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Festivals and Events
Look for things to do in Orange County California. Events are listed by month where you can easily find Orange County parades, festivals and popular annual events.
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Amazing Art, Artist and Atmosphere - Make a Visit to the Famed Sawdust Art Festival in Laguna Beach
Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade Of Lights. The Granddaddy Of Holiday Events In Southern California
San Clemente's Ocean Festival
 

 

January


First Night in Fullerton

New Year's Eve
Downtown Fullerton

“First Night” is the city’s annual New Year’s Eve party, offering family-oriented, alcohol-free activities at numerous locations in the streets, sidewalks and buildings in Fullerton’s historic downtown.

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February


TET FESTIVAL

February
OC Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa
714.890.1418

Helping preserve Vietnamese culture, the Tet Festival boasts about the attraction of over 100,000+ audiences and hundreds of booths in a span of a three day weekend event. Visitors are immersed with a vibrant array of traditional foods, live entertainment, festive games, and customs celebrating the Vietnamese Lunar New Year.


Fiesta de las Golondrinas (Festival of the Swallows)

February through March
San Juan Capistrano

949-493-1976

Fiesta de las Golondrinas is tied to the legendary return of the swallows to the Mission San Juan Capistrano on St. Joseph's Day, March 19th. Some of the activities and events include the annual Taste of San Juan, Kids Pet Parade, El Presidente Ball, Fiesta Grande which includes the Hairiest Man & Soiled Dove Contests, and the infamous Hoosegow Day round-up. All these events culminating with the Swallows Day Parade and Mercado Street Faire.

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March


Festival of Whales

March 1-2 & 8-9, 2014
Dana Point Harbor, Dana Point
(888) 440-4309

The 43rd annual Dana Point Festival of Whales celebrates the return of the once-endangered California Gray Whale with a leviathan-size event. In addition to whale watching at the height of whale watching season, festival includes a kick-off parade, Sand Sculpting, Ocean Awareness Day, musical entertainment, on-the-water Concert, Whale of a Block Party, Art Shows, Pancake Breakfast, BBQs, Kids Interpretive Crafts, Classic Car Exhibits, Lectures/Seminars at multiple venues including the Ocean Institute, Historic Walking Tours, Paddling Events, Sailing/Rowing/Kayak/SUP Demos, plus much more!


56th Annual Swallows Day Parade & Mercado

Saturday, March 22, 2014
Parade begins at 11:00 am | Mercado runs 8 am - 5 pm

Dowtown San Juan Capistrano
949-493-1976

The Parade takes place in down-town San Juan Capistrano. This is the nation's largest non-motorized parade. It is totally organized and presented by the San Juan Capistrano Fiesta Association. Arrive early; most street closures are by 10.00 a.m. The parade begins promptly at 11 am.

The Mercado is a Street Fair and Market Place where you can dine, dance, play and shop at over 100 booths. It is THE place to be after the parade! Listen and dance to the music of Working Cowboy Band, a traditional country music band.


Bubblefest

March 29 through April 20, 2014
Discovery Cube
2500 N. Main St., Santa Ana

Pop in March 29 to April 20 for the return of Bubblefest XVIII, the interactive spring break spectacular at Taco Bell Discovery Cube! Witness bubble scientist, Fan Yang, as he performs wondrous stunts with a wave of his wand! Then, learn the science behind bubbles and test your new knowledge with hands-on experiments. For a day bursting with fun, your family won’t want to miss this effervescent and educational experience!

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April


Easter Events

Egg hunts, Easter Brunch, Easter Services and more!

Events listed by City


Spring Citrus Fair

April 11-14, 2014
La Habra Boulevard between Euclid and Cypress Streets
562-697-1704

With period charm, a bubble parade, food competition, entertainment and carnival rides, this fair is sure to be a county-wide crowd pleaser!!


Bolsa Chica Conservancy's 2014 Earth Day Festival

April 12, 2014
Bolsa Chica Conservancy, Huntington Beach
714-846-1114

The Earth Day Celebration at Bolsa Chica Wetlands is a fun free way to get outside and learn about the environment with the whole family! The day will include interactive booths and games that explore all aspects of the wetlands! Featuring marine animals, birds, coyotes and racoons, wetland ecology,history of the wetlands, and guided tours; kids can have fun while learning all about the wetlands and recieve prizes for answering questions! Hot dogs, sno cones, refreshments and more!


Newport Beach Film Festival

April 24 - May 1, 2014
Newport Beach
949-253-2880

Showcasing more than 350 films from around the world, offering an ambitious and international selection of features, shorts, documentaries and animation that will compete for both Jury and Audience awards.

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May


Annual Street Painting - Arts Alive Festival

May 3rd and 4th, 2014 | starts at noon
Norman P. Murray Community Center, Mission Viejo
949-470-8440

Artist from all over transform and capture amazing beauty of art using pastel chalk as the medium to blend onto asphalt as their canvases. With each artist's techniques and their enthusiasm for the love of art you can truly experience the metamorphosis around you.


