Top Orange County Things to Do in August

Lobsterfest-Newport-Beach

Lobsterfest Newport Beach serves up fresh Maine lobster flown in the morning of the event.

This month, Orange County brings you festivals galore—music festivals, beer festivals, wine festivals, art festivals, plum festivals, lobster festivals … and more festivals! See our list of 27 top Orange County events to catch this August.

By Laura Okey

Fun Home
Aug. 1-6. See the groundbreaking Tony Award-winning Broadway musical Fun Home as it takes its first national tour to Segerstrom Center. Meet Alison at three different ages as she explores and unravels the many mysteries of her childhood. The production has been described as a refreshingly honest musical about seeing your parents through grown-up eyes. 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $29. Segerstrom Center, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, 714.556.2787. scfta.org

 

AIA Artwalk ’17
Aug. 3. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) of Orange County present the 8th Annual Artwalk at SOCO. Enjoy hors d’oeuvres, a wine and beer bar and a silent auction featuring coveted architectural products and furniture, fine wines and gift cards to local shopping, dining and entertainment venues. AIA members, design community professionals, students and friends are invited to showcase their artistic talents and participate in a juried competition. 6-9 p.m. $15-$40. SOCO, 3303 Hyland Ave., Costa Mesa. brownpapertickets.com

 

House of Blues Drag Brunch
Aug. 5. House of Blues Anaheim presents its World Fabulous Drag Brunch, now taking place on the first Saturday of each month. The event stars Willam—actress, author, YouTube star and former RuPaul’s Drag Racer—in a hilarious new show featuring wild entertainment, mimosas and an all-you-can-eat brunch buffet of Southern-inspired favorites. Featured items include jambalaya, jalapeno-cheese cornbread, collard greens, a prime rib carving station, homemade pastries and more. 11 a.m. $46. 400 West Disney Way, Suite 337, Anaheim, 714.778.2583. houseofblues.com

 

Beachfront Cinema: The Notebook, Jaws
Aug. 5, 19. 
Take movie night to the next level at the beach. This month, the event features flicks The Notebook 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. 6. Roll up your sleeves for the 9th annual Lobsterfest at Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort & Marina. Live Maine lobster is flown in fresh on the morning of the event and 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, live entertainment, valet parking and reserved seating. Special activities for kids will be provided by Camp James. West Coast Party Crashers will be the entertainers for the evening, so wear your dancing shoes! 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 (advance only). 101 North Bayside Drive, Newport Beach. lobsterfestatnewportbeach.com

 

James Intveld Concert and Classic Car Show
Aug. 6. Enjoy a free concert and classic car show at Fairhaven Memorial Park. Bring the family and pack a picnic while listening to country music (with a rockabilly twist) from artist James Intveld. Arrive early to vote for your favorite car in the classic car show. 4-7 p.m. Free. Fairhaven Memorial Park, 1702 E. Fairhaven Ave., Santa Ana, 714.633.1442. dignitymemorial.com

 

Vaca

The Friends of James Beard Benefit Dinner will include Lobster Paella from chef Amar Santana.

 

Friends of James Beard Benefit Dinner with Amar Santana
Aug. 10. Enjoy a spectacular seven-course dinner from celebrated chef Amar Santana at acclaimed restaurant, Vaca. The Friends of James Beard Benefit Dinner will include wine pairings, a small silent auction and an al fresco reception. Menu highlights include roasted lamb meatballs with lemon yogurt and cucumber, smoked chicken cannelloni with foie gras sauce and sherry reduction and lobster paella with squid ink bomba rice, smoked paprika aioli, leeks and charred lemon. 6 p.m. $300-$350. Vaca, 695 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, 714.463.6060. vacarestaurant.com

 

Kendrick Lamar
Aug. 11. American rapper and songwriter, Kendrick Lamar, is bringing The Damn Tour to the Honda Center stage. Hear the artist perform hits from his latest album, Damn, including lead single “Humble.” 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $77. Honda Center, 2695 E. Katella Ave., Anaheim, 714.704.2400. hondacenter.com

