Orange County

Weekend roundup

July 16-19


Virtual OC Fair

Begins July 17. Thought the OC Fair was cancelled? Think again! This year the OC Fair is coming to you—virtually—through July 27! Watch several OC Fair elements highlighted each day on social media with additional fun content online all summer long. Virtual fairgoers can learn how to create fair-style crafts at home, learn how to make deep-fried Oreos, take a tour of Centennial Farm, decipher a magic trick, get the best garden pesto recipe and more. Even the OC Fair Fun Run 5K is going virtual with prizes.

Drafts and Laughs Virtual Beer and Comedy Fest

July 18. Don’t miss out on this live stream, two-hour, virtual comedy and beer tasting festival designed to be enjoyed from your couch. The show is headlined by Tom Green and features Ben Glieb, Ian Edwards, Jeff Richards and emceed by Stephen Kramer Glickman. Audience members will receive a video link the day before the event via email and be able to interact with the comedians during their sets. 6-8 p.m. $15+. | Tickets

Mary Colby Tea

July 18. Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens presents its eighth annual Mary Colby Tea fundraiser outdoors in the open-air courtyard with socially distanced seating arrangements. Attendees will enjoy an assortment of traditional canapés, desserts and cream teas with champagne as well as a prize raffle gift baskets featuring items donated by businesses and organizations. 3-5 p.m. $85 individual, $340 reserved table for four. 415 Avenida Granada, San Clemente, 949.498.2139.

Food + Drink

Gracias Madre

Reopened. Spend your evenings in an open-air setting at Gracias Madre to enjoy traditional, plant-based Mexican cuisine. On July 19, come for brunch to enjoy live music by guitarist and vocalist Scott Garrepy. For those that prefer to dine at home, there’s a pared down to-go menu featuring menu items by new executive chef Alan Sanz—available to order for pickup or delivery here. Dinner: Su-Th 4-9 p.m., F-Sa 4-10 p.m.; Brunch: Sa-Su 11 a.m.-3 p.m. 1617 Westcliff Drive, Newport Beach, 949.386.8100.

Mess Hall Market

Reopened. The chef-driven market food hall welcomes patrons back for takeout and patio seating. Mess Hall’s 10 concepts give guests a broad culinary experience all under one roof ranging from Greek street food and Mexican-French fusion, to vegetarian delights and grass-fed, chef-driven burgers. Face mask or face covering required when ordering. Follow social distancing protocols by taking advantage of the large open patio; the dining room is closed until further notice. Temporary hours: Open daily 7 a.m.-3 p.m. (extended hours coming soon). 1705 Flight Way, Tustin.

Summer Menu at Whitestone

Now Available. Whitestone in Dana Point has introduced a new summer menu of globally inspired cuisine by executive chef Tony Celeste. Try new summer dishes such as Duck and Cherries with sunflower potato and fermented cherry mustardo; the Dry Age Burger with 90-day dry-aged ribeye and charred tomato jam; or a warm Brussels sprout Panzanella. Su-Th 4-9 p.m., F-Sa 4-10 p.m. 34212 Pacific Coast Hwy., Dana Point, 949.489.8911.

Brunch at Glasspar

Every Sunday. Sunday brunch is back on the horizon at Glasspar in Dana Point. The menu offers classic and seafood-inspired specials such as IPA fish and chips, a lobster roll, the bourbon pecan cinnamon roll, and the signature multi-tiered Seafood Vessels filled with crab claws, shrimp, oysters, lobster, ceviche and more. Also new to the menu is a lineup of summer libations including cocktails such as The Green Dolphin and a classic Aperol Spritz. Su 11 a.m.-2 p.m. 24961 Dana Point Harbor Drive, Dana Point, 949.240.6243.

Trade Food Hall

Reopened. The open-air food hall in Irvine is now open for takeout and outdoor dining. Guests can enjoy options such as Mediterranean cuisine from Gyro King, vegetarian delights from Butterleaf and specialty cocktails from Center Hub Bar. Face masks or face coverings required when ordering. Please follow social distancing protocols by taking advantage of the outdoor seating. For hours of operation, check the individual concept’s social media pages or call the businesses directly. 2222 Michelson Drive, Irvine.

Arts + Culture

CoPA Designs for the Musco Stage

July 17. Musco Center of the Arts and Chapman’s College of Performing Arts (CoPA) presents a conversation with talented theatrical designers who’ve created large-scale environments for student productions on the Musco stage. Learn more about this process as these designers discuss their work for CoPA’s recent production of the musical 9 to 5, and for one of Chapman’s biggest events of the year, Chapman Celebrates. 7 p.m. Free.

Found Poetry Project Tutorial

July 17. Looking for a creative outlet this summer? Join the Muckenthaler Cultural Center for a found poetry project led by artist in residence, Katharine Zaun. For novice and experienced writers alike, as well as visual artists, or simply anyone (kids and adults) bored at home, this project welcomes all and offers a creative way to make use of materials you already have on hand. See website for more info. 2 p.m. | Zoom

Photos credits: OC Fair by Sarah Downing @style_servant/Instagram. Whitestone and Glasspar courtesy Outshine PR. Pen and paper image by Álvaro Serrano via Unsplash. All other images are courtesy of the venues.

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