Soka University's Annual International Festival

Saturday, May 3, 2014 | 10:30 am to 5:30 pm
Soka University, 1 University Drive, Aliso Viejo
949-480-4081

Enjoy over 900 musicians and dancers performing on three stages and over 250 non-profit, craft and business exhibitors. The 2014 International Festival will again be part of the Orange County's Imagination Celebration, presented in cooperation with Arts Orange County and the Orange County Department of Education. There will be lots of international food, exhibitors, games and activities, art exhibitions, ceramic sales and demos, a children's play area with Superslide and Bounce House, student projects --- and much more!


Rancho Days Fiesta

May 4, 2014 | 11:00 a.m
Heritage Hill Historical Park
25151 Serrano Road, Lake Forest
949-923-2230

Celebrating the history of Saddleback Valley and explore the rich history of Orange County's Ranchos and Native American tribes! Visitors will experience the past through music, dance, crafts, food and hands on activities for all ages. Admission is $4 for adults and $3 for children (3-12)


10th Annual Battle of the Mariachi Festival

Saturday, May 10, 2014 | 11 am - 4 pm
Mission San Juan Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano
(949) 234-1321

The festival includes "Battle of the Mariachis", ringing of the historic Mission bells, a special performance of the National Anthem, performances by Ballet Folklorico de San Juan Capistrano, bilingual marionette shows and exhibition performances by local Capistrano Community Mariachi Program.


Cinco de Mayo Celebration


Max Berg Plaza Park, San Clemente

The Annual Cinco de Mayo Celebration showcases live entertainment featuring Mariachis, Aztec Dancers, Ballet Folkloric and live bands along with a colorful student art contest and exhibit, children’s activities, authentic food and drinks.


Annual Muckenthaler Motorcar Festival

May 17-18, 2014
Muckenthaler Cultural Center, 1201 W. Malvern, Fullerton
714-738-6595

A One-of-a-kind Automotive Cultural Event, this oldest and grandest car show in North Orange County hosts Hot Rods and a Concours d'Elegance with the true classics of the automotive industry spread out over 8 acres of lawns.


Doheny Blues Festival

May 17-18, 2014
Doheny State Beach, Dana Point
Ticket Sales & info: (949) 360-7800

The Annual Blues Festival is the true kick-off to summer with a weekend filled with music, lots of vendors and a International Food Court that features foods from around the world. Be sure you come down to Doheny State Beach and celebrate the beginning of summer with Orange County’s Favorite and most anticipated annual summer festival!


Strawberry Festival

May 23-26, 2014
Village Green (Euclid St & Main St), Garden Grove
714-638-0981

The Strawberry Festival over the years has evolved into a variety of Commercial booths, Arts and Crafts, Game Booths, Food and major Carnival Rides. Stage shows feature celebrity and local performers and the largest Strawberry Shortcake is devoured by hungry fairgoers on opening night. Parade is held on Saturday.

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June


Tustin Street Fair & Cook-Off

Sunday, June 1, 2014 | 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Old Town Tustin
(714) 573-3326

The event features the Chili Cook-Off, craft booths, non-profit food vendors, entertainment, kids carnival, music and much more. Admission is free.


St. Pauls Annual Greek Festival

June 27 - 29, 2014
4949 Alton Parkway, Irvine

"A Taste of Greece"
This is a fun-filled Festival for the whole family! Pastries, dancing, full-Scale carnival, boutique & delicious Greek food including a wine taverna. There will also be cooking demonstrations, Greek folk dancing lessons, church tours and opportunity drawings


Sawdust Festival

June 27 - August 31, 2014
935 Laguna Canyon Rd, Laguna Beach
949-494-3030

Featuring the fine art and craft of nearly 200 Laguna Beach artists. Art enthusiasts, collectors, and novice artists have come to the Sawdust since the beginning of this festival in 1966. Meet the artists and try your hand at some of the art and craft projects provided.

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July


4th of July Activities

Fireworks displays, festivals, 5K runs and more!

Events listed by City


Pageant of the Masters

July 9 - August 30, 2014
650 Laguna Canyon Rd, Laguna Beach

949-494-1145

Presented in July and August since the early 1930's, these colorful events have won worldwide recognition. The Festival is a juried exhibit of fine, strictly original works by 160 gifted artists, while the Pageant is a spectacular stage production of living art re-creations. In 2014 the themed The Art Detective, will reveal how lost treasures were discovered, where crimes of passion were uncovered (or covered up) and how creative riddles were unraveled, with a gallery of the world’s great masterpieces providing the clues.


