Toshiba Tall Ships Festival

Toshiba Tall Ships Festival

Summer might be ending, but Orange County is heating up in September with incredible concerts, delicious food festivals, dog surf competitions, fashion shows and more. Check out our list of 30 top Orange County events this month.

By Laura Okey

The Game, Ja Rule and Ashanti
Sept. 2, 4. Spend Labor Day weekend enjoying live entertainment from top R&B and hip hop artists The Game, Ja Rule and Ashanti. Friday night, see American rapper The Game whose hits include “My Life” and “Doctor’s Advocate.” On Sunday, American rapper and singer Ja Rule and singer/songwriter Ashanti hit the stage. Their collaborative work includes hits such as “Always on Time” and “Mesmerize.” Doors open at 7 p.m. F 8 p.m. $25. Su 8 p.m. $50. 3503 S. Harbor Blvd., Santa Ana, 714.957.0600.

Orange International Street Fair
Sept. 2-4.
Experience creative food from all over the globe. The Orange International Street Fair features local groups of various cultures and ethnicities to present their unique cuisine to the community. Some of the global fare includes all-American, Asian, Dutch, Australian, Greek and much more. Bring the kids for children’s street. Also enjoy live entertainment and arts and crafts booths. Fri 5-9 p.m.; Sat-Sun 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Free Admission. Old Towne Orange Plaza, Chapman Ave. and Glassell St., Orange, 714.633.4816.

The Queen Mary WET Carnival

Sept. 3. Cool off this Labor Day weekend at The Queen Mary’s new WET Carnival, a waterfront beach club festival featuring live music, water-themed activities, dancing and more. The inaugural festival will include live entertainment from top artists such as B.o.B., Lil Jon, Tyga, DJ Mauricio and more. Enjoy multiple bars, water slides, a foam dance floor, cabanas and food vendors—all overlooking the skyline of downtown Long Beach. SoCal’s KIIS FM Radio and top LA DJs, along with headlining artists, will be joining in on the fun. 2-10 p.m. $39-$95. After party 9:30 p.m.-2 a.m. $50. 1126 Queens Highway, Long Beach, 877.342.0738.

5 Seconds of Summer

Sept. 4. See Australian pop rock band take the stage performing songs from the groups latest album Sounds Good, Feels Good. The band began as YouTube celebrities and rose to fame while touring with One Direction. Hit songs include “She’s Kinda Hot,” “Hey Everybody!,” and from the Ghostbusters soundtrack, “Girls Talk Boys.” 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $21. Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre, 8808 Irvine Center Drive, Irvine.

Make America Rock Again Tour
Make America Rock Again Tour at Yost Theater

Make America Rock Again Tour
Sept. 4. See an impressive line up of talented artists perform at Yost Theater for the Make America Rock Again tour. American rock band Puddle of Mudd will headline the event. The band is best known for a string of no. 1 mainstream rock singles such as “Blurry,” “Control” and “She Hates Me.” Special guests include TRAPT, Alien Ant Farm, Tantric and more. Doors open at 5 p.m. Tickets start at $26. Yost Theater, 307 N. Spurgeon Ave., Santa Ana, 888.862.9573.

Tastemakers of Orange County

Sept. 8. SOCO and The Orange County Asian and Pacific Islander Community Alliance (OCAPICA) are collaborating to bring you Asian and Pacific Island-inspired food and beverages from distinguished chefs throughout Orange County. Participants include Vaca and Broadway by Amar Santana, Break of Dawn, Tackle Box, Blue Fin and more. Besides food tastings, enjoy live entertainment and a silent auction. VIP 6 p.m.; general admission 9 p.m. VIP $95; GA $65. 3303 Hyland Ave., Costa Mesa.

Fifth Harmony

Sept. 9. American quintet girl group Fifth Harmony, formed on the second season of the X Factor USA, will hit the stage at Irvine Meadows Ampitheatre. Hear their hits “Worth It” and “Work from Home.”  7 p.m. Tickets start at $44. Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre, 8808 Irvine Center Drive, Irvine.

Decadence 2016
Decadence will feature unlimited food and beverage samplings from Orange County restaurants.