Movie Nights in The Backyard
Aug. 11. 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 flick Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Bring your appetite for chef’s backyard BBQ with hot-off-the-grill burgers, artisan sandwiches, fresh farmers market salads and staple movie snacks like ice cream, nachos, popcorn and candies. Plus, order up a featured cocktail or bottle of wine from the fully stocked outdoor bar. Doors open at 7 p.m. Movie begins at dusk. Tickets start at $5. Hotel Irvine, 17900 Jamboree Road, Irvine, 888.230.4452. hotelirvine.com

 

Caribbean Yacht Party
Aug. 12. Make the most of your weekend by hopping on board a three-hour luxury yacht cruise through Newport Harbor. Indulge on Caribbean cuisine such as kabobs and jerk chicken while sipping specialty rum libations. A live DJ will keep the night going and the dance floor full with island sounds and reggae music. Tickets include two cocktails and unlimited finger foods. 21 and over. Boarding 6:30 p.m; cruise 7-10 p.m. $65. Royal Princess Yacht, 2901 W. Coast Hwy., Newport Beach, 714.485.6543. annualyachtparties.com

 

Orange County Fair
Through Aug. 13. 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 The Band Perry, Rebelution and more. Don’t miss our complete guide to the OC Fair which encompasses everything you need to know. M-Tu closed, W-F noon-midnight, Sa.-Su. 11 a.m.-midnight. Adults $7-$12; children under 5 free; $10 (cash only) for parking. 88 fair drive, Costa Mesa, 714.708.1500. ocfair.com

 

San Clemente Fiesta Music Festival
Aug. 13. Enjoy live music, food and activities at the 64th annual San Clemente Fiesta Music Festival. The festival features activities for the entire family like an arts and craft exhibit, a tortilla toss, pie-eating contest, jump rope and more. 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

 

Curated Cheese Takeover at SideDoor
Aug. 16. Known for its award-winning cheese and charcuterie offerings, SideDoor is dedicating an evening to boutique creameries and specialty cheese shops in the ultimate cheese takeover. Featured creameries include By George, Cowgirl, Redwood Hill Farm and Willamette Valley Cheese Co. Tracy Nelsen, SideDoor’s certified expert and cheese monger, will lead an artisanal cheese tasting and discussion. The evening will also offer passed appetizers and beverage pairings. 4:30 p.m. $125. 801 E. Coast Hwy., Corona del Mar, 949.760.0331. lawrysonline.com

 

Brea Fest

Aug. 18. 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

 

Pacific Wine and Food Classic

Pacific Wine and Food Classic will feature more than 200 restaurants.

 

Pacific Wine & Food Classic
Aug. 19-20. The inaugural wine festival will feature more than 200 restaurants, chefs, winemakers and artisans, plus a celebrity chef host, live entertainment and a beachfront location. Participating chefs include Adrian Garcia of Red O, Deborah Schneider of SOL Cocina, Joel Gutierrez of SeaLegs, Mark MacDonald of Old Vine Café and many more. Among the wineries are Belleruche Rose, Ferrari Brut, Layer Cake and Bouchaine. With summer in full swing, the Pacific Wine & Food Classic is drawing its inspiration from the beloved season: Participating chefs will create dishes reminiscent of their favorite summer memories, Patron Tequila will offer “Patron Pops” as well as the ultimate Patron experience complete with Summer Margaritas and Bacardi. Effen Vodka and Makers Mark will also serve refreshing cocktails. Food Network’s celebrity chef and judge Simon Majumdar will host the event. See website for full weekend schedule. Single day GA $150, single day VIP $200; two-day GA $250, two-day VIP $350. 1131 Back Bay Drive, Newport Beach, 949.287.3281. pacificwineandfood.com

 