The Orange County Fair

July 11 - August 10, 2014
Orange County Fairgrounds, Costa Mesa
714-708-FAIR

The annual Orange County Fair is the premier family attraction in Southern California offering a wide variety of exhibits, foods, entertainment, rides and hands-on activities. There is something for everybody at the Fair including the summer headline concert series, working farm and petting zoos, thrill rides, contests, and games.


Ocean Festival

July 19-20, 2014
San Clemente Municipal Prier & Beach
949-440-6141

Full weekend of family events Classic Woody Car Show, Surf and Ocean Art Show, Children's activities. Annual Beach Party and Concert included.


Cypress Community Festival

Saturday, July 26, 2014 | 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Oak Knoll Park, 5700 Orange Ave, Cypress
(714) 229-6780

One of the largest one-day festival in Orange County that attracts over 20,000 people annually. Event includes: an early morning 5K/10K run, a delicious pancake breakfast, a car show, chili cook-off, family games, food booths, the Chamber of Commerce business expo, children's rides, arts and crafts booths and four stages with continuous entertainment.

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August


La Habra Corn Festival

Always the first full weekend in August
El Centro Park, 201 North Cypress, La Habra

562-691-3482

The festival includes a fall parade and two day carnival at El Centro Park. The Corn Festival Parade is open to most any group that wants to participate. Applications may be obtained at the La Habra Chamber of Commerce or from Pageantry Productions in South Gate. The parade is one of the largest daytime parades in southern California.


San Clemente Street Faire and Fiesta

Held the second Sunday in August
Ave Del Mar, San Clemente
949-492-1131

A unique family-orientated event with continuous entertainment on three stages. Food booths, contests and games provided by non-profit organizations.


Rancho Mission Viejo Rodeo

August 23-24, 2014
30753 La Pata Road, San Juan Capistrano

This Annual Rancho Mission Viejo Rodeo is good ol' entertainment for the entire family, not to mention the richest 2-day rodeo in the nation. Proclaimed as the richest 2-day rodeo in the nation, this Rodeo features saddle bronc and bareback riding, tie-down roping, steer wrestling, bull riding and team roping

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September


Blue Whale & Finback Whale Migration

September 1-30, 2014
$20 Whale Watching

Newport Beach, CA

September is a special time along the coast of Orange County with warm and mild days and huge numbers of blue whales feeding sometimes just several hundred yards from shore. The Blue Whale Migration is in full swing in September with cruises often seeing several blue whales or more during a single whale watching cruise. And if blue whales weren't enough, finback whales, and minke whales or also viewed regularly. A great opportunity for even the most seasoned whale watcher. Newport Beach is regarded as one of top whale watching destinations worldwide. See why.


Magnificent Blue Whale Watching *With Underwater Viewing*

September 1-30, 2014
Capt. Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Watching Safari
Dana Point, CA 949-488-2828

Highest rated Orange County whale watching adventure! Get up close & personal with magnificent whales including blue whales, fin whales, minke whales, humpback whales, and mega-pods of dolphins up to 10,000 strong aboard our high-tech, never crowded, catamaran sailboat with 2 Eye-to-Eye Underwater Viewing Pods. Feel what it’s like to swim with dolphins without getting wet! Knowledgeable marine naturalists explain how these animals live while you see and touch our collection of whale and dolphin artifacts. You can listen below the surface too with our hydrophone. Mrs. Capt. Dave’s yummy triple fudge brownies served complimentary aboard the most unique whale watching boat in the world. 2 and 1/2 hours.

Reservations recommended. 949-488-2828 or online (link above)


International Street Fair

Every Labor Day weekend
Downtown Orange

International foods, crafts, folk dancing and music. Many different ethnic foods and costume. The Street Fair has become known for the variety of food reflecting cuisine from around the world. They provide food, drink, entertainment and crafts to the visitors.


Oktoberfest

September - October
Old World Village,
7561 Center Ave, Huntington Beach
714-895-8020

If you love to drink beer, eat bratwürst and sauerkraut and enjoy dancing to "Oompah-pa music directly from Linzerbuben, Austria, then you'll love the Oktoberfest at Old World Village with its traditional German festivity. Complete with German bands imported from Europe, dancing, and imported beers (of course) and tasty German foods from bratwürst to potato salad to hot pretzels and apple strudel, Oktoberfest has something for everyone.


Tall Ships Festival

September 4-7, 2014
Dana Point Harbor / Ocean Institute
949-496-2274

The largest annual gathering of tallships on the West Coast, this festival features a spectacular array of family-fun activities including live music, art shows and a variety of tasty food. Interactive living-history encampments including blacksmiths, scrimshaw artists, and the infamous Port Royal Privateers are sure to entertain and amaze guests of all ages and are not to be missed. Additionally, you can explore the historic tallships and listen to the crew share tails of adventure and life at sea.