Decadence 2016
Sept. 9. Sample unlimited food and beverage offerings from local Orange County restaurants and bars. Enjoy music, giveaways, a free photo booth experience and artisanal vendors. 21 and over. VIP 6 p.m.; General admission 7 p.m. $30-$60. Hilton Costa Mesa, 3050 Bristol St., Costa Mesa.

Toshiba Tall Ships Festival

Toshiba Tall Ships Festival
Sept. 9-11.
Grab your eye patch and enjoy music, a pirate encampment and tall-ship tours. Ride aboard tall ships during the sunset parade; mock cannon battle; and tall-ship-escort cruise. $5-$65. Ocean Institute, 24200 Dana Point Harbor Drive, Dana Point; park at Dana Hills High School, 33333 Golden Lantern, Dana Point, 949.496.2274.

Shoreline Jam Reggae Festival
Iration will headline the Shoreline Jam Reggae Festival at The Queen Mary.

Shoreline Jam Reggae Festival

Sept. 10. See popular reggae-influenced alternative rock band Iration as they headline the 6th annual Shoreline Jam at The Queen Mary. The all-ages event will also feature some of the hottest surf roots reggae bands in California such as Josh Heinrichs/Skillinjah, Mike Love, The Movement, Bad Apples and more. Enjoy yard-games, beer, cocktails and food to keep you going all day and night. Visit website for full schedule of events. 1-10 p.m. Tickets start at $45. $20 parking. 1126 Queens Hwy., Long Beach, 877.342.0738.

Sept. 11-Oct. 30
. Celebrate Oktoberfest early at Old World. Enjoy German food, music and activities including yodeling and dachshund races. Old World Village, 7561 Center Ave., Huntington Beach, 714.895.8020,

Style Week OC
Style Week OC celebrates its 9th annual showcase.

Style Week OC
Sept. 15-17. Celebrate the best in OC style at the 9th annual Style Week OC showcases. Find runway shows and in-store shopping parties, which showcase fall’s hottest trends. Retailers include Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale’s, Anthropologie, Rebecca Taylor, Trina Turk, Halston Heritage and more. Plus, meet with top fashion bloggers and influencers like Kathleen Barnes of Carrie Bradshaw Lied, Lyndi Kennedy of Lyndi in the City, Nikki Minton of My Style Diaries, among others. See website for full schedule. Free admission, limited seating. Fashion Island, 401 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach, 949.721.2000.

Savor Santa Ana

Sept. 16. Sample dozens of OC’s hottest restaurants in the popular downtown Santa Ana restaurant district. Enjoy music and live entertainment as you choose from nearly 50 participating distinctive restaurants and artisanal food producers. Jump on the free trolley if you don’t feel like walking. Tickets available for advance purchase online. 5-9 p.m. Five tastings $10. Downtown Santa Ana Ticket & Info Booth, Downtown Farmers Market, located on Spurgeon between 3rd and 4th Streets, Santa Ana. Secondary ticket booth at Artists’ Village Promenade, in front of 125 N. Broadway, Santa Ana. 714.547.6100.

Amy Schumer
Sept. 16. Laugh with American stand-up comedian, writer, actress, and producer Amy Schumer. Schumer wrote and starred in the comedy film Trainwreck, receiving nominations for the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Original Screenplay and the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Comedy or Musical. 8 p.m. Tickets start at $59. Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre, 8808 Irvine Center Drive, Irvine.

Long Beach Folk Revival Festival

Sept. 16. The annual festival showcases live folk, roots, Americana and Bluegrass music. Headliners include the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, The White Buffalo, Chuck Ragan, among many others. Also find fun events like a beard and mustache contest and a banjo contest. 21 and over. Blankets and low-backed chairs welcome. General admission $40; VIP $75. See website for tickets and full line up. Across from Shoreline Village and the Marina, Downtown Long Beach.

Garth Brooks
Garth Brooks will perform three nights at Honda Center.

Garth Brooks
Sept. 16-18. Making his first appearance in Anaheim in 20 years, country pop singer Garth Brooks will hit the stage at the Honda Center for a three-night concert series. Touring alongside him in his world tour is country singer and wife Trisha Yearwood. F-Sa 7 p.m. Su 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $64.73. 2695 E. Katella Ave., Anaheim, 714.704.2400.