The Queen Mary’s 13th Annual Art Deco Festival
Aug. 19-20. Revel in a weekend of spectacular live music, dancing, drinks, parties, food and history onboard The Queen Mary. The Art Deco Festival will immerse you in the era of artistic design that influenced the design of The Queen Mary itself, the world’s most advanced ocean liner of its time. Daily festival activities include shopping for favorite vintage items, marveling at authentic collectables and having your hair styled from your favorite era in the Vintage Bazaar. The Grand Ball, taking place on Saturday, is a formal vintage evening complete with a lavish four-course historic menu complemented by the Dean Mora Orchestra. See website for full weekend schedule and pricing. Day passes start at $25. 1126 Queens Hwy., Long Beach, 800.437.2934. queenmary.com

 

Dana Point Lobster Beach Fest 
Aug. 19. Get ready for a feast at the 8th annual Monarch Beach Sunrise Rotary Club Dana Point Lobster Beach Fest. This year, they’re partnering with the San Pedro Fish Market. 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. 20. 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, 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

 

Paella, Wine & Beer Festival

Paella, Wine & Beer Festival will feature the largest paella ever made in the U.S.

 

Paella, Wine & Beer Festival
Aug. 26. Indulge in a Spanish culinary and cultural experience—Orange County’s first annual Paella, Wine & Beer Festival. Savor assortments of tapas, sangria and desserts along with live music. Part of the festival will include the largest paella ever made in the United States, expected to feed 3,000 people. 4-9 p.m. Tickets start at $35. OC Fair & Event Center, 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa. eventbrite.com

 

Huntington Beach Beer Festival
Aug. 26. Sample over 100 beers from multiple local and regional breweries like The Dude’s Brewing Co., Barley Forge Brewing Co., Guiness, Left Coast Brewing Co. and more. Taste the fare from several food trucks and listen to live performances by local bands and live DJ’s. Some of the featured bands include Red Hot Chili Peppers tribute band, RIghteous and The Wicked, and Sublime tribute band, 40 oz. to Freedom. VIP 1 p.m.  2-5 p.m. Tickets start at $35. Meadowlark Golf Club, 16782 Graham St., Huntington Beach. huntingtonbeachbeerfestival.com

 

Farmhouse Cooking Seminar: Herbs
Aug. 27.
Join executive chef/owner Rich Mead for a monthly seminar where he shares his greatest cooking techniques. Be inspired by the fresh, seasonal ingredient combinations he uses to create the field-to-fork dishes of Farmhouse. This August seminar focus is herbs. 10-11 a.m. Free. Farmhouse at Roger’s Gardens, 2301 San Joaquin Hills Rd., Corona del Mar, 949.640.5800. farmhouserg.com

 

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 140 of South Orange County’s finest artists. Enjoy nightly live music, jazz concerts, guided art tours, demonstrations and art workshops. $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 The Grand Tour. 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

 

Sawdust Art Festival
Ongoing. See works by 200 Laguna Beach artists—glass, painting, jewelry, ceramics, clothing and textiles, sculpture, scrimshaw, photography—plus demos, kids activities, outdoor cafes and live music in eucalyptus grove. Daily 10 a.m.-10 p.m. $4-$9. Sawdust Art Festival, 935 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, 949.494.3030. sawdustfestival.org

 

Laguna Art-A-Fair
Ongoing. 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. Live entertainment on weekends. Su–Th 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; F-Sa 10 a.m.-10 p.m. (closes 6 p.m. on Aug 28). $6-$8. 777 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, 949.494.4514. art-a-fair.com

 

The Generous Pour at The Capital Grille
Ongoing. 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 Cambria, Clone 4, Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay (2015) to Mt. Brave, Mt. Veeder Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (2012). $28 with the purchase of an entree. Call for reservations. The Capital Grille, 3333 Bristol St., Costa Mesa, 714.432.1140. thecapitalgrille.com

 

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