Irvine Global Village Festival

Saturday, September 27 - 2014 | 10 am - 6 pm
Bill Barber Park, Irvine

949-724-6606

Boasting artistic cultural performances on three stages, the Festival's live entertainment is a mosaic of music and dance representing more than 50 cultures from Europe, Asia, Africa, and North and South America. Immerse yourself in cultural displays, world religion and demonstrations, indulge in international cuisine, explore our world marketplace and keep the little ones in motion with hands-on art projects, games and activities in a giant, interactive Kids Village. Festival admission and parking are free.


Orange County Children's Book Festival

Sunday, September 28, 2014 | 9:30am - 4:30pm
Orange Coast College, 2701 Fairview Rd, Costa Mesa
(714) 838-4528

The Orange County Children’s Book Festival is designed specifically for children of all ages. This family-fun festival attracts more than 20,000 visitors who will be entertained and delighted by authors, illustrators, booksellers, animals, storytellers, costumed characters, train rides, crafts, food and entertainment and much, much more.

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October


Halloween Events

Haunted Houses, parades, carnivals and much more!

Events listed by city


Tiller Days

October 3-5, 2014
Columbus Tustin Park, (corner of Prospect and Irvine Blvd)
714-573-3326

Tustin Tiller Days has been a regular event in Tustin since 1957. The event provides an opportinity for Tustin to celebrate Orange County's agricultural heritage. Features Parade (on Saturday at 10 am), carnival, rides, food and entertainmnet


Silverado Days

October 17-19, 2014
William Peak Park, 7225 El Dorado Drive, Buena Park

Held each October, this community festival includes a parade, food and game booths. Featured contests include World Amateur Arm Wrestling Championship, Custom Car Show,a pie-eating contest, International Chili Society Chili Cook off, hog calling, sexiest/hairiest legs, Little Miss Chili Pepper & Mr Hot Stuff Baby Contest, dog show and Karaoke Contest.


The Heritage Festival and Parade

Saturday, October 11, 2014
Tri-City Park, 2301 N. Kraemer Blvd, Placentia

(714) 524-8535

Since 1965, this celebration of the city's heritage includes a parade and fair booths. The events begins with the Chamber of Commerce pancake breakfast followed by the parade and band review. The festival begins at 10:00 a.m. and features many exciting activities for the entire family including the annual car show, a crafts fair, food booths, kids games and more.


San Clemente Sea Fest

Held on the Sunday, following the first
Wednesday in October
San Clemente Pier, San Clemente
949-492-1131

Sponsored by the San Clemente Chamber, this event features a Chowder Cook-off, an Arts & Craft Show, Business Expo, entertainment and an array of fresh seafood, served seaside on the beach in the historic San Clemente Pier area.

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November


Annual La Palma Days

mid November
La Palma Central Park
714-690-3350

This annual tradition event has been celebrated for over 20 years, encouraging residents, business partners and friends to celebrate La Palma’s community spirit. The event features Miss La Palma Pageant, Parade & Band Review, Activities, Entertainment, Cultural & Historical Activities & International Food & Product Vendors


Turkey Trot

Thanksgiving Day
Dana Point
Race Hotline: 949-496-1555

California's Largest Thanksgiving Day Run Event and one of America's Most Scenic Runs... hosted by The Dana Point Chamber of Commerce. Tour the beautiful beach, majestic cliffs and coves of Dana Point. Enjoy pounding surf, rugged cliffs, and cool ocean breezes as you sail through the Dana Point Marina, Doheny State Park and pass the historic tallship Pilgrim moored in Dana Point Harbor.

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December

Holiday Events

Details of holiday events beginning in November.

Click Here for events listed by city


Sawdust Winter Fantasy

Weekends: November 22 through December 21, 2014
935 Laguna Canyon Rd

949-494-3030

This unique fair offers shoppers the opportunity to purchase unique artisan crafts from various local artists. Includes live entertainment, hands-on art projects and picture-perfect moments, the Sawdust Art Festival's Winter Fantasy will become your family's holiday tradition.

General Admission:
$6.00 Adults, $3.00 children 6-12


Annual Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade

December
Newport Beach

FREE to the public. The boat parade will light up the harbor for five consecutive nights from December 16-December 20 2009. The parade starts at Collins Island at 6:30 p.m. and will last approximately two and a half hours over 250 ships participate in the parade along with hundreds of water front estates. Providing the backdrop for the parade is the Ring of Lights waterfront home and business decorating competition. FREE for spectators, entry fee for participating boats. Over 1 million people view the parade each year.

For those of you that would like to be in parade Newport Landing offers 2 general admission cruises nightly every night of the parade that are a part of the actual parade. Viewing the parade from a ship means that you see all of the parade and homes in full decor that line the waterfront. General admission tickets can be reserved over the phone.

Location for cruises:
Newport Landing Sportfishing
309 Palm - Suite A Newport Beach Ca
949-675-0551

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