $29. 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, 714.556.2121. www.scfta.org

Adventure Sail
Aug. 27. All aboard for The Ocean Institute’s tall ship Adventure Sail. Join the crew to help raise sail, handle lines and steer the ship, or simply sit back and relax on its schooner. 2-4:30 p.m. Adults $60, children $40, seniors $50 (ages 55+). The Ocean Institute, 24200 Dana Point Harbor Drive, Dana Point, 949.496.2274. ocean-institute.org

Lamborghini’s 100th Birthday Celebration
Aug. 28. Celebrate the 100th birthday of the late founder of Lamborghini sports cars as the world tour makes its first pit stop in the U.S. at the Marconi Automotive Museum. Begin the evening with a cocktail reception where you will view Lamborghinis specially selected for the event along with the rest of owner Dick Marconi’s multi-million dollar car collection. Funds will benefit Caterina’s Club, a nonprofit that helps children whose families are forced to live in cramped, crime-ridden motels. 5 p.m. $275. 1302 Industrial Drive, Tustin, 714.851.9083. caterinasclub.org

Laguna Art-A-Fair
Through Aug. 28. Juried art festival displays works by 125 artists in all mediums, including painting, drawings, photography, digital art, mixed media, sculpture, jewelry, ceramics, glass and wood. Also find live entertainment on weekends. Sun–Th 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; F-Sat 10 a.m.-10 p.m. (closes 6 p.m. on Aug. 28). $5.50-$7.50. 777 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, 949.494.4514. art-a-fair.com

Sawdust Art Festival
Through Aug. 28. Visitors are invited to shop along sawdust-covered paths through a handcrafted village of fine arts and superb crafts at the 50th annual Sawdust Art & Craft Festival. More than 200 Laguna Beach artists will present their unique handmade artwork. Nearly all art media is featured including painting, photography, glass, ceramics, jewelry, sculpture, woodwork, textiles, clothing, furniture, mixed media and more. Daily 10 a.m.-10 p.m. (closes 6 p.m. on July 4). $4-$9. Sawdust Art Festival, 935 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, 949.494.3030. sawdustfestival.org

Festival of Arts
Through Aug. 31. See a breathtaking showcase for artists and art lovers. The Festival of Arts includes a wide variety of media such as paintings, photography, printmaking, sculpture, jewelry, handcrafted wood, ceramics, glass and more—all from 145 of South Orange County’s finest artists. Enjoy nightly live music, jazz concerts, guided art tours, demonstrations and art workshops. Visit website for hours and events. $5-$12/pp. 650 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, 949.494.1145. foapom.com

Pageant of the Masters
Through Aug. 31. Arguably one of the most unique productions in the entire world, you will be amazed by 90 minutes of tableaux vivants (“living pictures”). In the incredibly faithful re-creations of classical and contemporary works of art, real people pose to look exactly like their counterparts in the original pieces. This summer’s production is themed Partners. A live narrator guides you through the story of each living picture accompanied by a full orchestra. 8:30 p.m. Tickets start at $20. 650 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, 949.494.1145. pageanttickets.com

The Generous Pour

The Generous Pour at The Capital Grille

The Generous Pour at The Capital Grille
Through Sept. 4.
Join The Capital Grille for this year’s Generous Pour wine event—a tribute to some of the boldest risk-taking winemakers in the world. The dinner spotlights seven featured wines with extraordinary pedigree, from a Provençal sauvignon blanc to Stag’s Leap cabernet sauvignon. $28 with the purchase of an entree. Call for reservations. The Capital Grille, 3333 Bristol St., Costa Mesa, 714.432.1140. thecapitalgrille.com

Summer Groove & Grub
Through Sept. 4. Hear top musicians at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach summer concert series, and get your grub on with a Friday night taco buffet and Saturday night barbecue at Pete’s Sunset Grille. The taco buffet offers steak picadillo con papas, chicken asada and warm churros with cinnamon-sugar. The Saturday night barbecue features dry-rubbed baby back ribs, whiskey barrel barbecue beef and peach cobbler with pecan crumble. Enjoy artists like blues band Jumpin’ Jack Benny, blues guitarist Brad Wilson and more. See website for full lineup. 7-10 p.m. Adults $19.95, children $9.95. 21500 Pacific Coast Hwy., Huntington Beach, 714.698.1234. huntingtonbeach.regency.hyatt.com

Hyatt Regency Newport Beach Summer Concert Series
Through October 14. The annual Hyatt Regency Newport Beach summer concert series is back for four months of world-class music. See artists such as Kenny Loggins, Smokey Robinson, Boney James and many more. Indulge in a three-course buffet dinner at SHOR American Seafood Grill, Hyatt Regency’s signature restaurant, for $58 before the concert. Tickets are available for individual shows or season passes. Individual shows $50-$110. See website for details. Parking is $20 if purchased in advance and $25 if purchased on site; valet parking is $30 if purchased in advance and $35 if purchased on site. Back Bay Ampitheatre inside Hyatt Regency Newport Beach, 1107 Jamboree Road, Newport Beach,949.360.7800. hyattconcerts.com