Unleashed by Petco SurFUR Swell
Sept. 16-17. Bring your pooch and warm up for the Surf Dog Competition on Sept. 25 in Huntington Beach. Join Unleashed by Petco for two mini-events called the Unleashed SurFUR Swell Hours in select Orange County stores. These mini events will feature SurFUR costume contests, SurFUR photo booth, dog adoptions, mocktails and puptails, raffles and more. F 5:30-7:30 p.m. Laguna Niguel Unleashed by Petco, 27281 La Paz Road, Laguna Niguel, 949.448.8014. Sa 1-3 p.m. San Clemente Unleashed by Petco, 979 Avenida Pico, San Clemente, 949.498.2107.

KCRW Summer Nights at the Anaheim Packing District
Sept. 17. Join KCRW DJs Dan Wilcox and Marion Hodges for an evening of music, food and fun activities for the whole family. Choose from over 20 artisan eateries at adjacent Anaheim Packing House or venture to Center Street Promenade—Polly the Trolley will provide free trolley rides to and from Center Street Promenade until 9 p.m. 5:30-10 p.m. Free. Valet $3. Anaheim Packing District, 440 S. Anaheim Blvd., Anaheim.

OC Fest of Ales
Sept. 17. Revel on unlimited beer tastings and unlimited food tastes from local restaurants. Enjoy brews, food and music with some friendly competitions on Center Street Promenade. Breweries include Ballast Point, Karl Straus and Noble Ale Works among others. Noon-4 p.m. $70. Designated Driver (doesn’t include beer tasting) $35. 201 Center St. Promenade, Anaheim, 714.956.3586.

Taste of Laguna
Sept. 21. Head to Laguna Beach for a celebration of fine food, wine, beer and spirits at Tivoli Too!. Indulge on a selection of culinary delights from 35 of Laguna Beach’s most prestigious chefs and restaurants such as K’ya Bistro Bar, Las Brisas, Splashes, Starfish Laguna and Lumberyard. Leading vintners and brewers will also be on hand presenting generous tastes of their premium wines and beers. Local acoustic musicians will also perform. 21 and over. 5:30-9 p.m. $65-$85. 777 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, 949.494.1018.

Def Leppard with REO Speedwagon
Sept. 22. Sing along with English rock band (and one of the world’s best-selling band) Def Leppard, known for hits “Pour Some Sugar on Me,” “Hysteria,” “Animal,” “When Love & Hate Collide,” “Let’s Get Rocked” and so many more. Also hitting the stage American rock band REO Speedwagon. The band’s number one hits include “Keep On Loving You” and “Can’t Fight This Feeling”. 7 p.m. Tickets start at $38. Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre, 8808 Irvine Center Drive, Irvine.

New York-based Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion will give two performances of its thought-provoking “Pavement” in the company’s OC debut Sept. 22-23. Photo credit: Carrie Schneider

Laguna Dance Festival
Sept. 22-25. The festival features a robust schedule of ticketed and free performances and master classes. In its 12th season, Laguna Dance Festival will bring performances from world-renowned dance companies such as BalletX from Philadelphia and BODYTRAFFIC from Los Angeles. After Saturday night’s performance, mingle with the dancers and enjoy a wine and dessert reception under the stars on The Laguna Playhouse Patio. On Sunday at 3 p.m. BalletX presents an afternoon of entertaining dance featuring distinguished choreographers Jorma Elo (Finland), Cayetano Soto (Spain), Amy Seiwert (USA) and Matthew Neenan (USA). See website for full schedule and times. Ticket prices vary based on performance, see website for details.


The Original Catalina Wine Mixer
Sept. 23-25. Plan your weekend getaway with a three-day Step Brothers-inspired event taking place at Catalina Island’s ocean-front Descanso Beach Club. Enjoy live entertainment from alternative rock band KONGOS, gourmet food, fine wine, a screening of the movie Step Brothers and much more. See website for full lineup of events. One-day passes start at $69/pp. Two-day VIP tickets $399; two-day General Admission $149. 1 St. Catherine Way, Avalon.


Luke Bryan
Sept. 24. Slip on your cowboy boots and cowboy hats for country music singer and songwriter Luke Bryan. You’ll recognize his hits “Country Girl (Shake it for Me),” “Kill the Lights,” and “Kick the Dust Up.” 7 p.m. Tickets start at $88. Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre, 8808 Irvine Center Drive, Irvine.

Brew Ha Ha Craft Beer Festival

Brew Ha Ha Craft Beer Festival
Sept. 24. Drink up at the 7th annual Brew Ha Ha Craft Beer Festival as they break their own record of the largest and best selection of craft beer in OC. Sip on craft beer and indulge on eats from gourmet food trucks and restaurant vendors. Enjoy live music and presentations by renowned beer experts including Anthony Chen, lead brewer at AleSmith Brewing Co., and Jim Crooks, masterblender at Firestone Walker Barrel Works. 21 and over. VIP 12 p.m.; General admission 1 p.m. VIP $60; GA $45. Oak Canyon Ranch, 5305 E. Santiago Canyon Road, Silverado.


Knott’s Scary Farm
Sept. 24-Oct. 31.
It’s almost Halloween! Snoopy’s favorite theme park turns sinister on select nights during the Halloween season. This year, its 44th, includes new lives shows, mazes and 1,000 monsters lurking throughout the park. Knott’s Berry Farm, 8039 Beach Blvd., Buena Park, 714.220.5200.

Fascination of Orchids
Sept. 24-25.
If you love orchids, there is no better placed to be. See the Fascination of Orchids exhibition featuring a huge assortment of orchids. Experts speak on how to grow and display the flowers. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. South Coast Plaza Village, 1631 W. Sunflower, Santa Ana, 949.735.2930.

Unleashed by Petco Surf City Surf Dog

Sept. 25. Dog owners and lovers from near and far are invited to Huntington Beach dog beach for a beach day full of puppy-lovin’ fun. The 8th annual Surf City Surf Dog Competition features a multi-heat dog surfing competition at Huntington Beach dog beach complete with a canine expo and a closing awards ceremony. See website for details and pre-registration. 7:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Huntington Dog Beach, 100 Goldenwest Street and Pacific Coast Hwy., Huntington Beach.


Opening Dinner at Ritz Prime Seafood
Sept. 29. Kick off this year’s Newport Beach Wine and Food Festival  with a sunset cocktail reception followed by a five-course land, sea and truffle tasting menu prepared by Celebrity Chef Rick Moonen with Ritz Prime Seafood’s Executive Chef George Ayala. Each tasting will be paired with fine wines led by Master Sommelier Michael Jordan. The evening will commence with an intimate meet-and-greet and book signing with Chef Moonen. 6-10 p.m. $295. Ritz Prime Seafood, 2801 West Coast Hwy., Newport Beach.

Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor
Sept. 29-Oct. 31. Live your nightmares aboard the haunted Queen Mary among ghouls, spirits and the un-dead. This year, discover new monsters, more attractions and a hauntingly horrifying new maze. Scary Mary’s Lullaby Maze takes you on a spine-tingling trip through the story of little Scary Mary who’s looking for new playmates. End your frightening night at the Big Top Bar featuring tantalizing absinthe concoctions. See website for Happy Haunting Hour and VIP packages. Sun-Th 7 p.m.-midnight; F-Sat 7 p.m.-1 a.m. General Admission $29. 1126 Queens Hwy., Long Beach, 877.342.0742.

Sunday Brunch Series with Ballast Point Brewery
Sundays through Sept.
Savor your Sunday with a champagne (or beer) brunch at brand new Huntington Beach hotel, PASÉA Hotel & Spa. Enjoy gorgeous ocean views and indulge in gourmet cuisine paired with specialty craft beers from Ballast Point Brewery. From refreshing seafood ceviche to sweet Nutella French toast, the menu has something for everyone. Bottomless champagne and mimosas included. Indoor and outdoor seating available. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Adults $50, children $25. Paséa Hotel & Spa, Blue Room, 21080 Pacific Coast Hwy., Huntington Beach, 714.698.6122.

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